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Gas vs Electric Water Heater: What’s Right for You?

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When it comes to selecting a water heater for your home, you’re faced with numerous options. 

Among them, gas and electric water heaters are the most common choices. Understanding the pros and cons of each can help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences. In this article, we’ll explore the features of gas and electric water heaters, so you can determine which one is right for you.

Gas Water Heater

Gas water heaters are powered by natural gas or propane. Here are the key advantages and disadvantages of choosing a gas water heater:


  • Lower Monthly Cost: Gas water heaters generally have lower operating costs compared to electric models. Gas is often less expensive than electricity, which can lead to significant savings on your monthly utility bills.
  • Faster Heating: Gas water heaters tend to heat water more quickly than electric models, ensuring you have hot water available for your needs without long wait times.
  • No Interruptions from Power Outages: Gas water heaters do not rely on electricity to operate. This means that even during a power outage, you’ll still have access to hot water, making them ideal for areas prone to frequent power interruptions.


  • Slightly Less Efficient: Gas water heaters may have slightly lower energy efficiency compared to their electric counterparts. However, advancements in technology have minimized this difference, making modern gas water heaters more efficient than ever.
  • Smaller Range of Sizes: Gas water heaters typically come in a narrower range of sizes compared to electric models. This may limit your options if you have specific space constraints or require a larger capacity unit.
  • May Need to Be Relit: Gas water heaters with pilot lights may occasionally require relighting if the flame extinguishes. While not a significant inconvenience, it’s a maintenance task that you’ll need to keep in mind.

Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters utilize electric resistance elements to heat water. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of electric water heaters to consider:


  • Never Needs to Be Relit, No Pilot Light: Electric water heaters don’t have a pilot light, eliminating the need for relighting. This convenience makes them hassle-free and requires less maintenance.
  • Easier Hookup: Electric water heaters are typically easier to install and hook up compared to gas models. They don’t require venting or gas lines, making them a more straightforward choice for installation.
  • More Efficient: Electric water heaters have higher energy efficiency ratings, translating to lower energy consumption. This can result in reduced operating costs over time.


  • Higher Operating Cost: Electric water heaters tend to have higher operating costs compared to gas models due to the cost of electricity. However, the overall cost difference will depend on your local utility rates.
  • Slower to Heat Water Than Gas: Electric water heaters generally take longer to heat water compared to gas models. This can be a consideration if you have high hot water demand or frequently use multiple hot water appliances simultaneously.
  • Won’t Operate in Power Outages: Electric water heaters rely on a continuous supply of electricity. In the event of a power outage, they will not function until power is restored.

Choosing the Right Option

When choosing between gas and electric water heaters, consider your specific requirements, budget, and local utility rates. For expert advice and professional installation, contact Dupree Plumbing. We have extensive experience in helping homeowners select and install the right water heater to meet their unique needs.