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Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

The time has come to buy a new water heater. As you browse your choices on the market, you may wonder which is best: gas or electric? There are several questions you should ask yourself to choose the best water heater for your home.

Which is more energy efficient?

Standard gas water heaters use natural gas to heat while electric water heaters use electricity. Generally, conventional gas water heaters are less efficient than electric heaters because they experience heat loss from exhaust gases and walls of the tank. Electric units that use electric heat pumps are the most efficient, but you’ll experience a higher out-of-pocket cost for the initial investment.

How much do they cost?

Traditional gas and electric storage units are similar in price, but there are other factors you should consider that go beyond the initial purchase. Since using electricity costs more than using gas, electric heaters will cost you more to operate in the long run. Additionally, you may need to install a 220-volt outlet for the heater, which will add to your costs. Most homeowners who have a readily available gas line in the house will find it easier and less expensive to opt for a gas water heater.

What types of heaters are available?

Most households use a standard storage tank heater, which stores up to 100 gallons of hot water for use at a given time. However, the drawback is that these heaters need some recovery time to heat more water after the hot water has been used up.

Available in both gas and electric models, tankless water heaters are becoming more popular because they heat water on demand. You’ll never run out of hot water, but you will pay a higher up-front cost for the unit than you would with a traditional model.

Gas units with condensing boilers are very efficient. They take the heat that’s been released from the exhaust gases to preheat the new water that’s coming into the storage tank. While this type is about 20% more efficient than a conventional unit, owning one will also cost you about twice as much.

Electric heaters that come equipped with a heat pump obtain heat from the surrounding air to heat water. These are the most efficient household water heaters available, but they come with a much higher price tag than any other type of unit.

How long do the water heaters last?

For many homeowners, the difference between the lifespan of a gas water heater and an electric one is nominal. On average, electric units last 13 years while a standard gas model will last 12 years. This, however, can vary depending on how well the unit is maintained over the years.

At Hometown Plumbing of Bakersfield, our neat and professional plumbers can answer any of your questions and provide you with a prompt water heater installation. Contact us today to set up your appointment.