Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters: What Is the Difference?

Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters: What Is the Difference?

If you are currently in the market for a new water heater in your home, the buying options that you face can be overwhelming at first glance. One of the main dilemmas that prospective buyers face is whether to purchase an electric or gas heater. Both types of heaters have their own positives and negatives to them, though they operate in relatively similar ways. Before you make a decision, it is important that you examine all of your buying options in order to purchase a heater that best fits your needs.

How are They Similar?

Realistically speaking, the only difference between gas and electric water heaters is regarding the fuel that they use. In a gas heater, natural gas is burnt in order to heat your water, while electric heaters generate heat using electric resistance coils. These heaters can have a traditional tank that is heated, depleted and reheated, or a tankless system that heats water on demand whenever it is needed.

Which Performs Better?

Gas heaters usually perform better than electric heaters, as they can heat and reheat more quickly. From room temperature, a gas heater can heat a 50 gallon tank in approximately one hour. Electric heaters, on the other hand, can take several hours to heat the same amount. Additionally, a gas heater will allow a family to continue to have access to hot water in the event of a power outage.

Which is More Efficient?

Where electric heaters lack in performance, they make up for in efficiency. Electric heaters are generally more efficient than gas heaters, as a gas heater will continuously burn fuel in order to keep its tank at the proper temperature. The caveat, however, is that electricity generally costs more than gas. While electric heaters have a smaller carbon footprint, they will generally cost more to operate in the long run.

What is the Difference in Up-Front Cost?

Electric and gas heaters have very comparable prices, with electric heaters being only slightly more expensive. Electric heaters can range anywhere between $300 and $3,000, while gas heaters are right behind at around $250 to $1,500. Installation can add additional costs if a gas line or electrical outlet is required in a specific location, though most homes already have spaces and fittings pre-installed.

While these tips can all help you make an informed decision, your home’s specific needs should play an important role in your final purchase. If you have a large family that uses a large amount of hot water each month, a gas heater may make more sense. If you are more concerned with the environmental cost or do not have a natural gas line, then an electric heater can be a better choice.

Need a Water Heater? Call Plumbing Solutions, LLC Today!

If you are in need of a new water heater, the highly knowledgeable Columbia plumbers at Plumbing Solutions, LLC can answer all of your questions and help you make a decision that is best for you. With our 24/7 emergency plumbing services and high-quality workmanship, we can handle nearly any water heater problem you may have, including installation, maintenance, and replacements.

Schedule an appointment with us today!