Electric vs. Gas Water Heaters – Forbes Advisor

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Is it time for a new water heater? You know if you turn on the hot water tap but cold water comes out or if the device does not meet the increased demand for hot water. While it is clear that you need a new water heater, what source of fuel should you get? Should you buy an electric or gas model? Both electricity and gas have their fair share of pros and cons, so it’s more about finding the right water heater that suits your needs.

What are electric or gas water heaters?

Electric kettle

An electric water heater is a tank that heats water with high voltage electric heating rods that run vertically through the tank. The water is heated from the middle of the tank and radiates outwards.

Gas water heater

A gas water heater is a tank that heats water from a gas-fired burner located at the bottom of the tank. Hot water starts at the bottom and rises to the top, where it is drawn off through a drain pipe at the top.

Electric water heater pros and cons

advantages

  • Clean operation
  • Secure
  • Heats water efficiently
  • Lower purchase price
  • Wide range of sizes
  • Never has to be relighted (no control lamp)
  • Easy connection as all houses have electricity

disadvantage

  • Higher operating costs
  • Heats water more slowly than gas models
  • Longer recovery times
  • Does not work in the event of a power failure

Advantages and disadvantages of gas water heaters

advantages

  • Heats water quickly
  • Lower operating costs than electric models
  • Energy efficient
  • Works in the event of a power failure

disadvantage

  • Not all houses have gas; may need to be added
  • Less safe than electric models
  • Dirtier operation
  • Smaller size range
  • Shorter lifespan than electric
  • Less efficient heating of water than electric
  • Relight sometimes required

installation

Both electric and gas powered water heaters typically require permits and inspections. Electric water heaters are easier to install because there is electricity in all households. Gas is often not.

Electric kettle

All houses have electricity. In some houses, the 240-volt connection to the water heater area is already running. If this is not the case, a new circuit can be branched off from the electrical service panel of the house.

Gas water heater

Not all houses have a gas connection. If the house is out of gas, bringing town gas from the street to the house can be expensive. If the house has gas, a plumber has to make the gas connections.

Water heater size

Electric water heaters offer a wider range of sizes than gas water heaters, especially when considering micro-sized water heaters.

Electric kettle

Point-of-use electric water heaters range from two to 20 gallons. Conventional electric tank water heaters start at 40 gallons and go up to 120 gallons. Most tanks are 30, 40, or 50 gallons.

Gas water heater

Since there are no point-of-use gas water heaters, they are all tank models. Gas water heaters start at 20 gallons and go up to 100 gallons. Most tanks are 40, 50, 80, or 100 gallons.

acquisition cost

Electric water heaters are cheaper to buy than gas water heaters. While it is always possible to buy expensive water heaters in electric or gas models, if you want cheaper heating it will usually be electric.

Electric kettle

Most electric water heaters cost between $ 500 and $ 800. Most of them are in the $ 500 to $ 600 Area.

Gas water heater

Most gas water heaters cost between $ 600 and $ 800.

safety

Electric water heaters are safer than gas water heaters because there is no gas pipe, no burner or pilot light.

Electric kettle

Electric water heaters require a 240 volt connection to be installed. Electric water heaters never need to be re-lit.

Gas water heater

Gas water heaters require a gas line and an open flame (at the bottom of the heater) to heat the water. Occasionally, the user may need to relight the gas control light with a lighter or a built-in piezoelectric lighter.

Warming rate

Gas water heaters have a faster initial heating rate and faster recovery times than electric water heaters.

Electric kettle

With heating rods running from top to bottom, electric water heaters distribute the heat along the height of the tank. However, the heating rods heat up much more slowly than with gas models.

Gas water heater

The open flame of a gas water heater burns hotter than the electric rods or elements of an electric model. In addition, the burner location is more efficient because it is at the bottom – the heat rises.

operating cost

Gas water heaters cost less to operate than electric water heaters – about 33% less.

Electric kettle

Electric water heaters cost average $ 42 per month to use.

Gas water heater

Gas water heaters cost approx. $ 30 per month operate on average. Gas is usually cheaper than electricity in most areas.

Energy efficiency

Electric water heaters heat water more efficiently than gas water heaters.

Electric kettle

While an electric water heater heats water more slowly and more expensively than the gas models, it heats the water more efficiently. The heating rods are immersed in the water in a closed tank so that very little heat is lost.

Gas water heater

Although gas water heaters burn hotter, they are less efficient than electric water heaters because much of the energy output is wasted through the top vent. The vent is necessary to remove toxic gases.

lifespan

Electric water heaters last a little longer than gas water heaters because of their cleaner operation. Electric water heaters can last between two and three years longer than gas water heaters.

Electric kettle

Electric water heaters typically last 10 to 15 years.

Gas water heater

Gas water heaters typically last eight to twelve years before they need to be replaced.

surroundings

Electric and gas water heaters are roughly comparable in terms of their environmental impact, with no clear winner between the two types.

Electric kettle

Electric water heaters encompass the best and worst types of power supplies. In the best-case scenario, albeit rarely, electricity is supplied from the sun or wind. In the worst case, electricity is supplied from dirty coal or nuclear power plants.

Some areas may have a greater supply of clean, inexpensive electricity while others may not. If an area is powered by modern, efficient hydropower plants, an electric water heater would be a good ecological choice.

Gas water heater

Gas water heaters are in the medium range in terms of environmental impact. Gas is never as bad as coal-fired power, but never as good as wind or solar power. Gas is a non-renewable fossil fuel. While gas has long been viewed as a cleaner electricity than electricity, some regions have recently adopted measures to ban the use of natural gas.

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