Mar. 23, 2021When choosing between a gas or electric tank water heater, our advice is to go with whatever type of power you already have in place.
That being said, if you’re building a new home or happen to have both fuel options available, you might be wondering which type to invest in.
To help you make the most informed decision, we’ll look at the pros and cons of each type, such as:
- Installation costs
- Operational costs
- Recovery times
- Safety concerns
Factor #1: Installation costsGas tank water heaters typically cost more to install than electric water heaters do.
Because gas is flammable, you’ll want to make sure there’s enough proper ventilation in place to operate a gas tank water heater. If you haven’t had a gas water heater installed before or your ventilation needs to be updated, the cost of your installation will increase.
On the other hand, an electric tank water heater is fairly straightforward to set up. It just needs to be plumbed in, grounded and you’re good to go.
Factor #2: Operational costsElectric water heaters typically cost more to operate on a monthly basis than gas water heaters.
This is because gas is a lot less expensive than electricity. Considering that water heating accounts for nearly 20% of the average household’s monthly energy consumption, it’s definitely a factor to consider. The upfront cost to install a gas water heater can be worth it in the long run.
Factor #3: Recovery (reheating) timesReferred to as “recovery time,” gas tank water heaters can reheat your water faster.
For tank water heaters this is important. Once the tank has run out of water, it will need time to reheat.
On average, gas tank water heaters can recover hot water in half the time when compared to an equal-sized electric tank water heater.
If you have a big household waiting to take a shower, that time difference might mean a lot!
Factor #4: Safety concernsBecause gas can be flammable, there are additional safety precautions involved with gas water heaters.
By law, gas tank water heaters must be installed with:
- Double-walled vents to prevent toxic gases from entering your home.
- A flame sensor that will shut off the gas to your water heater if it senses a combustion threat.
- A thermal switch, which shuts off the gas to the water heater if it senses nearby flammable vapors, such as gasoline or paint fumes.
Factor #5: ConvenienceThere are a few convenience factors to consider in your choice of water heater:
- Power Outages
An advantage of gas water heaters is that they’ll still operate during a power outage. If you live in an area where the power frequently goes out, a gas water heater will provide peace of mind knowing that you can still take a hot shower.
- Tight Spaces
In tight spaces, electric tank water heaters are much more convenient. Gas tank water heaters require extra venting to install, which can eat up more of your square footage.
Natural gas may not be available in your area. Rather than paying to have it piped, going with an electric water heater can be more convenient.
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