What’s the Difference: Electric vs. Gas Water Heater
Water heaters are an integral part of every home for tasks such as cooking, showering, cleaning, and laundry. Sometimes we don’t realize how much we use heated water until it’s time to replace one. When that time comes, the process to choose the right water heater can be time-consuming and a little complicated. That’s why we’re here – to discuss the difference between two fuel types for water heaters: electric and gas. We’ll talk about the pros and cons to help you find the best water heater for your home and your needs. You can find some key information in our infographic below. Continue reading to get a more in-depth look at each system!
Gas Water Heaters
As the name suggests, gas water heaters use gas as a fuel source to heat your water. This type of water heater works due to a law of physics known as convection. This means that as water is heated by a gas burner at the bottom of the tank and grows warmer, it rises to the top and is discharged through the hot water discharge pipe the next time you need hot water. The cold water stays at the bottom to be heated.when the cold water enters the tank through a tube.
Gas Water Heater Advantages
The advantages of a water heater fueled by gas are:
- Usually a less expensive operating cost.
- Works during power outages.
- Generally safe but does have the gas factor.
- Heats more water per hour.
A gas water heater uses a pilot light, or a small flame, to ignite the gas burner that heats the water. Because of this, a gas water heater doesn’t need an electric source to work thus being able to function properly even during power outages. While gas water heaters have the gas factor, which can be hazardous and homeowners should take precautions, this option is generally safe.
When it comes to heating the water, the gasoline combustion process generates heat more rapidly than electric heating. On average, a gas heater can heat a 50-gallon tank in about one hour while an electric heater can take several hours. Therefore, running out of water is less of a worry compared to an electric fuel source. In fact, gas water heaters can heat water at a rate that’s two times faster than an electrical water heater, which means they have a higher recovery rate.
Gas Water Heater Disadvantages
The disadvantages to a water heater fueled by gas are:
- Generally more expensive on the front-end cost.
- Requires more maintenance.
- Less efficient when it comes to heat loss.
Electric Water Heaters
Electric water heaters are essentially the same as gas water heaters, with the only difference being that they use electricity as their fuel source to heat the water through upper and lower heating elements. Gas water heaters only use a lower heating element.
Electric water heaters bring cold water in through a tube and heat it with its electric elements. The hot water rises in the tank (just like gas water heaters) and then flows to other appliances to the home through a pipe.
Electric Water Heater Advantages
The advantages of a water heater fueled by electricity are:
- Generally less expensive upfront cost.
- Requires less maintenance.
- Generally safer than gas water heaters.
- More efficient when it comes to heat loss.
Electric water heaters have their own safety concerns however, they tend to be safer, because they don’t run the risk of a gas leak (or explosion), or carbon monoxide leaks in your home. The efficiency of an electric water heater is also higher than a gas water heater because gas water heaters have heat loss from exhaust gases and walls of the storage tank.
Electric Heater Disadvantages
The disadvantages to a water heater fueled by electricity are:
- Usually has a more expensive maintenance cost.
- Won’t work during power outages unless there is a power source.
- Heats less water per hour.
Do You Need Help With Your Water Heater?
Now that you know a little more about your water heater, we hope you are able to make the decision that is best for your needs. Once you have decided, give us a call to schedule the installation or make any repairs necessary.