December 18, 2020

Hot water must be among humanity’s greatest accomplishments, and there is little in the world more satisfying or relaxing than a hot shower. How you heat your water, though, is a matter of choice. The two most popular water heater options are gas and electric, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will cover the specific differences between these options to help you decide what water heater type is best for you and your household.

Water Heater Costs

The price of purchase and installation is among the most important factors for many homeowners. Another factor to consider is the cost of operation. Generally speaking, gas water heaters are more expensive than their electric counterparts to purchase and install, while electric water heaters are more expensive to operate. More specifically, a homeowner is likely to spend between $1,300 and $2,600 for a 40-gallon gas water heater, while an electric water heater will probably cost between $950 and $1,500 to be installed.

Operating costs may vary widely depending on the amount of water you use and the price of electricity or gas in your area. To offer an estimate, though, the average monthly cost of operating an electric water heater may be around $30. Operating costs for a gas water heater are likely to be somewhat higher, at around $42 monthly. A professional from Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling can help you to determine the likely operating costs for a new unit in the Kansas City area and can install it for you, too. Relying on an expert is a good idea when it comes to new home appliances like water heaters.

Water Heater Size Differences

The size of your water heater is relevant in at least two ways. First, the more water your water heater holds, the larger it must be. Electric and gas water heaters both come in a variety of different sizes, ranging from 20 gallons up to 100 gallons. In-line or tankless water heaters are also popular options; these have no gallon ratings and are all about the same size.

Gas heaters tend to be a little bigger than electric water heaters because they need to vent. Electric water heaters may have more placement options because they are smaller and have no need to vent.

Energy Efficiency Differences

It may seem counterintuitive given their higher cost of operation, but electric water heaters are usually more efficient than gas water heaters. The seeming discrepancy is explained by the lower cost of natural gas as fuel versus electricity. Because gas water heaters must vent the used gas, some energy is lost to dissipation in that way. Electric water heaters waste very little energy in converting cold water to hot water, by contrast.

An exception is the high energy-efficiency gas water heater, which is the only type of tank water heater that meets the requirements for an ENERGY STAR label.

Water Heater Safety Concerns

Some homeowners are more wary of natural gas appliances because they carry more risk than electric appliances. Gas water heaters increase the risk of a gas leak or a carbon monoxide leak. Both of these risks may be mitigated, however, with proper installation and regular maintenance.

Water Heater Environmental Impact

If the environment is an important concern for you, you probably already know that all of your home appliances have an impact. Electric water heaters are better with regard to environmental impact since they are more energy-efficient and electricity is less costly to produce in an environmental sense. The natural gas extraction process releases significant amounts of pollution into the environment.

Availability of Hot Water

A consideration that is often overlooked is the first hour rating (FHR) of the water heater. Both gas and electric varieties have a wide range of FHRs, which indicate the amount of hot water a heater can produce in the first hour. This is important for families or multi-person dwellings where several people will be using the showers within a short time period. Gas water heaters are more likely to heat up faster than electric, so they also often have higher FHR ratings.

When it comes to choosing a water heater for your Liberty, MO, home, the experts at Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling can help. We are well-versed in every step of the process from choosing an electric or gas water heater to fit your needs to installing and maintaining the unit in your house. We handle a wide variety of heating and cooling issues in the Kansas City metro area as well. Call us today to schedule a consultation or get more information.

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