Gas or Electric Dryer? Break even point of gas line install?

KenZ71KenZ71 Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭
So, my Washer died the electric dryer that was bought at the same time is still going but presumably will go soon too.

My question is how do I calculate savings of going with a gas dryer? That is to run a gas line about 30 feet will cost about $3 a foot depending on cost of material, labor etc.

Current max electric rate is $0.193 / kWh while Natural Gas is costing me $1.267.

There has to be some funky formula to figure out the cost / savings of one fuel source vs. the other.

Of course the best cost savings would be a rope run between two trees and hang the wash out to dry. If I try to get the Missus to buy into that I will be out to dry myself :)

Many thanks for any and all comments.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,425 admin
    Here is a simple to use calculator:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index...on_calculator/
    $56.55 per Million BTU of Heat delivered to home
    $5,372.25 per year for normal home for Electric

    $15.88 per Million BTU of Heat delivered to home
    $1,508.60 per year for normal home for Natural Gas

    So electricity is almost 4x the cost of natural gas.

    Say 90 minutes to dry, 4,500 Watt element, 50% duty cycle:

    1.5 hours * 4.5 kW * 0.50 duty cycle = 2.25 kWH per load

    2.25 kWH * $0.193 / kWH = $0.434 per load

    Lots of guesswork above--But it gives you an idea--You could read the Utility Meter when running a load and see what you get... (may have to unplug refrigerator/turn off other major loads while doing measurement). Worst case would be 100% duty cycle--Gives you about $0.87 per load worse case).

    Problem is most utility meters will only display to 1 kWH.... You could be 2 kWH or 2.99 kWH and not see the difference.

    Note one issue between Natural Gas and Electric Dryers... Natural gas can give clothes a very slight brown shading. If you guys like sparkling bright whites, you may wish to stick with an electric dryer.

    I have used both, and usually use Natural Gas if it is available. But I am cheap and don't wear dress whites. We only did 1-2 loads a week and did not really see the extra cost of electricity. We did a lot of clothes drying in the garage (relatively warm climate).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • KenZ71KenZ71 Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭
    Thanks for the info, especially the brown shading.

    We generally don't have a lot of whites aside from socks and briefs but who cares about those!

    I will look into running a gas line.
  • LucManLucMan Solar Expert Posts: 223 ✭✭✭
    Download heatcalc.xls heating fuel calculator.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    12,000BTU is roughly 3.29kWh, or 1 Therm (100,000BTU) is roughly 29.3kWh) by far natural gas surpasses electricity in the race to convert heat.

    natural gas can convert 12,000BTU of heat at a conversion rate at 87% or better depending on the appliance, and if it is rated for flash heating. Electricity to heat conversion is an astounding 34.6%...LOL

    That's why people that go grid tied solar love the over production at $.0397 kWh so it pays off the natural gas bills.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    1 therm costs $1.23 in my area.
    29.3kWh @ .17 in my area costs $4.981 (that's if the price remains in tier 1)

    If one therm can generate 29.3kWh at $1.23, but 29.3kWh costs $4.981

    Natural Gas pipe systems accelerates an investment against build costs 4 times faster than the costs it takes to build a solar system.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    If you are going to be in the house more than a couple of years, go with the extra initial investment to add the natural gas pipe.
    If you were comparing to tanked propane, OTOH, it is about the same price as electric resistance heating in most areas of the country.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭

    A few years ago my friend was at the same cross roads. Gas or electric dryer.

    The dryer was right beside the natural gas hot water heater so all he would need to do is tee the gas line for a dryer.

    We figured the gas dryer would cost to run around 1/4 of what the electric does.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Propane seems to cost about as much as electric, although if you can fill a very large tank when the cost is low you can do better than that.
    For Domestic Hot Water (not for a dryer!) the electric heat pump units seem to be on a par with natural gas.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • LucManLucMan Solar Expert Posts: 223 ✭✭✭
    What's more important is how much water the washing machine extracts from the cloths.
    We cut our propane consumption by 2/3 when we replaced our 28 yr. old top loader with a Bosch front loader.
    The propane company then tried to raise the price of propane per gallon because we were now using less than 50 gallons per year.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,798 ✭✭✭✭✭
    LucMan said:
    What's more important is how much water the washing machine extracts from the cloths.
    We cut our propane consumption by 2/3 when we replaced our 28 yr. old top loader with a Bosch front loader.
    The propane company then tried to raise the price of propane per gallon because we were now using less than 50 gallons per year.
    Definitely agree and it is probably almost as easy as a couple flat plate collectors sitting in the sun making hot water 8 or more months a year. My clients hear this too much from me...
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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