Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters: What to Know

Is a gas or electric water heater better? Let's take a look. Consider energy-efficiency, installation costs, operating costs, budget, risks, and more.

Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters: How to Choose

Between gas and electric water heaters, which is more energy efficient? For those who live in homes located in cold regions, having hot water on demand is a necessity. Having a dependable water heater installed to provide hot water during the winter is always welcome. Enjoying hot water comes with an added cost, and at a high price. The U.S Department of Energy reveals households spend $400 to $600 each year on water heating costs.

Water heating is the second-largest household expense, totaling 14 percent of total utility bills. Achieving a balance between cost-effective and dependable water heating is sometimes a daunting task. Deciding between electric and gas water heating appliances for your home can be problematic. Let's cover some brief pros and cons related to deciding which water-heating appliance best works for you.

What are the advantages of using Electric Water Heaters?

Availability of Power source

Electric heaters can be used in any home connected to the power grid. Electric heaters use electricity to heat water; it limits gas heaters to homes connected to a local gas service provider.

Compact and Space-Saving Design

Thanks to running on electricity, electric water heaters are more compact compared to gas water heaters. Electric heaters don’t require any venting when installing them. Electric heaters are ideal for homes where space is rather limited.

Convenience and ease of use

Electric water heaters are easier to use compared to their gas counterparts. The reason for this is simple; equipment purely runs on electrical power. With gas heaters, one has to turn on the gas to start the water-heating operation.

Easy installation and lower installation costs

As explained earlier, electric water heaters don’t require any vetting, and installing them is easier. Installing a gas heater requires users to install a new ventilation system. Existing ones are not adequate because of the high rate of gas consumption. This makes electric heater installation cost-friendly and low.


As long as your house has electricity, running out of hot water will be a thing of the past.

What are the Cons of using electric water heaters?

Expensive in the long run

Initial installation cost is lower than gas; however, running costs become higher with electric water heaters. The cost of electricity is more expensive, compared to their gas counterparts. Sure, you will save on installation costs but have to pay more when the power bills arrive.

Longer Recovery Time

The rate of recovery for water electric heaters is lower compared to gas-powered water heaters. If a house has a high peak electric usage, the amount of hot water generated will not satisfy the household’s needs.

No electricity, no hot water

Electricity is needed for electric water heaters to function; in case of power outages, showers will be cold.

Why use gas water heaters?

High recovery and heating rate

Gas water heaters are known to be twice as fast when heating water. This is because gas powered water heaters have a high recovery rate compared to their counterparts. Gas water heaters are a great fit for large families thanks to their greater hot water demand.

Lower Cost

In most countries, gas is cheaper than electricity; this means that gas heaters have lower operating costs. The initial cost of installing gas heaters is high; using gas heaters is economical. In the long run, gas heaters are more economical than their electric counterparts.

Work without electricity

An advantage of gas heaters is functioning when there’s electricity outage. During power outages, you will still enjoy a hot shower since the gas supply is unaffected.

Why you shouldn't use gas heaters

High installation costs

To get your gas heater up and running, you have to cough a high price for the installation. Gas heaters come with higher installation costs compared to electric water heaters. This is because of having to set up a new ventilation system for a gas heater exhaust.

A Complex installation process

Gas water heaters come with a complex installation process, unlike electric heaters. A ventilation system must be installed alongside a gas heater. In most cases, this limits locations for installing gas water heaters.

Risk of a gas explosion

With gas being used as the main source of power, the risk of explosion is always possible. Regular maintenance has to be done on the system to avoid an explosion. This will increase the overall costs of installing gas heaters.

What's the Final Word on gas versus electric water heaters?

Now you know how to choose which water heater to use for your home. Energy-efficient water heaters make more sense in today’s technological world.

Resources— Houselogic, Newtanklesswaterheaters

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