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Gas v. Electric Water Heaters: Which is More Efficient?

1st Feb 2019

For all homes and nearly all businesses hot water is an absolute necessity. In a residence it means having hot water on hand to bath, cook and clean. In a commercial establishment, a restaurant for example, it could directly impact profits and customer retention. Therefore, knowing how to choose a hot water heater that is energy efficient is the best way to lower your energy costs and provide on demand hot water when it is needed. Here, we tell you what you need to know before buying an electric or gas water heater so you can pick the best option for your home or business.

Gas Water Heaters

Plumbers are often asked which of water type is best. The truth of the matter is that both have their distinct advantages and disadvantages to consider. It very much depends on which features the consumer values the most. The pros for owning a gas water heater are:

  • Rapid heating: Gas heater heat up water much quicker. This can be extremely helpful for businesses that must quickly heat up large volumes of water such as restaurants, etc.
  • Lower operating costs: Gas is usually cheaper than electricity in many parts of the world. So, even though the initial cost of installing a gas water heater may be higher than installing an electric heater, you are more likely to save on energy costs by choosing the former.
  • Gas heaters can work without electricity: During a power outage you do not have to worry about not having hot water to cook with, bath in or wash with.


  • The risk of gas explosion: Unfortunately, with gas water heaters there is always the risk of an explosion if you encounter a leak in the gas line leading to the heater or if the heater is poorly maintained.
  • The initial costs are high: As we said, gas water heater installation can be rather pricey in the short term.

Electric Water Heaters

On the other hand, many people prefer to use electric heaters. Here are some reasons for this.

  • Convenience and ease of use: Electric water heaters generally take less effort to operate. You do not have to worry about lighting the pilot and turning the gas on.
  • Easier and lower installation costs: Installation is a major concern to home and business owners when purchasing a water heater. Electric water heaters do not require the installation a new ventilation system as many gas heaters do. Thus, installation costs are lower.


  • No electricity, no hot water: If your home or business experiences a black-out your electric water heater will go with it. Therefore will be unable to heat water for cooking, showering, etc.
  • More expensive in the long run: As we stated earlier, electric is more expensive in the long run than gas. You can therefore expect your energy bills to be larger with an electric water heater than they are with a gas heater.

There you have it. This should be enough information for you to know the difference between the two and for you to be able to decide which best suits your needs. When you have decided, take a look at our Rheem Ruud universal commercial water heater our AO Smith 100 gallon water heater and our other products. They are all guaranteed to meet your home or business water heating needs.  rheem-g76-180-25803.1447273988.jpg