Water heaters come in electric or gas models. Both options are similar in that they both get you hot water for daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and showering. The right type often depends on what connections are already available in your home. However, many homes have access to both gas and electricity, in which case there’s the option to decide on an electric vs. gas water heater.
Electric vs. Gas Water Heater Infographic
Electric Water Heaters
An electric hot water heater uses high-voltage heating rods that are installed vertically in the tank. Water is heated from the center outward, and output is measured in watts.
An electric hot water heater:
- Costs less upfront to install.
- Does not have safety concerns involving natural gas.
- Requires less maintenance.
- Does not lose as much energy.
- Is typically more compact in size.
- Is available in a range of sizes.
- Easily hooks up to an electrical connection.
- Can draw power from renewable energy.
These are the some of the downsides to using an electric water heater:
- Operating costs are high (given the price of electricity).
- It cannot operate during a power failure.
- Water is heated more slowly.
- Longer recovery time after the tank is drained.
- High-efficiency models are not available.
Gas Water Heaters
A gas-fired burner is located at the bottom of the water tank, heating water from the bottom up. A discharge tube draws heated water into your plumbing system. Output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs).
These are some of the advantages of a gas hot water heater:
- Water is heated at a faster rate.
- Operating costs are lower (natural gas is generally cheaper than electricity).
- Are available in high-efficiency models.
- Numerous sizes to accommodate your home.
- Remain operational during a power outage.
- Lower per-month cost of operation.
Gas models aren’t suited for every home. These are some disadvantages that you might encounter:
- A gas line/connection may need to be added.
- Risk of gas leaks and carbon monoxide exposure.
- Dirtier operation, requiring cleaning and additional maintenance.
- Not as many size options available.
- Less efficient at heating water.
- Depending on the model, it may need to be relit at times.
- Do not last as long as electric units.
What Should You Install?
Most homes have electricity; fewer have gas. If you have both, then you can choose between these types of hot water heaters. It’s generally simpler to replace a gas system with another gas water heater or an electric model, or replace an electric with another electric unit.
Converting from electric to gas, however, can require not just having the tank plumbed, but also adding a gas line and installing a vent that can involve a fair amount of cutting and drilling.
Let Sky Heating Install or Replace Your Water Heater
Customers in Portland and The Dalles can count on Sky for installing, replacing, and fixing or maintaining electric and gas water heaters. We are licensed, bonded, and insured to provide the service you need. If you have an emergency, our team is available 24/7 to help. A lack of hot water, damaged appliance, or water or gas leak is a serious concern. If you need immediate help or assistance choosing an electric vs. gas water heater, schedule a visit online or call 503-673-9083 today!