The Benefits of Choosing a Gas Hot Water Heater
Hot water is a necessity in every household, which is why heating water is the second largest energy user behind heating and cooling. Homeowners have three options when it comes to choosing a hot water heater: gas, electric, or a solar powered model.
Every type has its own set of advantages, but gas hot water heaters have a reputation for being reliable, cost effective, providing faster water heating times, and more. This is likely why more U.S. homes (60%) have a gas water heater compared to the 40% that opt for an electric model.
Here’s a quick look at exactly what makes gas powered water heaters a better option than electric powered water heaters.
The Many Benefits of a Gas Hot Water Heaters
They save money on operating costs.
It’s true that electric heaters are more energy efficient, but because of increasingly high electricity costs, gas heaters tend to be less expensive to operate. On average, it costs around 30% less to operate a gas powered hot water heater than an electric model across the U.S. Depending on where you live exactly and the cost of electricity there, this figure may be higher or lower. Be aware that this only applies to water heaters using natural gas. Hot water heaters powered by propane tend to get very expensive, as the cost of propane is often higher than electricity.
They provide more water, faster.
When compared to an electric model with a similar capacity, a gas hot water heater can heat and deliver 35-50% more hot water in an hour. Obviously, this makes gas heaters a more convenient and reliable option, particularly for large households that use a lot of water in a short period of time.
They have a quick recovery rate.
Gas hot water heaters recover at 3-4 times the rate of an electric heater of comparable size. For example, the average gas model recovers 50 gallons/ hr, while an electric tank recovers 14 gallons/hr. As a result, you can get more hot water even when using a smaller sized gas tank, which improves your energy efficiency. A smaller tank also takes up less space, which may be important depending on the size of your home.
They allow you to have hot water when the power is out. Even when the electricity goes out, you can enjoy hot water if you have a gas heater that uses a pilot light. This isn’t true for models that require electric ignition.
When it comes to high efficiency models, they have a lower device cost.
Typically, a standard gas hot water heater costs a few hundred more dollars than its standard electric counterpart. However, high efficiency electric models are very limited in selection and tend to be significantly more expensive than high-efficiency gas hot water heaters. The difference is price can be anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
What to Consider when Looking for a Gas Hot Water Heater
With quite a few options available on the market, here are a few things you should know before making your purchase.
In most cases, a gas storage water heater needs a minimum of 6-18” of space on all sides for proper ventilation. This means a gas model may take up more space than an electric model.
Expensive retrofit installation:
If your house doesn’t have a gas line, it can cost thousands of dollars to install one. Both tank and tankless gas water heaters require gas pipe lines and venting. If you do have a gas line, swapping to a tankless system may be pretty expensive because it requires more power.
When compared to an electric heater, gas heaters have more parts, making it more challenging to maintain and repair. There is also the potential for any explosion when it comes to gas. If you have never dealt with gas appliances in the past, be sure to hire a professional contractor to service and repair it regularly.
Any gas powered device, including a hot water heater, has the possibility of a gas leak or explosion. This isn’t true for electrical devices. To reduce your risk and improve the safety of your entire family, it is imperative that you have your heater professionally installed, as well as hire a professional to do maintenance.