Buying a Residential Electric Water Heater
Usually, gas water heaters are known to cost less than electric models for heating water. Gas is simply more efficient because it heats faster and uses less energy while doing so, compared to an electric unit. However, there should be more involved in your decision on a water heater than faster heating and potentially cheaper fuel costs.
Although the basic price difference between gas and electricity, along with the efficiency of gas heat may persuade you to choose a gas water heater over an electric tank, there are a number of reasons why an electric water heater is a better choice than a gas one.
Safety is a major concern when deciding between a gas or an electric water heater. The chances of an explosion from a gas leak are much greater than electrocution from faulty wiring to your tank. Also, the potential for damage to your home after an explosion is much greater than the damage an electric tank can do.
Installing a Timer to an Electric Tank
The ability to install a timer to an electric water tank greatly reduces the the energy which is wasted keeping the water hot even though it isn't being used. With a timer you can set the tank to come on early enough to heat the water for your morning shower and then shut off for the rest of the day, while the house is empty, until it is needed again in the evening.
With a gas water heater, you need to vent the exhaust through the flu. This requires you to install PVC tubing up through your home and out your roof. However, with an electric water heater, you only have to install a special outlet or run a bare wire to the unit.
Gas water heaters require at least 6-18" of ventilation around all sides and top of the tank. This means that they can't be installed in a closet or crawlspace. An electric tank can be installed in confined spaces without fear of gas buildup or an explosion.
Since electric water heaters use less parts, and these parts come in contact with less heat, they can last years longer than a gas water heater.
Electric water heaters cost less than gas heaters of the same size.