Gas VS Electric Water Heaters

Are you ready to learn about gas and electric water heaters and how they work?

Water heating is a big part of your life. You use it every day, and you probably don’t even realize it. Whether you’re washing dishes, taking a shower, or just boiling some water for tea, you need to have hot water on hand. 

If you’re thinking about installing this device, you may be wondering if gas or electric is the best option for your home. You might also be curious about how each of these types of heaters works and how they differ.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at these questions and more. We’ll start by explaining what makes gas and electric water heaters so different, then we’ll explain how they work and which one is better for your needs. 

Ready? Let’s dive in!

How Does An Electric Water Heater Work?

If you’ve ever wondered how an electric water heater works, you’re not alone. We’re here to help you get a better understanding of how it works and why it’s so important to your home.

Here’s how:

A tankless electric water heater works by heating water as it passes through the unit. It doesn’t store a large amount of water, which means you’ll never run out of hot water again!

It uses an electric element that heats up when you turn on the faucet. The element turns on when it senses it’s needed and then turns off once the hot water reaches the desired temperature. This is an excellent option for those who want to save money on their energy bills and don’t have a lot of space to dedicate to a traditional tanked heater.

Pros and Cons of Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters have been used for over a hundred years and are still an extremely reliable and cost-effective option for homeowners. They are used in 94% of all homes and make up about 20% of all energy use in the residential sector. However, due to their large size, they account for over half of energy use.

If you decide that it is right for you, here are some pros and cons you should know about: 

Pros

  • Lower upfront cost: Electrics generally have a lower initial cost compared to gas operated.
  • Easy installation: they are typically easier to install, requiring less complex venting and gas line connections.
  • Energy efficiency: Electric operated heaters are more energy-efficient than gas heaters in standby heat loss, as there are no pilot light or flue losses.
  • No combustion byproducts: Electric water heaters do not produce combustion byproducts, making them safer and more environmentally friendly.
  • Suitable for smaller spaces: Electric water heaters are usually more compact, making them suitable for homes with limited space.

Cons

  • Higher operating costs: Electric water heaters tend to have higher operating costs compared to gas heaters, as electricity is typically more expensive than natural gas.
  • Slower heating: Electric water heaters may take longer to heat water compared to gas heaters, which can be a disadvantage if you have high hot water demands.
  • Limited simultaneous use: Electric water heaters may struggle to provide hot water simultaneously to multiple outlets if the flow rate exceeds their capacity.

How Does A Gas Water Heater Work?

A tankless gas water heater works by using a gas burner to heat the water in an enclosed, insulated space. When you turn on the hot water tap, cold water is pumped into the unit and heated by the burner. The heated water flows through a pipe to the faucet.

The heat is provided by natural gas or propane, which burns directly within the unit itself. The heat travels through a small tube to the top of the tankless unit, where it is sprayed into the cold water coming through your pipes. This process causes the water to be heated before it reaches your faucet or shower head.

Pros and Cons of Gas Water Heater

It’s true: only about 40% of American homes have gas water heaters.

And it’s also true that many people don’t know much about them!

As a homeowner, if you are considering buying, you should know the following pros and cons.

Pros

  • Faster heating: Gas water heaters heat water more quickly than electric heaters, allowing for faster hot water delivery.
  • Lower operating costs: Gas is often cheaper than electricity, resulting in lower operating costs for gas water heaters.
  • Suitable for high-demand households: Gas water heaters are well-suited for households with high hot water demands, as they can simultaneously provide hot water to multiple outlets.
  • Reliable during power outages: Gas water heaters can continue operating during power outages, ensuring a continuous hot water supply.

Cons

  • Higher upfront cost: Gas operated heaters tend to have higher initial costs due to the need for gas lines, venting installations, and more complex plumbing.
  • Combustion byproducts: these units produce combustion byproducts that need to be safely vented out of the house. This requires proper ventilation and regular maintenance.
  • Safety concerns: they pose potential safety risks, such as gas leaks or carbon monoxide emissions, which require proper installation, maintenance, and monitoring.

Comparing Gas and Electric Water Heaters

There are many benefits and drawbacks to using gas and electric water heaters. Each has its own unique features, and choosing one over the other can be a challenging decision.

So here’s a comparison table highlighting the key differences between gas and electric water heaters:

CriteriaGas Water HeaterElectric Water Heater
Power SourceNatural gas or propaneElectricity
Initial CostHigher upfront cost due to installationLower upfront cost
Operating CostLower operating costsSlightly higher operating costs
Heating SpeedHeats water more quicklyHeats water at a slightly slower pace
Energy EfficiencyTypically less energy-efficientGenerally more energy-efficient
Space RequirementsRequires gas lines and venting installationsCompact and easier to install in tight spaces
AvailabilityAvailability depends on the gas supply infrastructureUniversally available
Environmental ImpactEmits greenhouse gases (combustion)No direct emissions
MaintenanceRegular maintenance is required for gas componentsFewer maintenance requirements
LifespanTypically lasts 10-15 yearsTypically lasts 10-15 years

How To Choose Between A Gas Or Electric Tankless Water Heater For Your Home?

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your old water heater or install a new one for the first time, choosing between a tankless, gas, or electric can be confusing.

To make a decision on which type is right for your home, there are some key things to consider.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make the right choice:

Fuel Availability and Cost

Consider the availability and cost of fuel sources in your area. If natural gas or propane is readily available and cost-effective, a gas tankless water heater may be viable. On the other hand, if electricity is more affordable or if gas availability is limited, an electric unit may be a better choice.

Hot Water Demand

Assess your household’s hot water demand. Gas tankless water heaters are typically better suited for high-demand households where multiple hot water outlets may be used simultaneously. If you have a large family or frequently use multiple hot water fixtures concurrently, a gas unit may be more appropriate. Electric tankless water heaters, while still capable of providing hot water on demand, may have limitations in meeting simultaneous high-demand scenarios.

Installation Considerations

Evaluate the Liberty requirements for both gas and electric units. Gas units may require venting and gas line installations, while electric units require adequate electrical capacity. Assess your home’s infrastructure and consult with a professional in the Liberty to determine the feasibility and costs of each option.

Space Availability

Consider the space available for the water heater installation. Electric tankless water heaters are generally more compact and require less space, making them suitable for smaller homes or locations with limited installation options. Gas units may require additional space for venting and gas line connections.

Energy Efficiency

What is a more efficient gas or electric hot water heater? To understand this, make sure you evaluate the energy efficiency of each type. Electric units tend to have higher energy efficiency ratings compared to gas units because they don’t have standby heat loss or combustion byproduct losses. Consider the long-term energy savings and potential environmental impact of each option.

Maintenance and Safety

Consider the maintenance and safety requirements associated with gas and electric tankless water heaters. Gas units require periodic maintenance to ensure proper venting, gas line integrity, and safety from carbon monoxide emissions. Electric units generally have fewer maintenance requirements but may still require periodic inspection.

Budget

Assess your budget and the upfront costs associated with each option. Gas tankless heater costs are higher upfront due to installation requirements, while electric units tend to be more cost-effective initially. However, operating costs, fuel prices, and energy efficiency should also be factored into long-term financial considerations.

Which Is Better, Gas Or Electric Water Heater?

When you’re shopping for a new water heater, it can be hard to know what you should go with.

Gas or electric water heater?

The main difference between the two is that gas heaters are powered by natural gas, and electricity is a form of energy produced through power plants. So, if you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly option, an electric unit might be a good choice because it’s less likely to cause pollution than a traditional gas-powered model.

But if you’re looking for something that’s going to heat up your water quickly and efficiently, then a gas water heater might be the way to go. Gas heaters are more powerful than their electric counterparts and use less energy overall—so you don’t have to worry about them affecting your monthly bill too much (if at all).

So which is the more efficient? Which one is better? It depends on your needs! If you’re just looking for something basic or want something that’s easy on the wallet, then an electric model might be right up your alley. But if you have high-flow needs and want something that can get hot quickly, then maybe go with a gas model instead!

Call Water Heater Experts in the Liberty for the Best Advice!

Are you tired of the long wait for hot water?

Do you want to be able to have a shower without waiting for hours?

Is your unit leaking or not working properly?

If so, it’s time to call the Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling experts. We have been serving Liberty residents with their heating and cooling needs since 2010. We offer a variety of services in Liberty, including repair, installation, maintenance, and replacement of all major brands, such as Rheem, Ruud, Bradford White & More!

We provide a full range of plumbing services, including:

  • Water heater repair Liberty
  • Water heater installation Liberty
  • Tankless water heater installation Liberty
  • Gas furnace installation and repair
  • Oil furnace installation and repair
  • Garbage disposal installation
  • Water filtration system
  • Emergency plumbing services
  • 24*7 plumbing services

Our team of plumbers comprises highly trained and licensed professionals with the expertise needed to get the job done right the first time. We strive to provide exceptional customer service by listening to our customer’s needs and concerns, which helps us create solutions tailored specifically to each individual customer’s needs. With over 13 years of experience in the industry, we have learned what it takes to meet your expectations every time.

If you need help choosing the right hot water heater Liberty or need installation or repair, please call us today at (816) 286-7258.