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Plumbing | Which Water Heater Is Right for You?

Jan 19

The choice between gas and electric water heaters is not always as clear-cut as it may appear, so let’s examine their differences.

Although it is essential, many individuals do not do routine maintenance on their water heaters. It’s the type of appliance you only consider when it fails and ceases to function.


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Standard water heaters are powered by either natural gas or electricity. Even though water heaters have an average lifespan of 8 to 15 years, you will need to replace them at least once during their existence. Consequently, the dilemma of whether to choose a gas or electric water heater will definitely emerge, regardless of whether your home is brand-new construction or not. Before deciding on a plan of action, you should examine the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative thoroughly.

You will understand the fundamental distinctions between electric and gas water heaters after reading this text. Thus, you may make a well-informed choice regarding which type is appropriate for you.

Gas Vs. Electric Water Heater: What Factors Should Be Considered?

Gas and electric water heaters each have distinct benefits. Gas water heaters may have cheaper operating expenses than electric models, but their installation may be more expensive. Electric water heaters undoubtedly have reduced installation costs, but it is possible that their operational costs will be higher. However, your water needs and plumbing connections at home or the office are a consideration in making these decisions.

Additional choices to be examined are tankless water heaters, heat pump systems, and conventional storage tanks. Because so many factors go into determining the requirements for your water heater, it is advised that you rely on the expertise of a professional plumbing service prior to purchasing the equipment. But what elements should be considered while deciding between an electric and gas water heater?

The Installation Price

If your home already has gas lines built, installing a natural gas-powered water heater may be the most cost-effective option. If not, installing new gas lines may be prohibitively expensive. In addition, switching from an electric to a gas water heater requires the services of a skilled gas fitter who specializes in gas fitting. To accomplish this, it will be necessary to modify the house’s plumbing and install an appropriate ventilation system.

Moreover, the cost to operate an energy-efficient gas water heater is frequently less than the cost to operate an electric water heater. Still, the amount of water you use on a daily basis may affect your total running expenses. Before beginning the installation of a gas water heater or an electric water heater, you should always consult a plumbing professional. A licensed plumber can aid you in acquiring the most comprehensive understanding of the costs associated with the installation of a new gas or electric water heater.


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The anticipated longevity of a water heater

Naturally, electric water heater tanks are less susceptible to corrosion, allowing them to fulfill their role for a significantly longer duration. Not so with a gas-powered water heater. The Gas variety warms cold water by placing a flame at the bottom of the tank. Eventually, this could cause catastrophic damage to the tank itself.

In addition, water from a private well is more likely to include caustic minerals and high iron concentrations, both of which might accumulate in the reservoir tank. This can reduce the projected lifespan of an electric heater. For this reason, municipal water is typically of higher quality, allowing electric water heater tanks to work to their full capacity.

The accessibility and usability

In terms of regenerating lost heat in water, gas water heaters are far more efficient than electric water heaters. Gas heaters can heat a tank of water almost instantly after it has been filled. It is anticipated to recover approximately 50 gallons per hour on average. In order to avoid running out of hot water, converting to a gas water heater is likely the best solution.

In contrast, electric water heaters typically provide less hot water than gas-powered models. The recovery rate of the larger tanks is around 14 gallons per hour. As a result, it may be possible to construct larger tanks to compensate for the low output. Even though larger water tanks can heat water for a longer period of time, they may incur higher operating expenses.

Environmental Friendly

Gas is naturally one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly fossil fuels. This is not the case, however, for gas water heaters, which contribute to carbon emissions.

In contrast, the opposite is true when utilizing an electric water heater. The heater creates no emissions and is therefore considered more environmentally friendly. It is currently possible to save money and lessen one’s environmental impact by purchasing new Energy Star-certified water heaters and other household appliances.

Simply consult a competent plumber about your environmental concerns and obtain recommendations for an appropriate water heater.

Energy Consumption Of Water Heater

Frequently, the choice between an electric or gas water heater is dictated by the convenience of access to power or gas. The majority of homeowners opt to employ whatever is currently present in their homes. However, it appears that every home today has either electric or gas facilities. Homeowners must therefore understand how the energy consumption of water heaters is calculated.

Input is a measurement used to rate both tankless and tank water heaters, as it indicates how much fuel a water heater consumes in one hour. British Thermal Units (BTUs) are the standard for measuring gas input, while watts are the norm for measuring electrical input. In either case, the energy input determines the rate at which water is heated.

How Can Property Owners Lower Their Gas or Electric Water Heater Bill?

While you love the ease of turning on your water heater anytime you want and leaving it on for an extended period of time, we must admit that receiving a hefty electric bill is not a pleasant experience. Here are some other things you can do around the house to reduce your monthly energy costs and save money, whether you use an electric or gas water heater.

Always perform laundry in cold water.

Doing your laundry with cold water will save you an estimated $67 per year when using a gas water heater. The same holds true for washing clothes with cold water while using an electric heater. This will save you approximately $161 annually. This is an easy way to save money on your monthly electricity bill, especially considering that most modern detergents do not require the use of hot water.

Adjust the thermostat on the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Every 10 degrees Fahrenheit you reduce your water’s temperature will result in a 3 to 5 percent decrease in your monthly water heating costs. Families with young children should adjust the temperature to no more than 120 degrees for the same reason.

Shower fixtures with a modest flow rate should be purchased.

Investing in shower fixtures with a low water flow is another method for lowering the monthly cost of your water heater. Investing in a low-flow shower fixture will reduce the amount of hot water you use in the shower, so reducing your water cost by 25 to 60 percent.

Turn the Water Off When Not in Use.

Over time, leaving the water running while you wash your hair or brush your teeth may result in water waste. Because of this, you must turn off the shower when washing your hair and the sink while brushing your teeth.

Final Remarks

The choice between an electric water heater and a gas water heater is primarily determined by cost and available space. Even if the initial cost of installing a gas water heater is greater than that of installing an electric water heater, the lower cost of natural gas compensates for the difference within the first year of use.

Despite this, electric water heaters have their place. If you have limited space to put the heater, an electric model is likely your best option. Similarly, if you are unable to install the necessary venting for a gas heater due to issues such as cost or the structure of your home, you will not be able to utilize one.

In conclusion, always seek a local plumbing professional for the optimal solution.


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