Which is Better: A Gas or Electric Water Heater?

Like most appliances, water heaters have improved greatly in recent years. Today’s models are much more energy efficient. That’s why you probably couldn’t replace your existing water heater with the same exact model…and yet, you probably wouldn’t want to. Instead, you may be able to purchase a more efficient water heater that will reduce your monthly utility costs and operate more reliably than your previous system.

Look at it this way: some cars get 15 miles to a gallon, while other, more efficient vehicles can go 30 miles or more on a gallon of gas. In the same way, some water heaters use energy more efficiently. Buy one of those and you’ll spend less money each month to get the same amount of hot water.

Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

Gas water heaters use natural gas to heat water.  A chamber filled with water is heated by burning the gas. The main benefit of a gas water heater is energy conservation; since the heating process is gradual, less energy is consumed. With a gas water heater, you also are able to control the rate and extent of heating.

By contrast, electric water heaters use a copper coil is to change electric energy into heat energy. Electric units can heat water very quickly and can reach very hot temperatures.

Advantages of Natural Gas Water Heaters

  1. Quick recovery.  Gas water heaters recover twice as fast as electric units. 
  2. Lower operating costs. Typically cost less to operate than electric storage tank models.
  3. Safety. Natural gas water heaters have an excellent safety record, especially when properly maintained.
  4. Minimal environmental impact. Of all the fossil fuels, gas burns the most efficiently.

Advantages of Electric Water Heaters

  1. Lower purchase cost. Electric water heaters cost up to $700 than gas models.
  2. Lower installation cost.
  3. Longer lifespan.  Natural gas water heaters have built-in corrosive elements that typically shorten their lifespan when compared to electric water heaters.
  4. No greenhouse emissions. Electric water heaters are more environmentally friendly than gas.

Which type is right for you?  It’s not an easy choice, especially when you factor in another popular option:  tankless water heaters.  We’ll cover these in a future article.

For now, count on the professionals at Eagle Service Company to help you decide what’s best for you among all available options.  Contact us today for a free in-home estimate, including answers to all your questions.

How to Buy a New Water Heater

“I’d like the white one, please!”

If only it were that simple to buy a new or replacement water heater. If anything, the process has become more challenging ever since new federal energy conservation measures took effect in 2015.

On the flip side, you have more options than ever. And that means more ways to enjoy all the hot water your family needs while cutting your utility costs.

At Eagle Service Company, we’ll start by explaining water heater options that weren’t included even just a few years ago. Gas water heaters of 55 gallons or greater capacity, for example, have been replaced by gas condensing water heaters. Conventional electric water heaters in that same size category also have ceased to exist. But what took its place is much more energy efficient and environmentally friendly:  electric hybrid heat pump water heaters.

Conversely, let’s say you have a smallish home or live in a condo with a 40-gallon water heater and you’re looking for a replacement unit, gas or electric. Well, if your current water heater fits the space it’s in with no room to spare, we have a challenge on our hands. Newer water heaters are bigger to accommodate the added insulation required for them to meet stricter energy efficiency standards.

And then there are tankless water heaters. That’s right – no storage tank but, with the right size system, all the hot water you need. Plus, they can be installed almost anywhere, including inside a closet.

All of which suggests that you would do well to partner up with Eagle Service Company before venturing too far into “new water heater land”. We’ll help you determine just how much hot water your family relies on every day, and go from there. Ultimately, we’ll recommend what we consider best for you home, family, and budget. Because at Eagle, nothing else matters.