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Electric vs. Gas Water Heater

Electric vs. Gas Water Heater

Electric vs. Gas Water Heater

Perhaps you’re looking to install an efficient water heater in your new home for the first time, or maybe it’s time for a water heater replacement. There are two main options to choose from—electric water heaters and gas water heaters. It’s important to understand how these two types of water heaters work, as well as their pros and cons.

Electric vs. Gas Water Heater

Mr. Rooter Plumbing is a reputable plumbing company that offers a full range of professional water heater services. When you’re in need of water heater installation in your home, restaurant, or business premises, we are the plumbing company you can rely on. In this article, we will compare electric water heaters to gas water heaters to help you make an informed decision.

How Does an Electric Water Heater Work?

An electric heating element, submerged in the water tank, uses electricity to directly heat the water. For an electric-powered tankless water heater, the incoming cold water passes through a heat exchanger, where it's heated by high-powered electric coils. A thermostat regulates the water temperature. When the temperature drops below a set point, the thermostat activates the heating element. Once the desired temperature is reached, the thermostat shuts it off.

Electric Water Heater Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Safer: There’s no combustion gas or open flames, making them ideal for homes with safety concerns.
  • Easier to install: Unlike gas-powered water heaters, electric water heaters do not require gas lines or complex venting systems. This is one of the aspects that lowers the installation cost of electric water heaters.
  • Quieter operation: No noisy burners compared to gas models.

Cons

  • Lower heating efficiency: Electricity is more expensive than natural gas, so running costs for electric water heaters can be higher.
  • Slower recovery time: Electric-powered water heaters take longer to heat water compared to gas models, especially larger tanks.
  • Limited hot water during peak usage: As a result, they may not be suitable for large families with high hot water demand.

How Does a Gas Water Heater Work?

A gas burner combusts natural gas, generating heat that transfers to the surrounding water tank or heating element in tankless units. The heat exchanger separates the hot combustion gases from the water. The exhaust gases produced by the burning gas are vented outside the home through a flue pipe. Regular maintenance by a professional plumbing service is necessary to ensure safe and efficient operation.

Gas Water Heater Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Higher heating efficiency: Natural gas is often cheaper than electricity, leading to lower running costs.
  • Faster recovery time: They heat water much quicker than electric models; hence, they are ideal for large families or frequent hot water use.
  • Provide more hot water: Gas-powered units can handle higher hot water demands compared to electric models.

Cons

  • Less safe: Gas water heater installation involves combustion and gas lines. They require proper ventilation and pose a potential carbon monoxide risk if they’re not properly maintained. However, a gas water heater can operate safely if it’s installed by a qualified and experienced plumber.
  • More complex installation: A gas water heater needs gas line hookup and venting system installation, which can be expensive.
  • Noisy operation: The burner can create noise during operation.

Consider These Factors When Making Your Decision

  • Cost of operation: A gas heater might be more economical in the long run if natural gas is cheap in your area.
  • Hot water needs: If you have a large family or high hot water usage, a gas heater's faster recovery time might be preferable.
  • Safety: If safety is a top concern, an electric heater eliminates the risks of gas and combustion. However, you do not have to worry about safety as long as your water heater is installed by a professional plumber.
  • Installation: It’s important to factor in the cost and complexity of gas line installation compared to the simpler electric setup. You can consult with an experienced plumbing repair service for professional advice.

Professional Water Heater Services

Is it time to switch to a tankless water heater? Is your current water heater failing, and you’re considering a water heater replacement? Mr. Rooter Plumbing is here to help you with all of your water heater needs. We are a trusted plumbing service that you can count on for top-quality water heater services.

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