Dry Two Loads of Laundry with Natural Gas for Same Cost as One Load with Electricity
An AGA Residential Marketing Fact Sheet
Natural gas clothes dryers can be a popular amenity for households of all income levels because consumers can dry two loads of clothes in a natural gas dryer, on average, for the same amount of money it costs to dry just one load in an electric dryer.
For additional savings and energy conservation, today’s natural gas dryers use electronic ignition systems (instead of a continuously burning pilot light). In addition to running electric lines to the laundry area of a home, builders should consider running a gas line – giving consumers the option to hook up a natural gas dryer now or later conveniently.
How Natural Gas Clothes Dryers Work
Natural gas clothes dryers work by moving warm air through the clothes inside. The main part of the dryer is a rotating drum. The dry, heated air from a natural gas burner flows through the clothes as the drum tosses them through the air. The moist air coming off the clothes is then exhausted through a lint filter to the outdoors and replaced by more warm air.
Natural gas clothes dryers range in size from 24 inches to 29 inches and generally come in three different drum sizes: compact, regular/large and extra large. Almost all are loaded from the front. Some dryer doors swing down while others swing to the left or right.
- Regular or large gas dryers can handle average family loads, and usually have a drum volume of 5.5 – 7 cubic feet.
- Extra-large gas dryers are designed to handle very large loads and bulky household items such as comforters. Their drum volume is up to 8 cubic feet.
- Compact dryers require only about five square feet of space. They are typically stacked with a companion clothes washer and are ideal for small laundry rooms. They are also suitable for consumers who might find it difficult to bend over to insert or remove laundry from a floor-level unit.
The automatic termination cycles included in all new natural gas clothes dryers reduce wear and tear on clothing and linens by not over-drying them. A “moisture sensing” cycle measures the moisture left in laundry, provides the most accurate drying results (providing the fabrics being dried are of a similar weight); while the “temperature sensing” cycle measures the temperature of the air being exhausted to the outdoors.
Temperature and Drying Cycles
The simplest dryer has only one heat level, but most clothes dryers have from three to six different drying cycles for different types of fabrics and the desired dryness. For example, a “permanent press” cycle uses cool air during the last period of drying so clothes will wrinkle less. Some dryers also offer a feature that continues to tumble the clothes periodically to keep wrinkles from setting in. An adjustable end-of-cycle signal is available on most dryers.
A “delicate” cycle uses lower temperatures for delicate fabrics, while the “air fluff” cycle uses no warm air at all. This cycle can freshen items that have not been laundered, such as pillows and stuffed toys.
On many dryers, the level of dryness desired can be selected. For example, if you want to iron clothes while they are slightly damp, the dryer can be set at that level. On the other hand, if you want to make sure clothes are completely dry, you can set the dryer to produce a very dry load. Natural gas dryers shut off automatically and the heat stops immediately.
Electric and natural gas dryers are required to be exhausted to the outdoors. Clothes dryers should never be exhausted into the home because humid air could cause condensation that might damage the structure.
Dryers can be exhausted from the side, back or bottom. For the most flexibility, a dryer that exhausts from more than one direction should be chosen. This makes installation easier and enables the dryer to be moved to a different home or location later.
Lint filters should be cleaned after every load of laundry. Even a light buildup of lint on the filter can lengthen drying time by restricting the flow of wet air to the outdoors.
Consumers should check the outside exhaust hood monthly to make sure the exhaust lid opens and closes properly. An exhaust lid that remains open allows heated air to escape and cold drafts to enter the home.
Gas dryers are less expensive to operate than electric clothes dryers. The cost of drying a typical load of laundry in an electric dryer is 30 – 40 cents: twice as much as the 15-20 cents it costs to dry a load of laundry in a gas dryer, the U.S. Department of Energy said in July 2001.
Thus, the average homeowner can dry two loads of laundry in a natural gas dryer for the amount of money it costs to dry only one load in an electric dryer.
AGA RESIDENTIAL MARKETING
400 N. Capitol St., NW
Washington, DC 20001