Gas vs Electric Water Heater: Energy Efficiency Showdown

If your home is located in a cold region, having hot water on demand is more than just a necessity. Even those who live in hot regions also need hot water. If you have a dependable water heater installed in your home, bath time becomes an enjoyable experience that every member of your family can look forward to.

The hot water also enables you to use household appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and many others.

However, having heated water doesn’t come for free. An average household in the U.S. spends between $200 to $600 annually on water heating. The bill depends on whether the family uses gas or an electric water heater.

Which is more energy-efficient, a gas or electric water heater? Here’s everything you need to know about the gas vs electric water heater debate!

Electric Water Heaters

Your choice may be limited if you are living in a region not connected to a gas supply, in which case you’ll have to install an electric system. If you are in a region where you have access to both electricity and gas supply, you’ll have to consider other factors before you make a choice.

These factors may include the initial cost of installation, and the running cost of your system of choice, among others.

Advantages of Using Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters come with their advantages, including:

Ease of Use and Convenience

It is easier to use an electric water heater compared to a gas water heater. The equipment runs on electricity which is easier to turn on and off and is more efficient.

Space Saving, Compact Design

Electric heaters are smaller in size hence do not take much space in your house. Besides, there is no venting for exhaust gases needed so you will have more options when it comes to the choice of the location to install them in your house.

Their compact design makes them ideal when you have limited space in your home.

Lower Installation Costs

Electric water heaters do not require venting. This means it is easier to install them compared to the installation of gas systems. Their initial cost of installation is also lower than that of the gas heating systems.

Availability of Power Source

The number of homes connected to the power grid is higher than that of those connected to gas service. This means that electric water heaters can be used in many homes, while gas heaters are only limited to the few homes that are connected to the local gas service.

A Constant Supply of Hot Water

With an electric water heater, you can never run out of hot water, as long as your house has an electric connection.

Disadvantages of Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters also have a few disadvantages. Check them out in order to make a more informed decision.

They Are More Expensive in the Long Run

The initial installation costs of electric heaters are lower than that of gas-powered heaters. However, the operational costs of running them are higher. This means running electric heaters is more expensive in the long run.

No Electricity, No Hot Water

Just like your smartphone and TV set, electric heater needs electricity to function, meaning you’ll not have hot water during power outages.

Longer Recovery Time

It takes longer for electric heaters to heat a given amount of water compared to gas heaters. For this reason, if you have a large family, the amount of hot water from an electric heater may not be enough to serve all the members.

Gas Water Heaters

The choice of a gas or electric water heater may depend on personal taste, some people just don’t like gas heaters for reasons known to themselves. Some also make choices depending on security concerns, they consider gas systems to be riskier than electric heating systems. Still, others believe that electricity is riskier than gas.

That’s why the gas vs electric water heater debate will continue for a very long time.

Advantages of Gas Water Heaters

Like their electric counterparts, gas water heaters have some impressive advantages. Here is a look at them.

Rapid Heating/High Recovery Rate

If you need your water to heat faster, then a gas water heater will do the job better than an electric heater. In heating water, gas-powered heaters are twice as fast as electric heaters.

This is because they have a higher recovery rate compared to their electric counterparts. So, if you have a larger family, the gas system can be the best option for you.

Lower Operating Costs

In many counties, electricity is more expensive than gas. This implies that if you install a gas heater, you will get a lower monthly bill compared to those who have installed electric heaters.

Even though the initial cost of installing a gas heater is higher than that of an electric heater, using this heating system is more economical in the long run.

Gas Heaters Work Even Without Electricity

Since gas-powered heaters work without electricity, it means you’ll be able to get hot water even during power outages. You’ll not have to suffer the cold showers because your hot water supply will not be affected.

Disadvantages of Gas-Powered Heating Systems

Despite their impressive advantages, they do come with a few disadvantages. Here is a deeper look into them.

The Initial Costs Are High

To get your gas heating system up and running, you’ll have to spend a lot of cash. This is because gas heaters are expensive and you also have to install the ventilation system for its exhaust.

More Complex Installation Process

The process of installing a gas system is more complex than that of an electric heater. The gas heater must also be installed at a place that is convenient to have a ventilation system. This limits the possible locations where it can be installed. An electric heater can be installed anywhere.

The Risk of a Gas Explosion

Gas is usually transmitted under pressure and if the heating system is not maintained regularly, there are high chances for explosions to occur.

Gas vs Electric Water Heater, Which One Would You Choose?

Looking at the above advantages and disadvantages of both gas and electric water heaters, it is apparent that there’s no clear winner in this gas vs electric water heater debate. What works for your home may not necessarily work in another person’s home.

Furthermore, people live in different climatic conditions and family sizes also vary. It is upon you as a buyer to determine which heating system suits your needs. Check out our page if you need help installing, repairing or replacing your water tank heaters.

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