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Jun 17

Electric vs. Gas Water Heater

Energy bill paper forms on the table closeup

When looking to replace your water heater, you’re left to decide between two fuel options: electric and gas. As someone who is most likely unfamiliar with the benefits and drawbacks of either type, you may be unsure which water heater is right for your home. First Chicago Plumbing can help you determine which fuel type will best suit your home.

How do they operate?

It’s typical to replace your water heater with the fuel type that you already have in your home, meaning you would replace an electric water heater with electric and a gas unit with gas. However, it is entirely possible to switch fuel types.

Gas Water Heaters

Gas water heaters require a steady stream of gas, either propane or natural gas. If your house is connected to natural gas, it will have a steady stream that you can utilize for the heater. Propane heaters use a tank of propane, which must be located outside, that has to be refilled by local contractors.

Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters typically require the use of a 240-volt circuit.

Efficiency

If you’re replacing a water heater that is ten years or older, a new model will automatically be more efficient. Typically, electric water heaters tend to be more effective than their gas counterparts. 

Operating Costs

When comparing the varying fuel types for heaters, it’s important to look at the operating cost of each unit. Typically, gas water heaters will be more expensive to install, but less expensive in the long-term. On the other hand, electric water heaters are typically less expensive to install but can be expensive to operate; this cost is due to the cost of electricity in comparison to the cost of natural gas. When comparing operating costs, take into consideration installation costs, local fuel costs, and the specs of the specific water heater you are considering.

Carbon Footprint

An electric water heater will be more eco-friendly than a gas one, which uses natural gas, a non-renewable resource, to heat the water. Electric water heaters may be able to be connected to the utility grid, allowing them to receive a portion of their power from a renewable resource. Electric water heaters can also be solar-powered. 

When looking to replace your water heater, you’re left to decide between two fuel options: electric and gas. As someone who is most likely unfamiliar with the benefits and drawbacks of either type, you may be unsure which water heater is right for your home. First Chicago Plumbing can help you determine which fuel type will best suit your home.

Infrastructure

It’s typical to replace your water heater with the fuel type that you already have in your home, meaning you would replace an electric water heater with electric and a gas water heater with gas. However, it is entirely possible to switch fuel types.

Gas Water Heaters

Gas water heaters require a steady stream of gas, either propane or natural gas. If your house is connected to natural gas, it will have a steady stream that you can utilize for the heater. Propane heaters use a tank of propane, which must be located outside, that has to be refilled by local contractors.

Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters typically require the use of a 240-volt circuit.

Efficiency

If you’re replacing a water heater that is ten years or older, a new model will automatically be more efficient. Typically, electric water heaters tend to be more effective than their gas counterparts. 

Operating Costs

When comparing the varying fuel types for heaters, it’s important to look at the operating cost of each unit. Typically, gas water heaters will be more expensive to install, but less expensive in the long-term. On the other hand, electric water heaters are typically less expensive to install but can be expensive to operate; this cost is due to the cost of electricity in comparison to the cost of natural gas. When comparing operating costs, take into consideration installation costs, local fuel costs, and the specs of the specific water heater you are considering.

Carbon Footprint

An electric water heater will be more eco-friendly than a gas water heater, which uses natural gas, a non-renewable resource, to heat the water. Electric water heaters may be able to be connected to the utility grid, allowing them to receive a portion of their power from a renewable resource. Electric water heaters can also be solar-powered. 

When considering replacing your water heater, it’s beneficial to talk with an expert about which unit would best fit your needs. At First Chicago Plumbing, we would love to guide you through the process. To learn more about our services, give us a call at (773) 661-7969.

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