If you’re in the market for a new hot water heater, you may be stuck trying to choose between purchasing a gas or electric water heater. And if you’ve done your research, you know there are pros and cons to each model. Whether you choose gas or electricity to heat your water largely depends upon the size of your household, cost of the unit and installation, the water heater’s efficiency, and the energy cost it will take to power the unit throughout its lifetime.
What’s the most cost effective?
“Generally, you’re going to replace what you already have with a like type water heater,” says Tom Darling, Albany and Saratoga’s water heater expert behind Empire State Plumbing. “You can convert to either model, but the most cost effective thing to do is put in one just like the one you have.”
The reason is gas and electric hot water heaters utilize different piping, energy sources, and means of exhaust. If you don’t use gas in your home, then you would have to install a gas line to have a gas water heater. Likewise, if you use gas but are thinking of converting, your home’s electricity may not be able to support an electric water heater.
However, if you’re in the position to choose which type of water heater you want for the first time, such as new construction, we’ve supplied some pros and cons of both gas and electric water heaters to help you narrow down your decision:
Pros and Cons of Gas Water Heaters
Gas water heaters hook up to your natural gas line and heat your water via a lit gas burner. As for pros, gas water heaters are generally cheaper to operate, as gas is cheaper than electric. Gas water heaters can also heat more water power per hour than electric. And because they’re not hooked up to electricity, your water heater can run during a power outage. That means no cold showers! As for cons, gas units are more expensive than electric units and there can be significant heat loss through venting.
Pros and Cons of Electric Water Heaters
Electric water heaters use electricity to power submerged heat rods, known as elements, to heat your water. As for pros, electric water heaters are cheaper than gas water heaters and take a shorter time for a plumber to install. That being said, you may end up paying more for the electrician’s visit so they can be sure the volt circuits are sufficient for your home. “You need three 220 volt circuits for an electric tankless water heater to do a whole house,” says Tom Darling. “And if you can imagine three 220 volt circuits, most people don’t have the power for that.”
What do we recommend?
For new construction, water heater expert Tom Darling recommends going with a gas water heater. Why? While the unit itself may be initially more expensive, the gas water heater makes up for it over time with low natural gas operating costs. With water heating accounting for about 18% of your home’s energy use, that can save you a lot of money!
***Are you ready for a new hot water heater in your home? Contact Empire State Plumbing online today or call us at (518) 213-9256 for a comprehensive consultation. We are the hot water heater experts in the Albany and Saratoga areas!