5 Star Plumbing | Gas vs Electric Water Heater: Which One Is Better?
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Gas vs Electric Water Heater: Which One Is Better?

5 Star Plumbing > Blog > Gas vs Electric Water Heater: Which One Is Better?

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Gas vs. Electric Water Heater: Which One Is Better?

Water heating systems come in gas and electric models, each with a unique fuel source and heating mechanism. With a burner powered by natural gas or propane, the water is heated more quickly and more affordably than with electric water heaters. With the latter, electrical resistance is used to heat the water, as opposed to gas water heaters, which have emissions and require more room for installation. Choosing between gas and electric water heaters depends on a variety of aspects, including cost, selection, and access to energy.

What is the difference between a gas and electric water heater?

Common water heating methods include gas and electric; they use different energy sources to warm the water. Electric water heaters are powered by electricity in contrast to gas water heaters, which are fueled by natural gas or propane. Cost, effectiveness, and convenience of installation are a few factors that each have benefits and drawbacks.
Energy sourceNatural gas or propaneElectricity
Heating mechanismBurnerElectrical resistance
Speed of heatingFasterSlower
Operating costsLowerHigher
InstallationMore complexEasier
MaintenanceRegular maintenance requiredLess maintenance required
EmissionsEmits fumesNo emissions
SafetyRequires proper ventilationNo ventilation required
AvailabilityAvailability dependent on gas supplyCan be used in any location with electricity supply
EfficiencyMore efficientLess efficient
Recovery rate50 gallons per hour14 gallons per hour


It is generally accepted that electric water heaters are less efficient. This is true because gas water heaters are more efficient at heating water than electric water heaters, which use indirect heating techniques like electrical resistance heating. By employing tankless designs, which heats water only when it is required rather than continuously heating a tank of water, a gas water heater’s efficiency can be increased even further. Despite the greater cost of electricity, electric water heaters are more energy efficient overall than those that use natural gas or propane. Electric water heaters are limited in their ability to heat water efficiently via electrical resistance.


Gas and electric water heaters are only comparable to the extent of their heating capacity and rate. Homes with high hot water needs should go for gas water heaters because they heat water more quickly by heating it directly with a burner. Moreover, gas water heaters typically offer a wider range of capabilities and are better prepared to handle high hot water demand. Electric heaters require longer heating times due to the fact that they rely on electrical resistance. They are a great option for households that don’t require as much hot water because they are often smaller and less expensive to begin with.


Since they can be installed virtually anywhere there is a power source and don’t need to be connected to a gas line, electric water heaters are frequently more commonly available. Gas burning water heaters need to be connected to a gas line, which may not always be possible and thus increases installation costs.

Maintenance requirements

Gas water heaters typically require more maintenance than electric water heaters do. Since there are fewer moving parts in electric heaters, problems and breakdowns are less likely to occur. Gas water heaters must have their ventilation systems inspected and their burners cleaned on a regular basis to operate properly. For optimal combustion and to check for gas leaks, gas water heaters also need routine professional maintenance.


Compared to gas-powered models, electric water heaters are easier to install. The only things an electric water heater needs are a drain and a nearby 240V electrical outlet; they don’t need ventilation or a fuel source. An exterior vent, a natural gas line connection, and appropriate installation of the gas line and venting system by a professional technician are all requirements for gas powered water heaters.

Environmental disadvantages

Electric water heaters are more environmentally friendly than gas water heaters because they don’t directly produce any pollutants, unlike the latter, which do emit toxic carbon monoxide. Additionally, electric heaters use less energy overall, since all of the energy they consume is converted into heat rather than being wasted up the chimney. Because of the additional electricity they use, some of which might be produced via non-renewable energy sources, electric water heaters have a larger carbon footprint. The amount of an energy source’s impact on the environment ultimately depends on how it is used to generate electricity.


Electric and gas water heater prices vary according to characteristics including size, energy efficiency, and brand. Electric water heaters typically cost less upfront but more to operate as a result of rising electricity prices. Although they cost more upfront, gas water heaters may end up being more economical in the long term because of cheaper fuel expenses. It is advised that when choosing your best course of action, you take into account both the initial investment and continuous operational expenses.


Due to the heating element’s absence of wear and tear, electric water heaters have a longer lifespan. Because of the corrosion of the tank brought on by the natural gas combustion process, gas water heaters have a shorter lifespan. Both types of water heaters have different lifespans, which are influenced by maintenance, frequency of use, and equipment quality.

How to tell if a water heater is gas or electric

electric vs gas water heater The type of heater in your home can be identified by:
  • Verifying the source of fuel: You probably have a gas line running to your heater if it runs on gas. You’ll need an electrical connection to use an electric heater.
  • Searching for identifying markings: On the heater unit or control panel, you can frequently find the name of the manufacturer and the model number.
  • Checking the manual or earlier records: For details on the heater’s model, see the owner’s manual, installation documentation, or previous invoices.


When compared to gas heaters, electric water heaters stand out because of a number of unique advantages. Energy efficiency, which can result in decreased energy costs, is one of the key benefits of electric heaters. Because they don’t emit dangerous emissions and don’t need a chimney or flue, they are also safer. Additionally, compared to gas models, electric heaters are frequently less expensive up front, making them a cost-effective choice. Electric heaters can be installed in a larger variety of locations, making it simpler for contractors to install them. With timers and thermostats for increased convenience, some electric heaters provide exact temperature control. Finally, electric heaters are a low-maintenance solution for homeowners, because they require less upkeep than gas heaters do.


Numerous homes favor gas water heaters because of their many benefits. Their energy efficiency, which is frequently higher than that of electric heaters, is one of their key advantages. This implies that you can eventually reduce your energy costs. You don’t have to wait very long for hot water thanks to the quick heating capabilities of gas water heaters. Gas water heaters are a cost-effective option due to the fact that natural gas is frequently less expensive than electricity. Another benefit is that unlike electric water heaters, which need electricity to run, their gas counterparts continue to operate even when the power is out. They also come in larger sizes, enabling them to accommodate larger households’ needs, no matter how much hot water is needed. Finally, a number of venting choices for gas-powered water heaters make it simpler to install them in a variety of settings.

Tank water heaters with high efficiency

The higher energy efficiency of high-efficiency tank water heaters results in lower energy costs. They can store more hot water and have better insulation to prevent heat loss. Additionally, these water heaters include a digital management and monitoring system, an automated safety shut-off capability, and better durability, which results in a longer lifespan. They are also environmentally friendly and leave a smaller carbon footprint. Homeowners that choose high-efficiency water tank heaters may also qualify for tax incentives or utility rebates.

Tankless Water Heaters

With the aid of tankless water heaters, hot water is available whenever it is needed. They have a number of advantages over conventional tank water heaters, including an endless supply of hot water, a space-saving design, better energy efficiency, and a longer lifespan. As well as having a smaller carbon impact, these water heaters offer digital control and adjustment choices. According to each person’s demands, they can be installed for usage throughout the entire house or just at certain locations of use. It’s crucial to keep in mind that tankless water heaters could have a greater initial cost and might need bigger and new gas lines or more advanced electrical service. When determining whether to use a tankless water heater or a conventional tank water heater, it is important to take into account aspects like water usage patterns and flow rate needs.

Heat pump devices

Heat pump units transfer heat from one area to another using a refrigerant system. They can be used to chill a building by transporting heat from the inside to the outside, or they can be used to warm a building by extracting heat from the ground or outside air. They operate similarly to air conditioners but additionally have the option of running backward to heat the air. Heat pumps are one type of alternative heating and cooling system that uses less energy.

Tips for Lowering the Cost of Gas or Electric Water Heating

Although it’s convenient to have hot water accessible whenever you want for however long you want, there are fees involved. Whether you choose a gas or electric water heater, the following tips may help you lower your monthly bills. 5 Star Plumbing | Gas vs Electric Water Heater: Which One Is Better?

Wash clothes in cold water

Due to the fact that the majority of modern detergents don’t require hot water to operate, this is a straightforward strategy to cut your monthly utility bills. You can save money on your gas and electricity bills by washing your clothes in cold water as opposed to hot water, which uses less energy to heat the water.

120 degrees Fahrenheit should be set as the water heater’s thermostat

You can anticipate a 3 to 5% reduction in your monthly water heating costs for every 10°F drop in water temperature.

Stay away from the tub

One way to spend less money on gas or electric water heaters is to use less hot water. To save hot water, showers should be taken quickly instead of baths.

Consider purchasing low-flow shower hardware

Installing low-flow shower fixtures will help you save money on gas or electricity by reducing the amount of hot water used during showers. As a result, energy consumption and utility costs are decreased.

When not in use, turn off the water heater

The cumulative effect of forgetting to turn off the water while washing your hair or brushing your teeth is significant. Think about turning off your water during these brief times.

Which is better, a gas or electric water heater for your house?

Depending on the location, price, efficiency, and your personal preferences, gas and electric water heaters offer varied benefits and drawbacks. Gas heaters are less expensive and use less energy than electric ones, especially in homes with heavy hot water usage. However, electric water heaters are safer and easier to install because they don’t emit pollutants. Consider your specific needs, your budget, the cost and energy factor in your area, as well as your spending cap when choosing between gas and electric water heaters. It’s also recommended to consult with a 5-star plumbing agency to purchase a new water heater or make the best decision for your property.


Does converting from an electric to a gas water heater make sense?

The choice to use a gas water heater instead of an electric one depends on a variety of factors, including cost (gas is less iexpensive than electricity), usage, regional climate, available fuel sources, and individual preferences. Contact us for a personalized recommendation.

What are the disadvantages of using an electric water heater?

Electric water heaters can cost more up front and require more maintenance because they depend on electricity. If there is a power outage, they won’t function, and they can struggle to provide hot water for numerous simultaneous usage.

What issue affects electric water heaters the most frequently?

The most prevalent reason for problems with electric water heaters is a faulty heating element; as a result, the water may not heat up at all or poorly.

Gas or electricity, which is more affordable to heat water in 2023?

This is affected by a variety of factors, including the cost of electricity and natural gas in your area, the efficiency of the equipment used to heat the water, and more. Natural gas is typically less expensive than electricity as a fuel source, but it is advisable to check local pricing to see which is the cheapest for you.

Gas or electricity, which is more affordable to heat water in 2023?

This is affected by a variety of factors, including the cost of electricity and natural gas in your area, the efficiency of the equipment used to heat the water, and more. Natural gas is typically less expensive than electricity as a fuel source, but it is advisable to check local pricing to see which is the cheapest for you.

What is the finest kind of water heater?

Family size, hot water usage, energy efficiency, and budget are a few factors to consider when choosing the best water heater. It’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option before making a decision because the best water heater for you will ultimately depend on your specific requirements and tastes.
Mike Joshua

Mike Joshua, a 33-year-old plumber based in California. With a passion for solving complex problems and a commitment to his trade, Mike has dedicated the past 8 years of his life to honing his skills as a professional plumber. After completing technical college Mike quickly secured a job in a plumbing company and has been working steadily ever since. Mike's experience includes not only households but industrial gas and plumbing systems and installation, repair the equipment for different types of business He is known for his attention to detail, strong work ethic, and ability to complete projects on time and within budget. He is always striving to improve his skills and stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments and advancements. In conclusion, Mike enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. He also has a passion for DIY projects around the home and is always looking for new challenges to tackle.

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