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Should I Buy an Electric Water Heater? Gas vs. Electric, Pros and Cons


Published in Home Articles

27 million American households have water heaters that are 10 years old.

Since heaters have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, that means 27 million American households should start thinking about replacing that old water heater today.

If you’re deciding between an electric water heater and a gas water heater, it can be challenging to know which option to go with.

Save yourself from an unexpected cold shower. Read on to make an informed choice about which water heater is right for you.

Gas and Electric Water Heater Differences

When shopping for a new water heater, the two main options to choose between are gas and electric. Gas water heaters are the more traditional water heater that uses a pilot light that burns using natural gas to heat water. Electric water heaters use electricity to heat the water.

Both gas and electric water heaters come in many different varieties. For example, some water heaters are tankless and heat water as needed, while others have large storage tanks to hold hot water.

When choosing between the two, here are some of the most important factors to consider.

Up-Front Cost

The upfront gas water heater cost is generally more expensive than the upfront electric water heater cost. This is because, in addition to the price of the water heater itself, up-front water heater costs include the cost of water heater installation.

Gas water heaters are more complicated to install than electric water heaters. They must be safely connected to gas lines and properly vented a more complex installation process.


On average, 19% of a home’s total energy consumption is used for heating water. That comes out to about $400 to $600 per year. With water heating taking up such a significant chunk of your monthly gas or electric bill, it’s essential to choose the most efficient heater.

Hiring a professional plumbing service is crucial to ensure you are getting the best performance and efficiency from your new gas or electric water heater.

Natural gas is generally cheaper than electricity. However, it is a non-renewable resource, meaning that electric water heaters are the more energy-conscious choice. Additionally, electric water heaters typically have higher efficiency ratings.


Maintenance costs for water heaters can vary greatly. A tankless water heater system can last for up to 20 years and are far easier to repair than storage water heaters. Tankless water heaters can be either gas or electric.

However, electric water heaters are generally less expensive to repair than gas water heaters. Electric water heaters have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, while the life span of gas water heaters is 8 to 12 years.

Find the Best Water Heater For You

Water heater costs, efficiency, and maintenance vary greatly. The right water heater for you will factor in these three components and the water heater’s performance.

If you found this guide helpful, be sure to check out our other articles to find all the home improvement answers you’re looking for.




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