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Deciding on Water Heaters: Natural Gas or Electric?

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  • Deciding on Water Heaters: Natural Gas or Electric?

23 nov

Deciding on Water Heaters: Natural Gas or Electric?

The decision to heat your home's water supply by natural gas or electricity is a common one. Though each option has its own pros and cons, decisions are usually driven by the home's specifications like structure, code and energy supply. In North America, on average 60% of homes use natural gas to heat their water while 40% use electricity.

Comparison Electric Natural Gas
Works in power outage No Yes
Average Life Span 13 years 12 years
Recovery Rate 14 gallons/hour 50 gallons/hour
Average Lifetime Cost $6,769 $5,394
Average Initial Cost $300 - $2,880 $250 - $1,500
Model Storage, tankless, heat pump Storage, tankless, condensing
Efficiency 0.90 0.60
Natural gas water heaters use heat from a burner while electric tanks use coils that circle the interior walls of the storage tank. There are a number of things to consider when making the choice - especially if you have both options available to you.

A natural gas water heater can reheat a 50 gallon tank in about an hour where an electric water heater can take several hours to heat once it has been emptied. Another thing to consider is that a natural gas water heater will continue to keep your water supply heated in the event of a power outage, while the electric option can not.

Until recently, electric water heaters were slightly more energy efficient due to heat loss from exhaust gasses from the storage tank. However, new high-efficient tanks are very energy efficient today. Consider the fact that natural gas is cheaper than electricity - you will be further financially ahead with a high efficient natural gas water heater.

Typically, traditional gas and electric water heaters are very similar in price, however over the lifetime of the average unit a natural gas unit will save about $114 per year. We understand that some homes may not have the option to choose from given energy supply and codes, but if you have both options available to you, the information provided in this article may help you determine the right fit.

At 4 Seasons Heating, Cooling & Electrical we are experts in hot water heaters. We have the ability to not only supply you with a product that fits with your home's specs, budget and lifestyle, we are also able to take care of any gas or electrical updates that may need to be done. For a free, in-home, no-obligation consultation regarding your next water heat, or for service contact us by phone at (204) 953-5700 or book online by clicking here.
Tag: Hot Water