You might wonder if buying a gas water heater or an electric model is best for your home. The deciding factor might be if you already have gas lines in your home since putting in new gas lines for a water heater would be a major expense. If you have gas lines already, then you can compare the advantages of each. Keep in mind that both electric and gas heaters come in tank and tankless models. Here are some differences between the two types of heaters.
They Heat Water Differently
Electric heaters make hot water with heating elements that slide in the side of the heater. An element could go bad at some point, so if your electric heater stops making hot water, a heating element could be the problem. Putting in a new element is a fairly easy repair job for a plumber.
Gas heaters use gas burners to heat the water. More things might go wrong with a gas heater since a few parts are involved in igniting the burners. The problem might be the igniter, thermocouple, or pressure switch. A plumber can troubleshoot the ignition process to find the bad part and replace it.
Since the two types of heaters make hot water using different types of power, they differ in energy efficiency and cost to operate. Gas water heaters are not as efficient as electric models, but they are generally still cheaper to operate since electricity usually costs more than gas.
They Recover At Different Rates
One of the major differences between gas and electric water heaters is how fast they recover. This refers to how fast they heat up water again when the hot water runs out. A gas heater makes hot water a lot faster, so if you have a big family and tend to run out of hot water when everyone showers at the same time, then you may prefer a gas water heater, or you might need to buy a larger electric heater that holds more hot water.
The Cost Of Equipment Differs
Both gas and electric heaters come in economy and high-quality models, so the price varies for each. However, gas models tend to be less expensive. You'll also want to compare installation costs. A new electric water heater might require a 220 plug if you don't already have one. That could even mean you'll need to expand your electrical panel if it's full.
Installation of a gas heater requires a gas line, so if your house doesn't have gas at all, you'll be looking at a large expense to add it. If you already have the required gas and electric hookups, then you may not need to base your decision on price alone when buying your new water heater since costs might differ, but be fairly close.
For more information on a water heater, contact a professional near you.