Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters
Are you in the market for a new water heater? Maybe you’re looking for your first water heater in a new construction home. If you’ve been looking at your water heater options, you may have noticed a wide variety of both gas and electric models. But which is the better choice? Here are some factors to consider as you make your decision.
A water heater’s size determines how big the tank is, thereby determining how much hot water you can use at once. Both gas and electric water heaters come in a wide variety of sizes ranging from 20 to 100 gallons. However, tankless water heaters are only available as electric water heaters. Their tankless design heats water as you use it offering virtually endless hot water. But if you’re looking for a traditional water heater with a tank, gas and electric options are on an even playing field.
There are two aspects of energy efficiency: speed and cost. When it comes to getting hot water fast, electric water heaters are the way to go. This is because almost all of the heat they produce goes into the hot water, unlike gas water heaters, which lose some of their heat when venting the spent gas. However, gas water heaters are more energy efficient from a cost perspective because natural gas costs less than electricity.
The cost of installing both gas and water heaters is very similar most of the time. Even if you’re switching from a gas water heater to an electric one, installation is easy. Switching from electric to gas, however, presents a problem that leads to much higher installation costs. This is because you’ll have to pay to bring a gas line to your water heater since there most likely isn’t one there already.
Water Heater Cost
While installation costs between gas and electric water heaters are generally similar, gas water heaters are the more expensive option upfront. However, they will save you more money over time because natural gas is so much cheaper than electricity. If you’re willing to pay more upfront for lower costs down the road, gas may be the best option for you.
Hot Water Availability
Not every home has a gas line, but every home has electricity. If you go fully electric, you won’t miss having a gas water heater much at all — until there’s a power outage. If you have access to a gas line, choosing a gas water heater means you’ll have hot water available even if the power goes out.
While those listed above are typically the biggest concerns when deciding between electric and gas appliances, there are a few smaller factors that may further inform your choice:
- Maintenance: Both gas and electric models require a similarly easy maintenance schedule, but gas water heaters may need gas line inspections and vent cleaning.
- Safety: While there is a bigger threat of fire with any gas appliance, it should be perfectly safe with proper maintenance and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Environmentally Friendly: Natural gas is the more environmentally friendly option because it reduces your home’s carbon footprint.
No matter which power option you choose, Norman Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is ready to help you with your water heater installation. Contact us today for more information or start the process by beginning a service request.