USA Water quality is supported by its audience. If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more

Gas vs Electric Water Heater: Which One Suits You Better?

Fact checked by Stephen Conklin

gas vs electric water heater

Gas and electric water heaters are two of the most widely used solutions in the market for boiling water for homes. Given that both hot water heaters have a unique mix of benefits and factors, choosing between them poses a challenge for many buyers.

Making an informed decision is crucial since it must satisfy their hot water requirements and added factors like energy preferences and financial constraints.

Once everyone is aware of the main distinctions between Gas vs. Electric Water Heater, It will be easier to make an informed choice.

Table of Contents

Electric vs Gas Water Heater Comparison Overview


Factors Gas Water Heater Electric Water Heater
Efficiency Great heat efficiency Increased efficacy
Heating Faster restoration rate; heats more water Slower restoration rate; heats less water
Initial Costs More installation requirement means more expenses Less upfront but can have bigger yearly cost
Maintenance Needs regular upkeep Generally less upkeep
Operating Costs Gas is cheaper than electricity Uses electricity which is more expensive depending on the region
Options in Choices Fewer options More choices in model and added features
Power Blackouts Reliable Won’t work without an electric source
Safety With performance come safety concerns Generally less safety concerns

Propane vs. Electric Water Heaters in Detail


1. Similarities

  • The first similarity is their purpose. Water heaters, whether they be gas or electric, are made to heat and supply hot water for a variety of purposes, such as bathing, cleaning, and cooking.
  • How they are encased in tank-based arrangements is also similar, where water is held in a tank and heated as needed, and are available for both gas and electric water heaters.
  • The last similarity is temperature control. Users can choose the desired hot water temperature using temperature controls found on both water heaters. However, this is rarer for most electric water heaters.

2. Differences

1. Power Source


The energy source is the main distinction between gas and electric water heaters.

Electric water heaters use electricity to run. On the other hand, the gas types use either propane or natural gas.

2. Installation Requirements


A gas line connection and sufficient combustion ventilation, including installing a flue or chimney, are necessary for gas water heaters.

Installing an electric water heater, on the other hand, is less difficult and requires only a power source and no ventilation.

3. How Heating Works

To heat water, gas water heaters use a burner and the combustion process.

Electric water heaters, on the other hand, produce heat using heating elements submerged in the water.

4. Operating Costs


Gas and electric water heaters have distinct operating costs. If we are talking about the most cost-effective, it is gas water heaters because natural gas is less expensive than electricity.

The actual price, however, will vary according to local utility costs and the effectiveness of the individual models. It will also depend on the frequency a water heater is used.

5. Efficiency


Gas water heaters frequently have a greater energy efficiency rating. Gas systems are more effective since they produce more heat from the fuel’s energy.

With that said, in recent years, improvements in electric water heater technology have increased their efficacy.

6. Restoration Rate


Gas water heaters can heat and replace hot water more quickly since they often recover faster.

However, due to their slower recovery times, electric water tends to have longer wait times which can be a disadvantage for periods of heavy demand.

7. Impact on the Environment


Because fossil fuels are burned during the operation of gas water heaters, carbon emissions are produced.

On the other hand, if fueled by renewable energy systems, electric water heaters have less influence on the environment.

8. Considerations for Safety

Proper ventilation is necessary for gas water heaters; alternatively, electric water heaters do not require ventilation, which lowers the dangers of carbon monoxide exposure or gas leaks.

9. Initial Expenses

Due to the requirement for gas line installation, ventilation systems, and other related components, gas water heaters have greater upfront costs. While electric water heaters are frequently more inexpensive since all you need is to purchase them.

10. Reliability

Gas water heaters may continue to produce hot water even when the power is interrupted due to its power source. Because electric water heaters depend on electricity to run, they are inoperable during blackouts.

Advantages and Disadvantages

1. Gas water heater

  • Waiting time for hot water is shorter.
  • Reduced ongoing operational costs, meaning natural gas is frequently less expensive than electricity,
  • Guarantee a steady supply of hot water, even if there is a blackout
  • Ideal for larger families with high hot water demands because of quicker recovery rates
  • Greater upfront costs, although there is a tankless gas water heater.
  • Additional installation considerations for the ventilation system
  • A higher environmental footprint due to carbon emissions
  • Risks of gas leaks and carbon monoxide exposure, if not installed, maintained, or used properly.

2. Electric water heater

  • A tankless electric water heater has lower initial costs
  • Only need a power source, thus cheaper and simpler installation
  • Ventilation is not required, raising fewer safety issues.
  • Quiet operation
  • Take longer to heat and have a longer recovery time.
  • May have greater long-term operational costs.
  • With no backup power source, electric water heaters stops during power outages

Which One is Better? Gas or Electric Water Heater?


Are electric water heaters good? How about gas-powered water heaters? The “better” option between gas and electric water heaters ultimately comes down to your requirements, objectives, and limitations.

To choose the best that meets your needs, it is advisable to weigh the aspects mentioned in this section.

  • Take into account the price of electricity and natural gas in your location.
  • Due to the necessity for ventilation systems and the installation of gas lines, gas water heaters have more expensive upfront costs. The initial cost of heating an electric water heater is typically lower.
  • Gas water heaters frequently have faster recovery times, making them ideal for homes with multiple people or a high demand for hot water. If you need a lot of hot water, the slower recovery time of electric water heaters could be a factor.
  • Gas water heaters are helpful in places that frequently experience blackouts or in situations where a steady supply of hot water is required since they can keep producing hot water even when the power is out.
  • Gas water heaters have ventilation needs and the potential for gas leaks or carbon monoxide exposure, which pose safety issues. Switching from gas to electric water heater can ensure safe use for your family.
  • When making a decision, take your environmental priorities into account. While electric water heaters can be more environmentally friendly if powered by renewable energy sources or high-efficiency systems, gas water heaters contribute to carbon emissions.


Making an informed choice between gas vs electric water heater requires weighing these advantages and disadvantages against your requirements, preferences, and limits.

Before selecting the best one for your home, consider factors like hot water usage, energy efficiency, installation needs, monthly cost, safety considerations, and others.

5/5 - (1 vote)