Home Maintenance : Gas vs. Electric Water Heater
First some clarification must be made. If you do not already have fuel lines in your house for natural gas appliances, adding them is very expensive – more than negating any savings in energy costs. Also, the initial cost to purchase and install a gas water heater is higher than an electric one, which also must be taken into consideration.
Now let’s assume you are strictly looking at the energy cost of running a natural gas versus electric water heater. A very good, scientific study was performed by the City of Statesboro, GA consisting of three tests. Here is what they found.
“Test #1 , between the traditional electric and gas tank water heaters, showed natural gas water heating operating costs to be 35% less than the electric water heating system operating costs.”
“Test #2 measured delivery (how much hot water can you get from the tank before you run out). The natural gas tank delivered 36% more hot water than the electric unit. That’s an extra 33.2 gallons of hot water for bathing, washing clothes and dishes.”
“Test #3 measured recovery (how much time does it take for the water heater to heat the incoming water to the desired temperature). The natural gas tank recovered 64% faster than the electric tank.”
AND THE WINNER IS…
Which costs less? Natural gas costs less strictly to run. Just remember all the other costs to get there if your house is not already set up for natural gas. The payback period in cost savings may exceed your lifespan.
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