Close-up of dryer controls

Gas vs. Electric Dryers: What’s the Difference?

Although both electric and gas dryers use electricity to operate, electric dryers are powered entirely by electricity. The main difference between gas and electric dryers has to do with how they heat air to dry your laundry. Gas dryers use natural gas or propane to generate heat while electric dryers use metal heating coils powered by electricity.

Explore the differences between gas and electric dryers and see how they stack up in terms of cost and energy efficiency.

Two different Maytag® washer and dryer sets

Do I Need an Electric or Gas Dryer?

First, determine if your laundry room accommodates a gas or electric dryer by checking your hookups. Most laundry rooms come equipped with a 240-volt outlet for an electric dryer. If you have a gas hookup, you likely have the option to install either a gas or electric dryer, depending on your preference.

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How Do Gas Dryers Work?

Gas dryers use gas to heat the air that dries your clothing. The flame from the dryer’s electric ignition heats the air in the dryer and is forced through the dryer by a blower.


As the clothes tumble around inside the dryer, the moisture from the clothes evaporates and is released through the dryer’s exhaust, allowing your clothes to dry completely.

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How Do Electric Dryers Work?

In electric dryers, an electric current is sent through a heating element that turns the electric energy into heat. The heat is then transferred to the air and forced throughout the dryer by a blower or fan.

A Maytag® washer and dryer in an updated laundry room

Benefits of a Gas Dryer

  • Connect to existing gas hook-up

  • Use a standard 110/115-volt outlet to power the drum, fan, lights and controls, but employ natural gas or propane to generate heat

  • Total operating costs are lower due to less electricity consumption and generally lower costs for gas compared to electricity. Cost, however, is dependent on current costs for electricity or gas and can also be dependent on region.

Maytag® Gas Dryers

White Maytag® Washer and Dryer set

Benefits of an Electric Dryer

  • Connects to a four-pronged, 240-volt electrical outlet

  • Quick installation (no dedicated gas line required)

  • Generally cost less to purchase than comparable gas models

  • Come in a wide range of models

Maytag® Electric Dryers

Is a gas or electric dryer better?

While the initial cost of an electric dryer is typically cheaper than a gas dryer, the lower general operating costs of gas dryers can lead to more savings over time. The overall cost is dependent, though, on the cost of electricity and gas and where you live.

If you don’t have an existing gas source, it might be better to go with an electric dryer. The initial cost of having a dedicated gas line professionally installed might outweigh the benefits of a gas dryer for you, especially if you’re not planning to stay in your home for more than five years.

However, if you do have a gas line (or are installing one) and plan on staying in your home for more than five years, a gas dryer might be the right choice due to its lower overall operating costs.

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*MSRP is Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Dealer alone determines actual retail and advertised prices