Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New Dryer

We bought a new clothes dryer. It runs on natural gas.

The old dryer was electric. So why does the new one run on natural gas?

One of our long-term goals as a family is to have an electric car that charges from our solar panels (enabled by net-metering). But when we sized our solar panel system, the utility only let us install a system big enough to cover our current electricity consumption.

Part of the plan to fit an electric car into our existing electricity budget was to switch from an electric to a gas dryer. Natural gas is an extremely economical heating source in the US, and with the advances in hydraulically fracturing gas-bearing shale reservoirs, the price of natural gas in the US is going to stay very low for several decades.

So switching over to a natural gas dryer has been part of the plan for a while now, and me breaking the old dryer just pushed forward the schedule a couple of years.

(We don't have any plans to update the clothes washer for a while - it's a low-efficiency model, but those have a much better track record for actually cleaning cloth diapers than the high-efficiency models do).

Sunday evening we made a family trip to our local Sears Outlet, and purchased a nice Kenmore gas dryer for 45% off list price due to some scuffing.

Because of all the snow on the ground, it wasn't until wednesday that the plumbers were able to come out and install the new gas line for us.

It's the yellow flex line. The other two lines go to our water heater and furnace.

Everything is working nicely now!

(I put the old, broken dryer on the free section of craigslist, and had multiple people offer to come pick it up Monday evening. It was surprisingly easy to get rid of it.)


  1. So, your thoughts on gas vs. electric concerning safety? I've been interested in replacing ours too, but Fran is afraid of the gas portion.

  2. It didn't even occur to me that there might be additional risk. Both our furnace and water heater are already natural gas, and we have carbon monoxide detectors throughout the house. The dryer exhaust line is less than 18 inches long, and we had the new gas line installed and tested by professionals.