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How Does a Gas Dryer Work?

Dave Donovan

Although some may cost a lot more or look a lot prettier, behind the scenes, most gas dryers feature the same, simple components. These include a rotating tumbler, a gas-powered heater and an exhaust vent.

The Components of a Dryer

Where the Heat Comes From

Gas dryers work just like gas-heated water heaters or gas ovens. Inside the dryer is a pilot light that remains lit. When you turn your dryer on, the controls signal the pilot light to ingite the flame that heats up the air inside the dryer.


When you turn your dryer on, the tumbler instantly begins to rotate. The pilot light doesn't ingite the flames until the tumbler has been turning for a few seconds. You can hear the gas click on about 30 seconds after you start your dryer. The tumbler is rotated by the a belt and pulley system that is controlled by the same motor that exhausts the dryer's fumes and steam.

From Wet to Dry

As the clothes tumble around and trough the heated air, the water is dissipated in the form of steam. As stated earlier, the exhaust removes the steam to allow the clothes to dry completely.