You made the decision to buy either an electric or gas water heater, but find yourself at a crossroad and don’t know what type pick? Hopefully, this would help you narrow it down, and at the same time give you enough information that you can do the weighing process yourself.
Calculating and Weighing in
First off, you need to do some simple math and add the GPM (gallons per minute) of every appliance that you use. This is called flow rate, and it will have huge impact on the kind of water heater you really need. Once you have done that and have decided that you don’t need a conventional tank for hot heater, it’s time to weigh the pros and cons of whether to use gas or electricity.
Now, you probably already know how tankless water heaters operate, and that you get hot water instantaneously instead of waiting for a tank to fill up. The question, however, is whether to use gas or electricity. Gas or electricity has its own vices, thus selecting one can be sometimes confusing and a painful process. Here’s some important things to consider for either getting a gas or energy-based heater.
Pros and Cons
Gas heaters, on principle, have higher flow rates than their electrical counterparts, but their efficiency is smaller, around 85% compared to the electrical 98%. Gas heaters are also more expensive, in terms of installation, again, depending on the cost of the gas itself and the installation condition in your home. Sometimes gas can be more expensive in an area that buying an electricity heater will be the more viable choice, but bear in mind that, as mentioned before, electricity heaters may add additional installation costs. In any case, you have to do these calculations yourself to know which type to pick.
Another factor to consider is the annual costs. In general, operational costs for gas heaters are less, around 15% than electrical, assuming the average costs of electricity and propane and natural are roughly scaled the same. In the long-run, even if gas might save you a couple of bucks per year, the efficiency ratio of electric heaters may outweigh that advantage. It is reported that they also have longer lifespan.
For some families, when deciding whether to buy gas or electric, the safety of the heater plays a significantly vital role in that decision. While modern technology makes that risk insignificant, with gas heaters in particular, certain households sleep better at night knowing that electric heaters have virtually no chance of “exploding”, thus they opt for this type of heater, disregarding any other cost factor.
Which to Choose
Regardless of what type of energy source you intend to use for your water heater, the best location to put them on is in the near proximity of the energy source itself. This will ensure quick turnaround time and avoid the fluctuation of cold water sometimes coming out of the heater. Statistics show that on average more people have chosen to go with the electric heater, due to the relatively high initial cost of installing gas heaters and its rather complicated maintenance requirement.