Clothes Dryer - Electric

How It Works

Electric clothes dryers use electrical heating elements to dry clothes as they tumble around in a rotating drum. An electric motor and drive belt keep the drum in motion while a flexible duct carries away any remaining moisture. Heating temperature and cycle times can be adjusted with controls on the top or front of the dryer.

What Can Go Wrong?

Beware of overheating when it comes to your electric dryer. The unit must be able to exhaust its heated air to avoid damaging its internal components. A backup in the exhaust vent can be caused by a buildup of lint, faulty installation or confined space.

Environmental Impact

The power consumption of most electric dryers depends on the heat setting for each load. The average range is between 1800 watts (W) and 5000 W. Operating at 3,000 W for 6 hours each week, a typical dryer would consume 936 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and produce about 1,440 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Gas versus Electric Dryer

Electric clothes dryers are easy to install and generally less expensive than gas dryers. However, electric dryers use much more electricity than gas dryers, so they can be less cost effective over time.


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