Electric vs Gas Water Heaters: Which is Right For Your Home?

If your hot water heater could not warm up water then it will be very difficult for you. Bathing or using cold water daily can reason for health issues. You need a water heater that will be right for you. Many house owners choose the previous type of water heater when they replace it, but you need a water heater that will match your needs and requirements. In the market, only two famous and mostly used water heating systems are electric and gas water heater. Choosing between electric and gas water heaters can be a difficult decision, as each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the key factors to consider when selecting a water heater so you can make the right choice for your home. Read to know about their pros and cons, installation costs, energy efficiency ratings, and more!

What are Electric and Gas Water Heaters?

Electric water heaters are operated by electricity. Electric water heaters are typically less expensive to purchase and install than gas models, but they may be more expensive to operate because electricity is typically more expensive than natural gas or propane. Electric water heating systems also require a dedicated circuit, which adds to the installation costs.

While gas water heaters use either natural gas or propane.  Gas water heaters usually have a higher initial cost but may be cheaper to operate in the long run because natural gas and propane are less expensive than electricity. Gas models also don’t require a dedicated circuit, which reduces their installation costs.

Initial Installation

Installation of a water heater can be a difficult task and if don’t have the expertise or no water to spend on installation then you should choose a water heater that has easy installation. If I talk about installation, electric water heaters are usually much easier to install than gas water heaters. Electric water heaters typically require only a few basic electrical connections and can usually be installed in a relatively short amount of time. Gas water heaters, on the other hand, require more complicated installation and may require the help of a professional.

Cost Of Heaters

The cost of electric water heaters is less expensive to purchase than gas models. Electric water heaters also tend to be smaller and more compact than gas models, which makes them a good choice for small homes or apartments. However, electric water heaters can take longer to heat up than gas models, so if you have a large family or lots of people using hot water in your home, a gas model might be a better option.

Gas water heaters are more expensive to purchase than electric models and also more efficient. Gas models also tend to recover lost heat faster than electric models, so if you have a high demand for hot water in your home, a gas model might be the way to go. However, keep in mind that gas water heaters require ventilation and can produce harmful fumes, so they’re not always the safest option.

Water Heater TypeAverage Annual CostAverage Installation CostLifespan Of HeaterEfficiency Factor (EF)
Gas$500 (+venting)$2508–12 years.58%–.60%
Electric$700 (+venting)$5008–12 years92%–.95%
Cost Comparision Electric vs Gas Water Heaters

Safety to Use

Both electric and gas water heaters can pose a risk of fire or explosion if not properly maintained, but gas water heaters have an additional risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. However, gas water heaters do require more careful installation and maintenance due to the risk of gas leaks. Electric water heaters do not pose this same risk, but they do require careful wiring to ensure that the electrical connections are properly installed and safe to use. When choosing a water heater, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and have it installed by a qualified professional. 

Heating Rate

A gas water heater will typically have a higher heating rate than an electric water heater because gas water heaters use burners to heat the water, while electric water heaters use electric coils. This means that gas water heaters can heat water more quickly, making them ideal for applications that require large amounts of hot water. The climate also plays a role in heating rates. In colder climates, it is important to choose a water heater with a high recovery rate so that hot water is available when needed.

Operating Cost

Electric water heaters are typically more expensive to operate than gas water heaters because they use electric coils to heat the water, which consumes more energy than gas water heaters. Additionally, electric water heaters often require more frequent maintenance and repair, which can add to the overall cost of operation.  According to the Energy Star website, electric water heaters cost about $45 per month to operate, while gas water heaters cost about $30 per month to operate. 

Energy Efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, electric water heaters are generally less efficient than gas water heaters. As I already told you, electric water heaters use electric coils to heat the water, which consumes more energy than gas water heaters.

Life Time of Heaters

The lifespan of your water heater should be around 10 to 12 years. Electric water heaters are less expensive to purchase upfront, and they’re also more energy efficient than gas water heaters. However, they typically have a shorter lifespan, so you may need to replace your electric water heater sooner than you would a gas water heater. While gas water heaters cost more upfront, they will stay last longer than electric water heaters. They’re also less energy efficient, so your monthly operating costs will be higher with a gas water heater. But if you live in an area with high natural gas prices, an electric water heater may be the better option.

Environmental Effects

When it comes to environmental effects, gas water heaters tend to be more environmentally friendly than electric water heaters. Because gas water heaters use natural gas to heat the water, which produces fewer emissions than electric water heaters.

Considerations When Choosing Between Electric and Gas Water Heaters

Location and Availability of Fuel Source

It is impossible for water heaters to operate without fuel because they require fuel to run which may be electricity or natural gas. Before purchasing any type of water heater, you should think about the availability of fuel sources in your area.  If you are living in a rural area, you may not have access to a natural gas line, so an electric water heater will be the best option. Another side, if you are living in an area where natural gas can easily be available, a gas water heater will be the better choice.

Cost of Fuel and Electricity

The cost of fuel and electricity is the only thing you have to pay on a monthly or quarterly basis so you should consider this before making a decision. In some areas, electricity is more expensive than natural gas. So a gas water heater will be more cost-effective. On the other hand, if electricity is cheaper than natural gas, an electric water heater will be the better option. Electric water heaters typically have higher energy efficiency ratings than gas water heaters. This means that they will cost less to operate in the long run. So, if you are looking for a long-term solution, an electric water heater might be the better choice.

Climate and Weather Conditions

The climate and weather conditions of your area can also affect your decision. In colder climates, electric water heaters may not be able to fulfill your demand because they rely on ambient air temperatures to heat the water. Gas water heaters can maintain a higher temperature in cold climates, so they are better suited for colder climates. However, in warmer climates, electric water heaters may be the better choice. This is because they do not require a pilot light, which consumes fuel and may increase your energy bills.

Size of Household

The size of your household can also affect your decision. If you have a large family, you will need a bigger water heater. In this case, a gas water heater will be the better choice, as it can provide more hot water than an electric water heater. On the other hand, if you have a smaller household, an electric water heater will be the better option. This is because electric water heaters are typically smaller than gas water heaters and may be better suited for smaller households.

Which is Right For You?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a new water heater for your home. Gas or electric? Tank or tankless? The list goes on. But which is right for you? Here are some things to think about when making your decision:

1. How much hot water do you need?

If you have a large family or frequently entertain guests, you’ll need a water heater that can handle the demand. A gas water heater is typically better at providing large amounts of hot water than an electric one.

2. What’s the cost of installation and operation?

Installing a gas water heater may be more expensive than installing an electric one, but the ongoing operating costs are usually lower. Electric water heaters typically have higher energy costs than gas models.

3. What’s the climate like where you live?

If you live in an area with very cold winters, a gas water heater may be the better choice. Gas models work more efficiently in colder temperatures than electric models.

Conclusion

Choosing between electric and gas water heaters can be a difficult decision. Both types of water heaters come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to consider all factors when selecting a water heater. By considering the initial cost, installation time, operating costs, energy efficiency, lifetime, environmental effects, and safety, you can make the right choice for your home. If you’re still not sure which type of water heater is right for your home, it may be helpful to speak with a professional.

Joxan Williams
Home Maintenance Expert | joxanwilliams@gmail.com | Website

I'm a licensed home maintenance contractor with over a decade of experience, dedicated to preserving your home's value. My expertise includes roofing, gutter installation and repair, fencing, pool maintenance, deck and patio construction, plumbing, appliance repair, lawn care, painting, garage doors, windows, sump pumps, and steam heating systems.