Gas and electric water heaters are two water heater options.

Gas or Electric Water Heaters: Which Is Better?

Are you seeing signs that your water heater may need replacing? If you are, you may be considering either gas heaters or electric water heaters.

In today’s post, we’ll talk about and explore the differences between these two water heater options. We hope the information you find here will help decide which type suits your household.

Cost Upfront

When looking at the costs of electric water heaters and gas heaters, you can look at them in two ways: initial and ongoing expenses.

When it comes to gas water heaters, the initial cost of buying it is more expensive. Comparing it to electric water heaters, you are paying more for the gas kind.

The installation of gas water heaters is also more expensive than the electric counterpart. This is because a gas water heater entails more complicated instructions to set up and put together.

Operating Costs

While gas water heaters are more expensive to install, the long-term expense is cheaper compared to electric water heaters. A standard style of tank water heaters can last 10 to 12 years. On the other hand, tankless water heaters can last a minimum of two decades. When you save on operating costs, one option is more affordable than the other over the longevity of the unit.

However, specific operating expenses may vary depending on where you live. In areas where natural gas doesn’t cost as much, gas heaters are cheaper to operate than electric.

According to, gas appliances can help lower utility expenses by up to 30%. While you have to pay more to buy gas appliances initially, you are saving on the utility bills throughout the water heater’s life.

Size of the Water Heater

Even if it’s an electric or gas water heater, the tankless option is always going to be the smaller variety. The smaller size is because tankless water heaters don’t need a bigger unit to mount on the wall.

Conventional water heaters need larger tanks to operate. They require a bigger tank because they need the capacity to store more heated water.

Electric water heaters are typically smaller than the gas counterpart. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, you may be better off getting an electric water heater for your household.

Installation of the Water Heater

When it comes to installation, an electric water heater is easier and more straightforward to install than the gas variety. Electric ones also need less power to work.

Compared to electric water heaters, the gas variety is more complex to install.

Gas water heaters need safe and secure gas line connections to function correctly and safely.

On top of that, gas water heaters need adequate ventilation, which also means more work to install.

Additionally, if you are making the switch from an electric to a gas unit, the installation is going to be more laborious. Even if you already have a supply of natural gas in your household, you will need to run a new gas line for your water heater – if you don’t have a line yet.


In the efficiency category, we have to give it to electric water heaters. The electric kind tends to offer more efficiency than gas units. When you use gas water heaters, the heat will need to escape through the ventilation, which makes the operation of the unit less efficient.

Gas and Electric Water Heaters: Availability of Power Source

Most homeowners prefer to have the same power source availability for a new heater. This is the favored option because there are already existing power lines.

Every modern home has electricity, so most would opt for an electric water heater. If your home had a gas heater, the decision to switch to an electric unit is always going to be an available option.

Heating Time of Water Heaters

Water heaters are important in daily living.

The length of heating time is one of the most important purchasing factors for consumers.

Naturally, you would want the heater to heat up the water as quickly as possible, so you don’t end up with cold water when you need to take a shower.

Typically, gas water heaters have faster heating time than the electric model.

This feature is advantageous for households with several members without everyone waiting for hot water to come out.


All appliances come with their own operational risks – especially if not installed, maintained, or repaired correctly.

Thus, it’s important to follow the guidelines of manufacturers and professionals for both gas and electric water heaters.