Gas vs Electric Dryer Calculator

Created by Rahul Dhari
Reviewed by Steven Wooding
Last updated: Oct 30, 2022

This gas vs. electric dryer calculator will help you estimate and compare the costs of operating a gas or an electric dryer. The operating cost of these appliances depends on various parameters like the type of dryer, its energy rating, the number of drying loads per, electricity cost (see Electricity cost - single usage), and gas prices.

Find out more in the article below on how to calculate drying costs, or you can begin by entering some numbers into our gas vs. electric dryer calculator.

Gas dryer vs electric dryer

First, let's look at how these two types of dryers operate. A clothes dryer works by circulating hot air to remove excess moisture from the clothes. First, the dryer draws air at room temperature and heats it. Second, the clothes are then exposed to the hot air in the drum during the tumbling operation. Then, the hot air absorbs the moisture and flows out via vents.

Therefore, the energy requirement is for two processes:

  1. Heat generation and air circulation; and
  2. Tumbling process.

Tumbling and air circulation processes can only be powered using electricity; however, you can use either an electric or a natural gas source for heating air. Depending on the heat source, the dryer can be classified as an electric or a gas dryer. Some modern innovations in these devices include waste heat recovery, ultrasonic drying, and variations in air circulating patterns.

Operating cost — Electric vs gas dryer

The operating cost for a dryer depends on the following factors:

  • Wattage — The electric dryers can be 2000 to 6000 W, i.e., it would consume 2 to 6 kWh of energy.
  • BTU or gas rating — Typical gas dryers are rated between 16,000 to 22,000 BTU/h of natural gas. It is convertible to the volume of LP (liquefied petroleum) gas.
  • Time of drying cycle — Time taken to dry a load of clothes altogether.
  • Electricity and gas prices — Unit cost of electricity (cf. electricity cost calculator) and gas.
  • Frequency of drying loads — Number of loads per week.

The equation gives the cost per loading cycle for an electric dryer:

Cost=Wattage×Load time×Price1000\scriptsize \text{Cost} = \frac{\text{Wattage} \times \text{Load time} \times \text{Price}} {1000}

Similarly, the cost of running a gas dryer for a load cycle considers both gas consumption and electricity consumption to heat and rotate the drum, respectively.

The cost per loading cycle for a gas dryer is:

Cost=[(Wattage×Electricity cost+ BTU rating×Gas cost)× Load time]/1000\scriptsize\! \text{Cost} = [( \text{Wattage} \times \text{Electricity cost} +\\\ \text{BTU rating}\times \text{Gas cost} )\! \times\!\! \text{ Load time}] / 1000

where:

  • Wattage is in watts; and
  • Electricity cost is in $/kWh.

Using the gas vs electric dryer calculator

Let's calculate the cost of running gas and electric dryers if the load takes 30 minutes to complete a cycle and the number of loads per week is 3.

To calculate the running costs:

  1. Enter the time taken to complete a drying cycle as 30 minutes.
  2. Fill in the frequency of loads as 3 per week.
  3. Insert the wattage for an electric dryer. Let's use a 3 kW dryer in the example.
  4. The calculator will return the electricity consumption per load as 1.5 kWh per load.
  5. Enter the cost of electricity per kWh as $0.12.
  6. The drying cost per week for the electric dryer is $0.54 which translates to $28.08 annually.
  7. Insert the wattage value for the gas dryer as 1.5 kW.
  8. The calculator will return the electricity consumption per load as 0.75 kWh per load.
  9. Fill in the gas/BTU rating for the dryer as 22000 BTU per hour.
  10. The calculator returns the value of gas consumption per load as 11000 BTU/h.
  11. Enter the cost of natural gas per therm as $1.
  12. The natural gas vs. electric dryer calculator would return the cost of using a gas dryer as $0.6 per week and $31.20 annually.

You can now compare the cost of both types of appliances to make the right choice for you. If you are interested in calculating electricity consumption for other machines, you can try our appliance wattage calculator.

FAQ

How do I calculate operating cost for electric dryer?

To calculate the operating cost of an electric dryer:

  1. Find the wattage of your dryer.
  2. Multiply the wattage (W) by the time for one load cycle.
  3. Divide the product by 1000 to obtain the consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
  4. Multiply the resultant by cost of electricity per kWh to obtain the operating cost of the electric dryer per load cycle.

How do I calculate operating cost for gas dryer?

To calculate the operating cost of a gas dryer:

  1. Find the wattage of your dryer.
  2. Multiply the wattage (W) by the time for one load cycle.
  3. Divide the product by 1000 to obtain the consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
  4. Multiply the resultant by cost of electricity per kWh to obtain the operating electric cost of the gas dryer per load cycle.
  5. Multiply the gas or BTU rating by the time for one load cycle.
  6. Multiply the resultant by cost of natural gas per therm to get the operating gas cost.
  7. Add the operating electric cost and operating gas cost to obtain the total running cost for the gas dryer.

Are gas dryers cheaper than electric dryer?

The gas dryers consume less electricity than an electric dryer as it uses natural gas as fuel to raise the temperature of circulating air. The operating cost of the gas dryers can be cheaper than electric dryers in regions having lower gas prices. However, the gas dryers are required to have extra safety measures and, therefore, are more complicated to install and operate.

How do I calculate annual cost for electric dryer?

To calculate the annual operating cost for an electric dryer:

  1. Find the wattage of your dryer.
  2. Multiply the wattage (in watts) by the time for one load cycle.
  3. Divide the product by 1000 to obtain the consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
  4. Multiply the resultant by cost of electricity per kWh to obtain the operating cost of the electric dryer per load cycle.
  5. Multiply the cost per cycle to the number of loads per week.
  6. Multiply the weekly cost by 52 to obtain the annual cost for operating an electric dryer.
Rahul Dhari
Time per drying cycle
min
Number of drying loads per week
per week
Electric dryer
Wattage
kW
Electricity consumption
kWh
/ load
Unit electricity cost
$ /
kWh
Drying cost
$ /
per week
Drying cost per year
$ /
per year
Gas dryer
Wattage
kW
Electricity consumption per load
kWh
/ load
Gas rating
BTU/h
Unit gas cost
$ /
therm
Gas consumption
BTU
/ load
Drying cost
$ /
per week
Drying cost per year
$ /
per year
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