Comparing Gas and Electric Water Heaters

Comparing Gas and Electric Water Heaters

If you are a homeowner, you need to consider the kind of water heater to use for your home. Two of the most shared types of heaters that are obtainable on the market are electric and gas water heaters.

You should consider certain factors before you make an investment in an appliance that you will likely own for years. Some of the basic facts you should know about both types of water heaters are described herein.

Energy Consumption

Electric heaters are specially designed to consume less energy by using internal heating elements that apply energy directly to the water. Gas heaters waste a lot of energy, since the gas flame is applied to the outside of the tank, allowing about 30% of the energy to dissipate into the air. However, don’t forget that most electric strength companies use gas or other fossil fuels to create electricity, but your home gas water heater applies the energy from the gas directly to the task at hand, with no middle man.


How long can you expect to use your water heater before it needs major repair or substitute? typically, the lifetime of a device depends on its use, but there are several other factors that define the life of a water heater. The water tank of a gas heater is more likely to corrode, since it is directly exposed to the source of heat.

One life expectancy factor that is the same for both types of heaters is the hardness of the water being supplied to the tank. Calcium deposits can speed up corrosion considerably.

Purchasing Cost

The price of water heaters will, of course, depend on their quality and any special features you may decide on. However, a simple gas heater can be bought for only $200, while a simple electric heater will cost around $500.

Operating Cost

What it costs to function your water heater depends considerably on where you live. If your home is in an areas where electricity is expensive compared to gas, you would save money in the long run by purchasing a gas heater, of course. And visa versa. There is no easy way to determine how much it will cost you to run an electric or gas heater, but you can get a rough idea by reviewing the utility bills for your home, if you use both types of energy already.

Environmental Concerns

Nowadays, most people are making an effort to go green, if possible. Gas heaters do release a small amount of carbon emissions into the air. But this is truly less than the emissions given off to produce the electricity used by an electric heater.


Although doubtful, the chances of a gas leak from a gas heater causing an explosion are probably a lot greater than your chances of getting electrocuted due to faulty wiring of an electric heater.


As you have seen, there are factors that favor each kind of water heater. We have tried to present an objective assessment of the pros and cons. But in the end the decision is yours. Just be sure that you take the time to analyze the above factors in relation to your home.

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