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Can You Use a Gas Dryer Without Gas?

There are several situations in which you might find your gas dryer without gas. Whether your gas supply has run out, isn’t installed, or isn’t available, there are still clothes that need drying. So, will it work?

Much of a gas dryer is run by electricity. Heat, which is so vital to the drying capabilities, is the only thing that uses gas. Therefore, it is reasonable to wonder if using the dryer without gas is still possible. Your appliance will still be functional in some regards but certainly not efficient.

Most of the dryer components will still function without gas as they are powered by electricity. The burner is the only part that needs gas in order to heat up, meaning that no heat will be produced for the dryer. However, the air-dry, heatless settings will still work.

Dryer Will Turn on Without Gas

Gas dryers still use a portion of electricity to power some of the functions; in fact, all but the power-heavy heating element run on electricity.

Kenmore 71112 7.4 Cubic Feet Front Load Gas Dryer Laundry Appliance, White

The main power supply for the majority of the dryer components is still present as long as it is plugged in, meaning that gas is not necessary for the dryer to turn on.

The controls for the machine, the tumbler, and the fan will be operational, so it can still turn on.

Tumbler Will Turn Without Gas

Despite the relative size of the tumbler compared to the appliance, this doesn’t use a particularly large amount of energy to function, so it is run by the electrical supply of the dryer.

This means that the barrel will still spin without a gas supply. Therefore, if you want to pop some clothes on a spin cycle after washing them, you should have no issues.

Air Will Flow Without Gas

The gas supply does not determine airflow. The fan, which is responsible for distributing air and heat through the dryer, is run on electricity, meaning that you do not need gas for the air to flow through the appliance and vent.

So, you can easily aerate a dryer load and vent the machine without the gas supply. There just won’t be any heat.

No Heat Without Gas

As you can see, a lot of your dryer will work without gas. The heating element is the only part of a gas dryer that actually uses the gas. This may not sound like much, considering it is categorized as a “gas” dryer.

Yet, the heating element is the part of the dryer that uses the most energy, and so it is the most expensive part of the dryer to power. Fully electric dryers use so much power that they require specialized outlets and cannot be run from regular outlets.

Kenmore 29" Front Load Electric Dryer with Wrinkle Guard and 7.0 Cubic Ft. Total Capacity, White

If you changed from an electric dryer to a gas dryer, you would probably notice the difference in your electric bill. This is the result of using gas for the heater.

Without gas, the most significant aspect of the appliance is missing: there is no heat in the dryer.

Without the gas supply, you cannot use the main feature of the machine. You won’t be able to use any of the heated programs, and you won’t be able to dry your clothes with any efficiency.

If you are trying to use it temporarily while awaiting gas, then you can give it a bash. The act of tumbling and running air through the clothes can remove moisture, but the rate at which it does so is much lower. I would call the dryer operational rather than functional.

The dryer will also be safe to use; there is nothing to ignite if there is no gas supply and if you avoid heat cycles.

However, if you are looking at any permanent usage of the dryer without gas, in that case, the dryer may not be worthwhile. In the long run, you should think about getting a natural gas supply, converting to a propane tank, or switching to an electric dryer instead (a gas dryer cannot be converted to electricity).

What About the Air Fluff Setting?

What about the cold air wash setting? If you are trying to aerate clothing, have run out of gas, or are trying to save on gas, you can still use this program.

The air-dry function is designed to be heatless, so the burner is not ignited, meaning no gas is required. With these programs, your dryer is still functional and should give you no trouble.

Any program along the lines of freshening, cool, air, fluff, or no heat setting should be okay to use. However, I would not recommend trying to use one of the heated programs without gas as this might damage the dryer if the system cannot function properly.

Dryer Runs Without Gas if Converted to Propane

If you are moving or trying to get a gas dryer but don’t have access to natural gas, it is still possible to get a gas dryer and have it work.

You can easily convert your natural gas dryer to liquid propane. Propane is stored on your property in a tank and does not need natural gas lines in your neighborhood or connections for the property.

You need a conversion kit to convert your natural gas dryer to propane. You will need to exchange the orifice at the burner for the propane version. You will also need a regulator fitted near the valve of the propane tank. A plumber is qualified to help with the conversion and conduct the safety inspection for the gas connection.

These components are essential for the safe use of the appliance because, while gas dryers are manufactured for natural gas, liquid propane gas has a higher pressure and can get hotter. These additional parts control the gas supply and pressure so that your dryer functions correctly and safely.  


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