Your water heater is one of the most important parts of your home's plumbing system, and just like every other major appliance on the market, there are multiple different models and types of water heaters available. However, water heaters can be broadly grouped into two common categories based on their fuel source: gas and electric-powered water heaters. While they both perform the same function, they do so with a different set of advantages and drawbacks, which means that you should understand the major differences between each type of water heater when deciding on which model to choose for your home.
Gas Water Heaters
Gas water heaters are extremely effective and quick when it comes to heating up water, which means that you have access to a supply of hot water for a longer period of time and will only have to wait a short while for the tank to refill with hot water, making it ideal for larger households. Another key advantage is that gas water heaters will work even in the event of a power outage, making them extremely reliable for rural homeowners.
The downside of choosing gas as the fuel source for your water heater is the fact that they require a natural gas line to be installed, which can be expensive if one does not already exist. Further, gas water heaters carry the risk of a gas leak or other dangerous safety concerns, which while rare, are still something to keep under consideration.
Electric Water Heaters
Electric water heaters tend to be less expensive to purchase and have installed than gas water heaters are, since they can simply be integrated into the existing wiring of your home by a licensed plumber. Beyond helping to keep the cost of your water heater down, this also means that no special line has to be installed, reducing the disruption that installation will have on your home. Electric water heaters are also extremely safe, with no risk of a gas leak or other complications that could prove to be dangerous within your home.
However, electric water heaters can take longer to actually heat up water, which means that you may have to wait long periods in between showers or other hot water use for the tank to refill itself. Electric water heaters can also be more expensive to operate over time, though this will depend on your local utility costs compared with the current cost of natural gas.
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