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Gas VS Electric Water Heater [A Detailed Comparison in 2020]

gas vs electric water heater

Having hot water is important for every home. Whether it is around the hills or for regular climatic conditions, having a water heater is always helpful for a quick shower or multiple hot water requirements in a home.

Surveys state that water heaters consume around 14-18 percent of the electricity utility bill based on the performance and also the capacity of the heater. But at the same time, it’s one of the most important types of equipment to have for every home.

People do try to find ways to cut down the daily maintenance costs and also the electricity bills. If you are looking out for the same, and unable to decide the type of water heater you should buy then this guide on gas VS electric water heater is entirely for you.

Electric Water Heaters

Pros of Electric Water Heaters

1. Easy to use

It is of course much easier to operate with any electricity-based heater. The major reason behind this is that the device can run solely based on one single power source. As a result, it does not require a different source for ignition and the heating element. This mechanism does not allow the users to start the water heating operation.

2. Compact Design

One of the biggest advantages of using an electricity-based heater is that it is much more compact in design and also saves space while installation. Since there is no gas burner present, it does not require any type of venting space as well. All the heating is done with the help of a professional solenoid and you can rely on this.

3. Good power source

A good power source means that the electric heater is ready to be used at any place. With just a simple source of power, the heater can start all the operations. As a result of this, they require very low electricity to heat the water. This is the reason why people believe that electric water heaters are much more electricity saving to use.

4. Low-cost installation

Most of the electric water heater models come with a simple installation procedure. The main reason for this is because they do not require any type of venting. Since they do not have any external accessories attached to the body, the installation costs are cut down to a lower half. Compared with the gas heaters, the installation costs for electricity-based models are much lower than them.

5. Endless hot water

The biggest advantage of having an electric water heater model installed in your home is that you will never run out of water. As long as you have complete electricity in your home you will continue to have free running water. Just simply plug on the heater, the water inside starts to heat up. In the case of the gas-based heaters, it is not the same.

Cons of Electric Water Heaters

1. Maintenance is high

The one thing that you may not like about the electric water heaters is the high-cost maintenance. The initial payment for the electricity-based heaters may seem to be much lower than any other type. But at the same time, it is much higher in daily running. This is mainly because the charges for electricity are much higher than that of gas.

2. Does not run without electricity

Another upset about this type of model is the complete reliance on electricity. So if there is any situation when you need a shower but your home is suffering from a current-drop, it will not work at all. This type of heater requires a complete inflow of electricity when it comes to power outages. So you always have to use a stabilizer for unstable electricity.

3. High Recovery Time

The recovery time for the electric water heaters is much higher for an average home. It is mainly because the heats generated by the electric heaters are much higher than any usual dates. So when it comes to the peak usage, these devices take up a long time to heat the entire home’s water needs.

If you have decided to buy an electric tankless water heater then we have an in-depth review on the same.

Gas Water Heaters

Pros of Gas Water Heaters

1. Rapid heating rate

One of the biggest advantages of using a gas-based heater is that you can always rely on the heating capacity of the gas-based burners. In comparison, these burners are much higher in recovery when it comes to electric solenoids. This is the reason why at peak hours, the rapid heating rate makes it much efficient for larger families.

2. Low maintenance cost

If there is a low maintenance cost for any model, it becomes a priority for the people. Yes, the gas-based heaters may slightly feel to be higher in the costs while purchasing. But at the same time, the rate of gas consumption is very low while the efficiency is high. Because of this, it allows low maintenance costs and expenses from the user.

3. Works without electricity

The best part of having a gas-based model is that you can get both power sources in favor of yourself. These types of models come with multiple functions that provide both electric and gas-based ignition. So, even if there is a complete power shortage in your home and you still need a shower, just turn on the gas burner. It will be helpful to provide hot water.

Cons of Gas Water Heaters

1. High costs

If you are concerned about not paying too much upfront for the heater, the gas-based system may seem to be out of reach. Since they come with multiple other accessories that reduce the maintenance costs, the device comes with a high initial cost. Moreover, you need to pay some extra costs as well to install the ventilation costs.

2. Complex installation process

The one thing that makes you stay away from the troubles of a gas-based water heater is the entire installation process. This heater comes with a complex installation process that has multiple accessories. This main reason for this is the external systems and also the dual burner installation for some of the models. So you can always expect high charges for installation.

3. Risk of Leaks

The one thing that can affect people the most with the product is the risk of leaks. Since there are multiple gas valves present on all around the heater, there may be severe chances of leaks. So before you come up with the complete installation procedure, you must make sure that all the valves are properly sealed.

We have also reviewed the best gas tankless water heaters. So, if you decide on going with the gas water heaters then you can read this review.

Gas VS Electric Water Heaters [Differences]

1. Size

When it comes to the size of a water heater, it has multiple implications. A lot of factors may result in different sizes of models like the tank present, the installation space required, the ventilation, and also the burner space.

The electric-based hearts come with a wide range of capacity. But at the same time, they are much easier to install than any other model. The reason is that they are much more compact in the dimensions and also there is no ventilation required.

On the other hand, the sizes of the gas-based heaters are much more making it difficult to install. Moreover, there is also a separate ventilation unit that requires to be installed along with the main tank.

2. Hot Water

An important feature of having a water heater is availability. The few factors that affect the rate of availability are the options of having endless power and a good energy conversion rate. This is the reason why most of the people try to choose a product that has a reliable power source and can give endless hot water supply.

The electric water heaters come with a high range of FHR values when compared with the gas-based models. This is the reason why the availability and the flow rate of hot water are much higher.

So the production of endless hot water is much higher for an electric water heater than any gas water heater model present. So you can always count on electric heater models why you require continuous usage of hot water.

3. Efficiency

Another important factor in comparison is the efficiency of the product. The energy efficiency of any product is labeled with the Energy Star label that determines the rate of consumption and also the amount of energy used while gaining from it.

The energy efficiency factors for the electricity-based models are much higher. This is mainly because the heaters consume low electricity and use all the energy that it receives. As a result of this, there is always a low wastage of energy.

In the case of the gas-based models, the mechanism is slightly different. Because of the work procedure, the gas-based models consume a higher level of energy. At the same time, the rate of conversion is not as high as an electric water heater.

So you can always expect a wastage of energy. But the consumption of gas is fairly low compared to the consumption of electricity.

4. Installation

Installing a water heater with electric ignition is not the toughest process. If you are already done with the plumbing, it is one of the easiest steps to follow. The heater is specifically grounded with proper hot water pipes and then connected with the valves.

This is the reason why the cost of installing an electric gas heater is much lower than the others.

At the same time, the cost of installation for any gas water heater is much higher. In a new heater installation, the procedure is much more complex. There is not only the main unit that needs to be mounted, but it also requires proper venting.

The two units are connected by drilling into the side of the home. Because of this, it takes much more time and effort and also requires a professional to install the product.

5. Cost

If this is the first time that you are buying a new heater for your home, the budget is a primary factor to consider. However, two major factors can affect the budget and they are the upfront costs of purchasing the unit and the cost for the daily uses.

The electrical units come with a lower cost than any gas-based water heaters. But when it comes to consumption, electricity consumption is much higher. As a result of this, the daily running costs may be much higher. The average cost of running an electric heater will be close to around $42 per month.

The gas-based units come with venting accessories and a complete gas-based ignition. This is the reason why they are much higher in cost to purchase. But, the daily consumption of gas is much lower than electricity. This affects the pricing as well. If you compare to the electric-based models, the gas water heaters consume only$30 per month.

6. Maintenance

Both the gas-based models and the electrical heaters are not difficult to maintain. Infact, the procedure of cleaning and flushing the unit is fairly the same for both. The one thing that affects regular maintenance is the level of contamination present in your locality.

If it is high in saturation, consider cleaning the sediments formed at the bottom of the unit. In such a case, you may have to flush the unit after 6 months.

7. Safety

In terms of safety, electricity-based products are much safer to use than gas-based products. This is mainly because there are multiple gas valves present on the gas lines. As a result, there may be chances of gas leaks by accident. Also, the gas water heaters tend to leak harmful carbon monoxide gasses after burning the water. Thus, they should be properly vented.

The electric heaters, on the other hand, do not have any type of gas valves. So you can always expect it to be safe to use. Since there is no gas chamber, there is also no type of gas emission.


Choosing a reliable option for your home is never a difficult task. But choosing between the electric VS gas water heater entirely depends on the requirements that you have. Of course, there are different models to choose from.

Both of these types have their pros and cons and based on them, you can just sort out which type you want. For an extreme comparison, you can take the same capacity models for both electricity and gas-based ignition.

You can just compare the specifications and then sort them out according to the budget. Do let us know down in the comments about which type you like the most and why so.