When the need for a new water heater arises, often people wonder whether they should purchase a gas water heater or an electric water heater. Of course, one of the deciding factors is which one will be the most efficient for their home. While this is one of the aspects of choosing a water heater, there are a few more things to look for as well.
One is the lifespan of the water heater and the features they provide is another. The following will look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Electric Water Heaters Vs. Gas Water Heaters
Two water heaters that can be used for comparison when it comes to energy efficiency are the PowerStar AE125 Water Heater by Bosch and the Rinnai RC80HPi. The Bosch AE125 is a tankless electric water heater and has an energy factor of 0.90 and the Rinnai is a tankless gas model and has an energy factor of 0.96. Of these two particular models, the gas model is more efficient.
If you look at another gas water heater, the Rheem 22DV40F direct vent has only an efficiency rating of .59. Therefore, the energy savings on the water heater you purchase is going to depend on several things. The difference in savings is not as clear-cut as purchasing either an electric unit or a gas unit. The energy efficiency will be determined by the type and model of the water heater.
When choosing between a gas water heater and an electric water heater, looking at the cost of installation will be another factor. The electric water heater is typically less expensive to install. The gas water heater will need to be installed by a licensed professional since gas pipes and venting are involved. If a gas line is not already installed in the home, one will have to be put in place. This can be expensive.
An electric water heater is easier to install as long as the proper wiring is in place. Circuit breakers for the heater will also have to be installed if the home did not previously have an electric water heater. The cost of an electrician to install the wiring and breakers is an expense that will need to be figured into the choice of the water heater purchase.
Here are a few other factors to consider.
- Life Expectancy – Electric water heaters usually last longer than gas water heaters. This is because the gas units are more prone to corrosion from the mineral and/or iron content of the water and the deterioration caused by the flame that burns at the bottom of the water heater.
- Water Replenishment – The electric water heater usually takes longer to replace the hot water that is used than a gas water heater does.
- Wasted Energy – The gas water heater will generally waste more energy than an electric water heater due to combustion and exhaust. All of the electricity used by an electric water heater is used for heating the water.
- Environment – An electric water heater does not emit CO2 into the air. Therefore, the electric water heater is more environmentally friendly.
Cost and Warranty of Electric and Gas Water Heaters
Price is another consideration when purchasing a water heater. There are many different prices and a tankless water heater, regardless of whether it is electric or gas will be more expensive. The cost of the water heater initially will vary for gas or electric depending upon the size of the water heater as well.
As an example, the Rinnai RC80HPi price can range from $1300 to $1700, which is average for a tankless water heater. The AE125 by Bosch will cost from $678 to $749 depending on where it is purchased. The 22DV40F Rheem direct vent water heater is approximately $958.
The warranties for the water heater are another consideration. A tankless water heater usually has at least a 10-year warranty on the heat exchanger and a one-year warranty on the other parts. They also have a longer life expectancy with some lasting 20 years or more. This includes both an electric and a gas water heater. The 22DV40F Rheem direct vent water heater has a 6-year warranty. The life of a conventional water heater is usually not more than 8 to 10 years.
The advantages and disadvantages of electric and gas water heaters as seen are quite diverse. The choice of the one that will be the best method for heating water for your home is not an easy choice; however, by comparing all the aspects of the types being considered, the right choice will be made.