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Gas vs Electric Hot Water Systems: 5 Ways to Help You Decide

18 July

No repair is enough to fix your hot water system. Well, nothing lasts forever, so let’s shop for a replacement.

You can try new models or stick to your old and tested brand. But you need to consider your budget. A hot water system is a significant investment, but you could save some back on your bill rather than maintain a faulty one or buy a low-quality one.

You must also think about how much hot water you need, whether to have a water tank or go tankless. Take into account also your water usage, property and household size. And consider how energy efficient you want to be. For every model and type, there are advantages and disadvantages.

Gas vs Electric Hot Water – What are your options?

What should you choose if you need a new hot water system installed?

Will you go gas or electric?

For most households, heating water accounts for a quarter or more of the entire energy bill. It means the gas vs electric hot water question is one you need to get right.

Both gas and electric types of hot water systems are available as storage units, where heated water is stored in an insulated tank or instantaneous ‘tankless’ systems, and water is heated on demand.

Let’s get the lowdown on gas vs electric with the important things to know about each and give you a more informed decision.

1. Efficiency

Regarding efficiency, look at their respective energy factors (EF). The higher efficiency heaters will have higher EF numbers. This number evaluates how effective a water heater is at producing hot water. It also measures how much fuel or electricity is required to heat your water.

Electric water heaters win out from an efficiency perspective with an EF that can go higher than 0.9 compared to conventional gas water heaters.

Most of the energy loss from gas water heaters are during the venting process, which doesn’t occur in an electric water heater.

But with climate change now on everyone’s lips, households and governments are trying to spruik more efficient alternatives.

2. Installation

With an up-front price and because they’re easy to install or replace, electric hot water is still a prevalent choice.

Gas models cost more upfront and are more costly in maintenance and installation.

Gas water heaters need a more complicated installation that includes a ventilation system. If you’re switching to a gas water heater, PVC pipes will be required to vent through the roof. You will also need to perform regular maintenance and repair for this ventilation system when the water heater is replaced.

3. Operating Costs

Despite the higher upfront cost, most gas water heaters make up for this price difference within a year, so long as they are well maintained. And your energy bills will likely be lower with a gas water heater.

You’ll likely spend less money overall if heating your water supply with gas. Natural gas is one of the cheapest sources of energy, and in most cases, the cost of electricity will be much higher.

But technology is speeding ahead to make electric hot water options that involve off-peak rates to heat water overnight, which is less costly.

4. Safety

Like any other appliance run on gas, water heaters are susceptible to gas leaks if they run on propane or natural gas. This can be a health hazard and poses a danger to your property and safety.

Although with proper maintenance and periodic inspections, you can lessen the threat with your gas water heater. But you’ll never experience this with your electric hot water system. And electrical safety issues are less than the high risk of gas leaks.

5. Lifespan

A continuous flow gas-powered hot water system has an average lifespan of 15-20 years with proper care. An electric hot water system can last at least 8- 12 years, depending on whether it is a tank system or tankless.

How you take care of your hot water system also weighs on its lifespan. If you maintain it well and promptly respond to issues, you can double the lifespan of your hot water system, be it gas or electric.

Gas vs Electric Water Heater: Which one gets our vote?

So, the verdict is in – in the gas vs electric hot water race, which is the winner?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Our final piece of advice is to grab a piece of paper and a pen and answer these questions:

  1. What are energy sources available at your house?
  2. How many people live at your home?
  3. Summarise your day-to-day lifestyle
  4. How much space do you have for hot water systems?
  5. Are you satisfied with your old hot water system?

With your answers, reach out to the friendly experts at Gold Coast Plumbing Company at 1300 792 041! We’ll be delighted to provide you with advice at the first phone call! We can help you pick the best hot water unit for you and your home. And for maintenance and repair from instantaneous hot water systems to electric hot water system, gas hot water systems, and other plumbing problems, we’ve got your back. We do dozens upon dozens of gas or electric installations and replacements in houses near you every year.

We look forward to your call.