Equipped with powerful innovations like moisture sensors, pilotless ignition, and timed drying cycles, propane clothes dryers are a smart investment for cost-conscious homeowners.
Propane clothes dryers offer homeowners an efficient, convenient, and quick laundry solution. Compared with electric dryers, a propane clothes dryer will dry clothes faster and more efficiently. Propane dryers also offer the latest innovations such as steam cycles to de-wrinkle and freshen garments, drum lights to better see into the unit, and LCD control screens for ease of use. With propane, “laundry day” goes by a lot faster.
It’s important to know that gas dryers can be set to run on propane or natural gas—just let the installer know which gas source you’re using. New home installations and existing home replacements can both use flexible corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) gas lines. CSST lines are easily routed to the dryer location to expedite the installation.
Propane dryers are available in different capacities, with burners generally ranging from 18,000 Btu/h up to 30,000 Btu/h. Electric dryers have heating output levels at the low end of this range. This translates to faster drying times for propane clothes dryers.
Propane clothes dryers produce hot air with more moisture than electric heaters, which can help relax wrinkles in the clothes. Propane clothes dryers also feature moisture sensors, pilotless ignition, and timed drying cycles to ensure that the unit operates efficiently and safely. The moisture sensors prevent over-drying of the clothes—thereby saving additional energy and keeping the cycle time to a minimum.
Both electric and propane clothes dryers use a single vent to exhaust to outdoors, which simplifies electric-to-propane replacements.1
Propane clothes dryers can save over 20 percent in energy costs compared with electric dryers.2 The efficiency and cost benefits are created by the propane dryer’s higher heating capacity, shorter cycle times, and features like pilotless ignition. In the same way that a propane tankless water heater is more efficient than using electricity to heat water, using propane heat to dry clothes is also more efficient. In fact, the propane clothes dryer, the clothes washer, and a propane tankless water heater supplying the clothes washer form a “laundry room technology trio” to optimize convenience, efficiency, and performance. Going with propane means avoiding the cost of installing a 220V circuit for an electric dryer too. The lower-cost 110V circuit for a propane dryer can also supply the clothes washer with power.
Energy Consumption & Costs
It’s easy to determine the amount of energy a propane clothes dryer will use. TABLE 1 provides an estimate for annual consumption levels, based on the number of bedrooms in a home.
In terms of energy costs, propane clothes dryers will generally cost roughly $40-$80/year to operate. This range will vary based on local propane rates, how often the dryer is used, and how well it is maintained.
Propane clothes dryers result in an annual savings of 0.1 to 0.3 metric tons CO2 emissions as compared with electric clothes dryers.3 Over the course of the dryer’s useful life, this means the propane clothes dryer saves over 2,000 pounds of CO2 emissions.
- Installations should always adhere to manufacturer instructions and local code requirements.
- Propane Education & Research Council, Propane Energy Pod Online User Tool, buildwithpropane.com/Research-and-Training/The-Propane-Energy-Pod. Last accessed August 2015.
- PERC R&D Factsheet: Whole-House Analysis of Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Existing Homes, February 2014. buildwithpropane.com