A guide to gas powered clothes dryers

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You’ve probably heard a lot about different types of clothes dryers, with some touted as being more energy efficient than others, meaning cheaper electricity or gas bills over time. To help you decide whether or not a gas powered clothes dryer is a good option for your home, we’ve produced this review and answered all the questions you’re likely to have.

There are pros and cons to all types of clothes dryers, so we’ll cover the following topics to help you decide whether or not a gas dryer is the best bet at your place:

  • What gas dryers are and how they work
  • Gas dryers vs electric dryers
  • How much gas dryers cost to buy
  • How much gas dryers cost to run
  • Who sells gas dryers in Australia
  • How to install a gas dryer
  • Important features you should look for
  • How to save money on a gas dryer
  • Other things to consider

What is a gas dryer?

All clothes dryers basically work by moving heated air through the clothes to eliminate moisture. The only difference between the different types of clothes dryers is how they are heated. A gas clothes dryer uses gas to heat the tumbler, and much less electricity to fuel the appliance than standard dryers as a result.

They are both equally capable of warming your clothes, and there really isn’t much of a difference between how they work as a result. However, there are some key differences in regards to things like cost, installation, availability and features that you will need to consider. We’ll go into detail shortly, but check out a summary of the pros and cons of each type of dryer below.

Gas dryers vs electric dryers

Advantages Disadvantages
Gas dryers Generally cheaper running costs as gas is almost always cheaper than electricity

They often heat up clothes faster than electric dryers

Are overall more energy efficient

All gas dryers require a vent to the outside

Require a gas connection which not everyone has

Are more expensive to buy up front

Require professional installation

Electric dryers Are cheaper and easier to install

Do not require a gas connection

Often don’t need to be vented to the outside

Will cost more in electricity usage over time

They are generally slower to heat up and take more time to warm your clothes

They require a minimum 240V outlet in your laundry. Most homes will have this, however

How much do gas dryers cost?

Generally speaking, gas dryers are much more expensive to buy up front than conventional electric clothes dryers. According to Appliances Online, the average price of a gas dryer in Australia is well over $2,000, which is a sizeable investment.

In comparison, electric clothes dryers will usually set you back around $500, which is obviously a lot less. The most expensive gas dryer money can buy goes for $7,300, the Speed Queen. If you’re after something a little cheaper, the cheapest gas dryer still costs around $1,200. This is before the installation costs as well, which we’ll cover later.

So if you’re shopping on a budget, you might struggle to find a cheap gas dryer that suits your needs. But with appliances like these, you always need to consider if you’ll make a return on your investment down the line through reduced energy costs.

How much do gas dryers cost to run?

Gas powered clothes dryers will cost you as little as $85-$100 annually, compared to about $300 per annum for a standard electric dryer. These prices obviously depend on the energy prices in your state and how often you use your dryer, but the general rule is that gas dryers are much more energy efficient. In fact, they use roughly 50-60% less power per load.

So if you take this into consideration, then most gas dryers will pay for their extra cost after about 7 to 8 years, depending on the factors mentioned above. This might sound promising, but there is a lot more to consider than just that. Firstly, 8 years is a long time, and a lot of people don’t keep the same appliance for that long. According to consumer reports, manufacturers say you should replace your dryer every 10 years, so you could end up making some long-term savings if you intend to follow through on that.

How do you install a gas dryer?

When trying to work out overall gas dryer costs, you also have to consider the costs of installation and upgrading your laundry if necessary. There are two things to take into consideration when choosing a gas dryer:

  • Whether you have a gas line in your laundry room
  • Whether you have a vent to the outside to expel the moisture from your clothes

All gas dryers require a gas line – if you don’t have one you will have to get one installed. This is extremely expensive though, and can be dangerous to do in an occupied residence. For point two, you will need a vent that ends up outdoors, to prevent any build-up of gas by-products. If your place doesn’t have these set-up already, you can pay to have them installed, but the significant cost of doing so will make it unlikely that a gas dryer will still be a worthwhile investment.

If you do have these there already however, then you can move onto getting your gas dryer installed. This line has to be fitted by a licensed gas fitter or plumber, which you’ll have to factor into your budget. You should expect to pay in the higher end of the price range for a licensed and reputable professional, which will be at least several hundred dollars.

Do not, in any circumstances, attempt to install a gas dryer yourself, unless you happen to be a licensed plumber or gas fitter. The consequences of a faulty installation can include fire, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Who sells gas dryers in Australia?

Gas clothes dryers are less common than other models, and as a result not every manufacturer stocks them. There are really only two main providers of gas dryers in Australia – Rinnai and Speed Queen.

Rinnai gas dryers

Available in either 4 or 6 kilo capacities, Rinnai has four dryers in total. It claims that the dryness and softness of your clothes can’t be beaten in a Rinnai dryer, and that these four models are superior to electric dryers in every way. This might not necessarily be true, but if you want to find out for yourself, Rinnai gas dryers cost between $1,300 and $1,600. While this isn’t cheap by any means, it’s certainly much cheaper than Speed Queen’s gas dryers.

Speed Queen

Speed Queen offers 13 products, the cheapest of which costs $2,000. This is already costlier than the most expensive Rinnai model, and as we mentioned before, the other end of the price spectrum contains the $7,300 washer and gas dryer. They are incredibly expensive, but Speed Queen attempts to justify its prices by claiming that these models offer advanced energy efficiency, perfected drying and increased durability. If you have the money to splash out on a Speed Queen gas dryer, you’ll have to let us know how it goes!

Features and functions you should have

Dryer technology continues to get more advanced year after year. By shelling out a little more for a machine with extra features, you can save yourself even more money and time. Some of the best features to look for in clothes dryers are:

  • Moisture sensor: automatically shut off the machine when a load is dry, preventing over drying.
  • Noise dampening: more expensive models come with this feature, which silences that annoying racket they always make
  • Reverse tumbling: the drum reverses the spin direction from time to time, which minimises tangling of clothes and gives better drying results
  • Brightly lit control panels: this is useful if your dryer is in a poorly lit area
  • Auto programs: can take the guesswork out of drying your clothes by automatically selecting certain drying times and temperatures based on what you have in there.

There are plenty of other features that some dryers have, but these are the most common and convenient. Make sure that you check what features dryers have before you commit to a purchase.

Other things to consider when buying a gas dryer

Before finally settling on a particular dryer, there are certain factors you’ll need to consider, such as:

  • Just how often are you going to be using your dryer? How many people will be using it, and how many clothes do you think you’ll put in it? Depending on the answer to these questions, the minimum capacity you’ll require will vary. They generally hold less than washing machines, with capacities ranging from about 4 to 9 kilos.
  • The size. You need to make sure your dryer of choice will actually fit into your laundry room. Measure the space you plan on putting it in to the nearest millimetre, and add 3 inches on either side to make room for pipes and wiring. The majority of dryers are around 25-35 inches wide and 35-45 inches tall, but particularly heavy-duty models can be bigger.
  • Whether or not you have a gas line, which we’ve already covered.
  • The energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR certified dryers use less energy and will save you even more money over time. Certified dryers that are also gas powered are extremely energy efficient.

The bottom line

If you’re simply looking for an affordable, reliable dryer that gets the job done and is easy to install, then an electrical dryer is probably the way to go. They’re particularly useful if you see yourself moving home in the near future or if you go through appliances often, and this is why most consumers tend to go with this option.

However, if you’re already set up and comfortable in your home and have a gas line all ready to go, then you should by all means go for a gas dryer (so long as you can afford one!). A gas dryer can give you faster spin cycles, drying times, and vastly improved energy efficiency over the machine’s lifetime. A gas dryer can save you a lot of money over the years, so definitely don’t rule them out!

For more information on everything on clothes dryers, check out our Canstar Blue star ratings and articles. You can compare clothes dryer brands on our website to give yourself a better idea of what to look for.

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