We have come a very long way from doing laundry washing all with hands and then hanging the clothes to dry, but with the modern appliances being able to fully process laundry in a relatively short span of time. There are two general appliance categories of rotating dryers: gas and electric. Both of these refer to the techniques being used to raise the temperature of air flowing through the tumbler, as the tumbling action is generally electrically powered.

The electric GE dryers usually make use of a coiled wire that is heated using an electric current. The amount of electric current is varied to adjust the air temperature. In the US and even Canada, electric dryers usually have a 4-wire NEMA 14-30 plug, instead of a 3-wire NEMA 5-15 plug which is used by most o the appliances, and require a 30-ampere, 240-volt centre-tapped single-phase circuit, which has been researched by General Electric. Small sized ‘portable’ dryers, which are quite popular with the urban dwellers, generally make use of the conventional 110 volt connections. In most of the world, most of the electric dryers are used in homes, which usually support a load capacity of 5kgs.

The gas dryer appliances basically make use of a gas burner that burns natural gas, butane or propane to form a jet of hot gases that are directed into a chamber, which then uses the Bernoulli’s rule to pull in ambient air and later raise its temperature. The air temperature can be easily modified by adjusting the gas flame size or, more commonly, by just extinguishing and relighting it. GE appliances, like other gas dryers do require electricity that helps spin the clothes, however the amount of electricity is relatively smaller than it is in an electric dryer which eradicates the need for any special connection. The motors generally run on a standard 110 volt electric supply.

Traditional laundry dryer appliances basically draw in a dry, cool, ambient air around them and then heat up before passing it through the tumbler. The resulting humid and hot air is just vented outside to make room for more dry air that helps continue with the drying process.

The conventional design makes no effort to recycle the heat that is put into the load, and so it turns out to be quite inefficient, an issue which GE is trying to resolve. However, the basic design is reliable, simple and quite affordable.