When it comes to heating systems nowadays, there are many options on the market. This is why it can be somewhat tricky trying to decide which one you should choose if you’re considering installing or replacing a water heater in your property.

Perhaps the two most common types of water heaters out there are either gas-based or electric. In Canada, for example, over ⅓ of households use electricity as the main source of water heating, while the remaining ⅔ use gas water heaters. What might give one water heating system the edge over another, you may wonder? Well, in order to answer this question, there first needs to be an understanding of how the two systems operate.

Gas Vs. Electric Water Heaters

The first way in which gas and electric water heaters are different is how they work. In terms of gas water heaters, the way they operate is by using the heat result from burning fuel to, in turn, heat water. An electric water heater, however, relies on converting electric energy into heat.

gas furnace installed in the basementGas Vs. Electric Water Heater Operating Cost

Cost is arguably the most important factor when comparing gas and electric water heaters. Depending on local utility costs, gas water heaters are generally cheaper to operate than electric. Gas heaters typically cost $30 per month to run, whereas electric heaters cost closer to $42 per month.

Although gas water heaters are more expensive to install upfront, in the long run, they are much more cost-effective to operate than gas. Based on energy savings, gas heaters are able to make up the difference in initial costs in about one year, so even though they are more expensive to buy and install, they are much easier on the pocket than electric units over time.

Which Is More Efficient: Gas or Electric Heaters?

Another factor worth mentioning when it comes to gas vs. electric water heaters is efficiency. Undoubtedly, electric water heaters are more efficient due to a number of reasons:

  • Gas heaters lose heat through venting, while electric heaters don’t.
  • Electric heaters heat up water much faster than gas heaters.
  • Electric heaters necessitate less energy to complete their job than gas heaters.

gas furnace installed in the houseOn the other hand, despite the high efficiency of electric water heaters, homeowners still favour gas water heaters over electric. When people are looking to invest in a heating unit with the intent of it lasting for years to come, there usually seems to be a preference for gas heaters mainly because they are cheaper, and also due to their other advantages:
For a big family, gas water heaters are more convenient because they are capable of producing more hot water per hour than electric. The time it takes a gas unit to heat water, for the same volume of water, electric heaters would take twice as long.
You may kiss an electric water heater goodbye during a power outage, while gas heaters aren’t affected when there is no electricity in the house.

Still Got Questions? Ask for a Specialist’s Opinion

It can be hard to determine which is better; gas or electric water heaters since they both come with benefits and drawbacks in their own right. This is why if you’re looking to install or replace your water heater in the near future, have a word with a qualified technician to discuss what option best suits your needs.