An average American household washes almost 400 loads of laundry every year. Although air-drying your clothes is the cheapest and energy-efficient alternative, it is often impractical or not feasible. As such, the majority of households require a clothes dryer. It consumes around 30-140 kWh per month and about 6 percent of the average household utility costs. Dryers are among the top five high consumption home appliances.
Considering the cost of running a clothes dryer, the energy usage of a unit should be a top consideration. In 2015, the US Department of Energy began rating clothes dryers. ENERGY STAR-certified models consume 20 percent less energy as compared to older, conventional models.
Two Types of Clothes Dryer
When shopping around, you’ll be surprised to find numerous brands and models available in the market. They might all look different but actually, they all use the same inner mechanisms, except for the heating element.
Basically, dryers are comprised of two components: the electric motor that tumbles the clothes inside and the heating element that produces the warm air that is distributed into the drum. There are two ways heat is generated through electricity or gas.
Electric Clothes Dryer
Electric dryers contain a heating coil that is powered by the 240-volt current, unlike other home appliances that run on standard household current. Repair specialists from jacksonvilleappliancerepair.services recommend dedicating a heavy-duty electrical outlet and breaker for the clothes dryer. Any problem with the electrical supply can cause major trouble in your unit.
Some compact electric dryers are ventless. These machines are compact in size and is preferred if external ventilation is not possible. This type of dryer uses condensation dry which works by turning cool air into water vapor which is then drained off or collected in a tank. Compared to vented dryers, these units require more frequent maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Since hot air is expelled within the space they occupy, make sure there is adequate ventilation.
Newer models are equipped with a heat pump dryer which produces warm air. These units are either full- or compact-sized.
Hot air is blown into the wet clothes. Moisture condenses on the cold coil and the water is expelled out into the drain pipe or a collection box. Compared to conventional heaters, heat pump dryers tend to dry longer but it is safer on your clothes and is more energy efficient. This new technology makes the dryer more energy efficient.
In general, electric dryers cost less than gas dryer. Most models do not require professionals to install. If you already have an outlet, you simply have to plug in the unit and it’s good to go. However, the downside is that electricity needed to run the unit cost twice than gas-fuelled clothes dryer.
Gas dryers use natural gas or LPG to ignite the burner and produce heated gas. Once the machine is run, a sensor ignites the burner until it reaches the desired temperature. The gas valve opens up to allow heated air to flow in.
The heated air is blown into the drum by an electric fan. Thermostat continually monitors the internal temperature. Once the desired heat is achieved, the valve shuts.
Aside from the gas line, gas dryers require a 110-volt electrical outlet. The gas line should also be compatible with the requirement of the machine or you will have to convert the dryer into the type of gas available.
Gas dryers tend to cost more than electric model. Aside from the unit price, you also have spent on installation cost. However, if you reside in a region where propane gas or natural gas is cheaper than electricity, then gas dryers cost less to operate over time. These dryer type also dries clothes more quickly compared to electric gas dryers.
Can You Choose Between Gas and Electric Clothed Dryer?
There’s no straight answer to this question. Although you are free to pick which unit to buy, a major consideration would be your existing laundry hookups. Installing new gas connections can be quite expensive, so it’s best to stick with a unit that is compatible to your laundry room.
Some laundry rooms are supplied with both a 240-volt electrical outlet and a gas outlet. If you have both, then you’re lucky! You can choose which type of dryer to buy.
As regulations become stricter, the condensation and heat pump dryer models have become common. The only issue with condensation dryers is that they only have limited capacity as compared to full-sized dryers.
Aside from energy efficiency, other considerations are the volume of laundry, the frequency of use, your budget, and your preferred appliance features. If you have a large household, it might be best to get a full-sized dryer to avoid overloading your machine. Compact dryer units are best for solo or couples.
So, which should you choose: electric or gas? Again, whichever line is readily available, go for it. There are a number of models for you to select from. There are different models that will fit your requirements.
If you have both hookups, consider the unit that is most appropriate to your needs, at the same, is most cost-effective in the long run. You don’t want to settle for a unit that costs less initially but would require lots of money to run. It is better to invest a few extra dimes for the installation and save up over time, than save a few extra dimes now and spend huge bucks over time.