Gas dryers use a 1/4- to 1/3-horsepower motor to turn the dryer drum. The air is heated by gas, reducing the electrical current requirement to 110 to 120 volts at 6 to 7 amps. A gas dryer can be connected to a 15- or 20-amp circuit located within 36 inches of the appliance.
Electric dryers use electricity to heat the air that circulates through the clothes and to turn the motor. They require 240 volts at up to 24 amps for operation. Electric dryers plug into a four-slot, 240-volt outlet on a 30-amp branch circuit, which provides 120 volts for the motor and controls and 240 volts for the heating coils.
Both gas and electric dryers rely on electric current to run the dryer controls and motor. The heating coils on an electric dryer also use electric current. The amount of current used by the dryer is dependent on the motor size and the amount of heat produced by the coils. A 4,400 watt dryer will use less current than a 5,500 watt dryer.