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Gas & Electric Dryer Electricity Usage Compared (Hour, Load, Month, Year)

It seems like a never-ending debate: gas or electric dryer. We want to know all the facts before we choose because, despite being so very similar, the differences between the two are important and significant.

One of the most sought-after comparisons is the electricity usage because often we make choices depending on how much money we can allocate to an appliance, and because greater electricity usage means a greater negative impact on the environment.


On average electric dryers use more electricity than gas dryers per hour (G = 1.2 kW; E = 1.9 kW), load (G = 1.3 kW; E = 2.1 kW), month (G = 31.1 kW; E = 49.8 kW), and year (G = 373 kW; E = 597 kW).

Dryer Average Power Rating

The power rating is how many watts of power your dryer will pull during a cycle. These differ for gas and electric dryers as gas dryers only need electricity to power some components. On the other hand, electric dryers need electricity to heat the air that dries the clothes. This calls for more power.

Gas dryer vs electric dryer

The table below shows us that gas dryers pull at least 60% less power than electric dryers.

It should also be noted that most gas dryers have a similar power rating, while electric dryers tend to increase in power rating up to capacities of 7.3 cubic feet.

Dryer capacity (cu. ft.)Gas dryer average power rating (kW)Electric dryer average power rating (kW)
<4.0n/a2.3
4.0-6.0n/a3.0
6.0-7.00.75.4
7.21.35.5
7.30.75.6
7.40.95.6
7.51.35.6
7.61.85.4
7.81.05.6
8.31.35.6
91.05.6

Dryer Hourly Electricity Usage and Cost

Electricity usage is a measure of power used per hour. To see how we calculated the electricity costs for electric and gas dryers have a look at the following two articles;

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity in the United States is $0.16.

From the table below we can see electric dryers use roughly twice as much electricity as gas dryers and will, therefore, cost you more.

You can also see that the electricity usage and cost is fairly consistent across different electric dryer capacities, whereas it varies more among gas dryer capacities.

Dryer capacity (cu. ft.)Gas dryer hourly electricity usage (kW)Electric dryer hourly electricity usage (kW)Gas dryer cost per hour ($)Electric dryer cost per hour ($)
<4.0n/a0.7n/a0.11
4.0-6.0n/a0.8n/a0.12
6.0-7.00.72.10.120.34
7.21.32.10.200.34
7.30.72.10.110.34
7.40.92.10.150.34
7.51.82.10.290.34
7.61.82.10.290.34
7.81.02.10.150.34
8.31.32.10.200.34
91.02.10.150.34

Dryer Electricity Usage and Cost Per Load

Not every dryer runs for an hour, and so to get a more realistic use of electricity and cost we calculate the average cost per load for the different capacities of dryers.

The average time for a gas dryer to run is 68 minutes. Electric dryers’ load time ranges from 48 minutes for your compact dryers to 74 minutes for your larger capacity dryers. 

On average, a gas dryer will use 1.3 kWh of electricity and will cost $0.21 per load.

An electric dryer will use almost double that at 2.1 kWh and will cost you about 17 cents more per load than a gas dryer.

Electric dryer and gas dryer comparison (electricity usage and cost per load)
Dryer capacity (cu. ft.)Gas dryer electricity usage per load (kW)Electric dryer electricity usage per load (kW)Gas dryer cost per load ($)Electric dryer cost per load ($)
<4.0n/a0.7n/a0.11
4.0-6.0n/a0.6n/a0.10
6.0-7.00.82.40.130.38
7.21.42.40.230.39
7.30.82.20.130.36
7.41.02.40.170.38
7.52.12.40.330.39
7.62.22.50.360.41
7.81.12.60.180.42
8.31.42.30.220.37
91.02.60.160.41

Dryer Monthly Electricity Usage and Cost

Average Americans use their dryers 23 times per month. Using this figure and the electricity usage per load, we can work out the monthly electricity usage and the monthly cost of running a gas and electric dryer.

On average, a gas dryer will use 31.1 kWh of electricity and cost anywhere between $3 and $8 per month.

An electric dryer will use 49.8 kWh of electricity per month and can cost you an average of $9 per month. Unless you have a small compact dryer with a capacity smaller than 6 cu. ft., then it’ll only cost you about $2 to run monthly.

Dryer capacity (cu. ft.)Gas dryer electricity usage per month (kW)Electric dryer electricity usage per month (kW)Gas dryer cost per month ($)Electric dryer cost per month ($)
<4.0n/a16.1n/a2.58
4.0-6.0n/a14.8n/a2.37
6.0-7.018.756.62.999.05
7.234.257.45.479.19
7.318.552.92.978.46
7.424.755.93.968.94
7.548.857.07.819.12
7.652.460.08.389.59
7.827.062.14.329.93
8.332.054.05.128.65
923.860.83.809.73

Dryer Yearly Electricity Usage and Cost

The average number of times that Americans use their dryers is 283 times per year. Using a similar calculation as the monthly usage, we can get an annual electricity usage and the cost of gas and electric dryers.

Average number of times that Americans use their dryers infographic

On average, a gas dryer will use 373 kWh of electricity, whereas an electric dryer will use one and a half times more electricity than that at 597 kWh.

The amount your gas dryer will cost you in electricity per year will range between $35 to $100; this is largely dependant on the brand and model of your gas dryer.

If you have a standard-size electric dryer, you are looking at paying over $100 per year in electricity usage.

Dryer capacity (cu. ft.)Gas dryer electricity usage per year (kW)Electric dryer electricity usage per year (kW)Gas dryer cost per year ($)Electric dryer cost per year ($)
<4.0n/a193n/a30.96
4.0-6.0n/a178n/a28.41
6.0-7.022467935.86108.63
7.241068965.61110.25
7.322263435.58101.50
7.429767047.49107.24
7.558668493.73109.44
7.6628719100.52115.11
7.832474551.80119.17
8.338464961.49103.77
928573045.64116.74

Overall, electric dryers have a higher electricity usage and cost compared to gas dryers. However, it’s important to note that this can vary depending on factors such as the size and efficiency of the dryer, as well as how often you use your dryer and the load size. 

When evaluating the cost and efficiency of a gas dryer, it’s important to take into account that they require not only electricity but also a supply of natural gas (or LP).

The cost of gas, how efficiently the dryer uses gas, and the size of the dryer will all play a role in the overall cost of operating a gas dryer.

If you are just looking at the information from an electrical cost perspective, then gas is the way to go. Unless you are a single person living in an apartment with no intention of upgrading anytime soon, I would then suggest getting a compact electric dryer. 

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