Can You Convert A Gas Dryer To Electric? (Here Are the Details)

Sean Jarvis
by Sean Jarvis

If you are relocating and taking along your gas dryer, you may want to know if you can convert it to electric. To answer this question, it’s important to know the differences between these types of dryers.

No, you cannot convert a gas dryer to an electric dryer. It would cost a lot of money, as you would need to completely overhaul the internal components. Plus, a gas dryer runs on 110V, while an electric dryer runs on 220V. It would cost three times the amount of a new dryer.

Choosing whether you use a gas dryer or electrical dryer should first and foremost depend on what hookups are available in your home. From there you can decide on the best models of each, or if you have the option to choose either, which works best for you and your family.

It is always best to go with whatever hookups are available in your home. As both gas and electric dryers have such variability, you will be able to find something to suit your needs with either style of the appliance.

Gas and Electric Hookups

If you are moving into a new home and it has washer and dryer hookups, but not appliances, you will need to determine which units will work. This is as easy as taking a look at the outlets.

Gas dryers will run on electricity to do things like power the lights and turn the drum but require gas in order to do the actual drying. The outlet will look like the standard electrical receptacle, with three prongs. Next to it or nearby will be the gas line, which will be capped off for protection.

If the outlet is larger, with three or four holes for the prongs, and you don’t see the gas line nearby, then it’s an electrical setup. These typically run on 240 volts, which is why the outlet will be larger than the standard size.

If you have an existing dryer you can figure out whether it is electrical or gas by checking the model number. A gas dryer will usually have a ‘G’ within the series of letters, electrical dryers will have an ‘E’.

You can also check the back and look for a gas line hook up.

How a Dryer Works

Regardless of whether you have an electric or gas dryer, they both work in the same manner. They use heat, air, and tumbling to get your clothes dry and wrinkle-free.

An electric dryer will use a heating element, while a gas dryer will have a gas burner. These will heat the air which is sent into the drum with a blower or fan. The drum then spins, tumbling the clothes to allow for even air distribution to dry your clothing.

Gas Dryers

Gas dryers use a gas burner to generate the drying heat. When you start your cycle, a sensor on the motor causes the ignitor to light, and then the pilot is lit and the gas valve opened.

An electric fan will then circulate the heated air, with a thermostat checking the temperature and regulating the opening/closing of the gas valve.

Electric Dryers

An electric dryer works in this way: An electric current is sent through the heating coil. This coil is designed to create resistance, which builds up electrons and causes energy. This energy comes in the form of heat.

With the metal coils hot from the electron buildup, the air around it is pushed into the dryer drum by a fan. As the drum spins and the clothes tumble, the heat is evenly distributed throughout and dries the clothing.

Ventless Dryers

There are ventless electric models, which are usually found in small apartments. They are typically compact and will only dry a small load at a time. There are 2 types of ventless dryers on the market. Heat pump dryers and condenser dryers.

Condenser Dryer

A condenser dryer heats the air with a condenser, which moves into the drum and evaporates the water from wet clothing. Air will then recirculate inside the machine and is heated.

The moisture in the air is condensed into water which then pumped into a water tank or out of the machine through a hose. In order to use a condenser dryer, you will need a drain to pump the water into, or you will need to empty the water tank after every use.

Heat Pump Dryer

Heat Pump dryers use a compressor to recirculate the air and remove moisture. They use lower temperatures than other dryers so may take longer but are gentler on clothing.

Heat Pump dryers will also help to significantly reduce your energy consumption. They are a\ eco-friendly way to do laundry, as they are incredibly efficient and much cheaper to run.

Dryer Vents

Electric and gas dryers both need to be vented to the outside. This is because the moist air that they expel is filled with lint. If not vented, it can cause mildew and mold to form within your laundry room.

Non vented dryers will also cause all the small particles of lint to be released into the air, where they will cling to surfaces and you will breathe them in. Vents on a gas dryer also exhaust the byproducts of combustion, which can be harmful to inhale.

Electric Vs Gas Dryer Cost

Gas dryers will typically cost $50 to $100 dollars more, not including any installation costs. The way they make up for this upfront cost is that they are more energy-efficient to run, so over time, you will make that money back.

Gas dryers run hotter than electric dryers, which reduce the drying time and costs over time. If you are doing 5 loads of laundry per week, the average cost for a gas dryer would be about $85 per year.

With an electric dryer, If you are doing 5 loads of laundry per week, the average cost for a gas dryer would be about $130 per year. Condenser dryers, on average, are slightly more expensive to run than vented dryers. This of course depends on the machines exact energy consumption.

Heat Pump Dryers are the most cost-efficient dryers on the market, due to the way that they recycle the air while drying.

Related Questions

How Long Does a Dryer Last?

The typical life span for a dryer is 13 years. This involves regular cleaning of the lint filter and ducts, to help your dryer run more efficiently. The harder it will have to work the more wear and tear will be put on your machine.

Can You Install a Gas Dryer Yourself?

Self-installation is a cheaper option and very straightforward. With a few tools and clear directions, anyone can install a dryer, whether gas or electric. This will save on costs as well as make it easier to switch in and out dryers if you move.

Do You Have to Light a Pilot on a Gas Dryer?

No, all modern dryers will come with an electronic ignition mechanism. This will be ignited whenever the controls call for heat.

Sean Jarvis
Sean Jarvis

Sean Jarvis is an interior decorator, writer, and expert handyman. Well versed in everything home improvement, he is a savant at manipulating words and spaces and upgrading everything around him. Sean specializes in writing concise guides about appliance repair and installation, home and lifestyle, and other residential projects.

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