gas vs electric water heater

Gas vs. Electric Water Heater? Tank or Tankless: A Full Guide for Homeowners

Selecting the ideal water heater for your home presents a multifaceted decision, often laden with challenges. The marketplace offers an array of options, and it’s crucial to delve into the distinctions and advantages inherent in each type. The debate between gas vs. electric tankless water heaters is ongoing among homeowners. Each type has its own advantages and challenges, and the choice often depends on your home’s infrastructure, your family’s needs, and your environmental concerns. 

This comprehensive guide seeks to disentangle the intricacies by exploring both gas and electric water heaters, including traditional tank models as well as more contemporary tankless ones and their respective pros and cons.

By navigating through this detailed exploration, homeowners will gain valuable insights, empowering them to make ideal decisions tailored to their specific needs. From the efficiency of heating methods to the considerations of energy costs, this guide will serve as a reliable roadmap, assisting you in navigating the maze of water heater choices. It helps you invest in a system that aligns seamlessly with your lifestyle and home requirements.

Understanding Water Heaters

Before delving deeper into the specific types and functionalities of water heaters, it’s essential to gain an understanding of their fundamental principles of operation. Water heaters generally fall into two main categories: tank-type and tankless. Each type operates differently and caters to different needs and preferences. An important aspect to remember, regardless of the type you choose, is the importance of maintenance. Regular water heater maintenance is key to ensuring the efficiency and longevity of your water heater, whether it’s a tank-type or a tankless model.

Tank Water Heaters

Tank, or storage water heaters, are the most frequently found water heating units in homes. They store an ample volume of hot water, typically 20-80 gallons at a preset temperature and make it available throughout the home whenever it’s required.

Tankless Water Heaters

These are also referred to as on-demand or instant water heaters, representing a more modern approach to heating water. Unlike their tank counterparts, tankless units do not store hot water. Instead, they heat water directly as it passes through a mesh of pipes. Upon opening the hot water tap, cold water travels through a pipe, where it is swiftly heated by either a gas burner or an electric element.

Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

Thinking: which is better, a gas or electric water heater? Let us discuss their pros and cons.

Gas Water Heaters

Gas water heaters are widely recognized for their quick heating ability and overall efficiency, making them a preferred choice for larger households with high hot water demands. However, it’s important to note that, like any appliance, they are still prone to malfunctions. Regular maintenance and timely repairs are essential to ensure their longevity and consistent performance.


Faster Heating Time: Gas water heaters heat water more quickly than electric models, ensuring a more consistent and readily available hot water supply.

Lower Operational Costs: In many regions, natural gas is cheaper than electricity, which can translate to lower monthly energy bills.

Functional During Power Outages: Since they don’t rely on electricity, gas water heaters continue to provide hot water even during power outages.


Higher Initial Installation Cost: Installing a gas water heater can be more expensive, primarily due to the need for a gas line and venting system.

Requires Venting for Combustion: Gas heaters’ combustion process releases exhaust that needs venting outside, increasing the complexity and cost of installation.

Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters have long been prized for their ease, safety, and quick installation process. They make an excellent choice for smaller households or in areas without readily available natural gas supplies.


Higher Energy Efficiency: Electric water heaters are generally more energy-efficient than gas models, as they don’t lose heat through venting.

Easier and Cheaper Installation: These units are typically easier as well as less expensive to install since they don’t require a gas line or venting system.

No Need for Venting: Electric water heaters don’t produce combustion gasses, eliminating the need for a venting system.


Slower Heating Time: Electric models usually take more time to heat water compared to gas heaters, which can be a drawback during high usage periods.

Higher Operational Costs: Depending on local electricity prices, electric water heaters can be more costly to operate than gas models.

The choice between gas and electric water heaters ultimately depends on your unique needs. However, when considering efficiency, the question often arises: ‘Which is more efficient, a gas or electric water heater?’ Generally, the electric model is noted for its efficiency. If you’re in New Hampshire and looking for expert assistance in making this decision, our water heater installation services in Derry and surrounding NH areas are readily available to help. We provide professional guidance and installation services, ensuring you choose the best option for your home’s specific requirements.

Similarly Read About: Troubleshooting Low Hot Water Pressure

Gas vs. Electric Tankless Water Heater

Have a question: gas or electric tankless water heater? Here’s the answer.

Gas tankless water heaters stand out for their ability to meet high demands for hot water, making them a great choice for larger households. Their most significant advantages include providing an instant and continuous hot water supply, and typically, they have lower operational costs compared to their electric counterparts. However, it’s important to consider their higher initial cost and the need for a proper venting system due to the combustion process.

Conversely, electric tankless water heaters suit smaller households or areas where gas line installation isn’t feasible. Their compact size offers versatile installation options in various spaces. Generally, these electric models have a lower initial cost. However, it’s important to note that they may incur higher operational costs. In some cases, you might need to upgrade your home’s electrical system to accommodate the increased demand.

When considering the installation of a gas or electric tankless water heater, the expertise of a professional plumbing company plays a pivotal role. Skilled plumbers can offer valuable advice on the most suitable type for your specific needs, ensure safe and compliant installation, and provide essential maintenance tips. Their experience is crucial not only in the proper set-up of your new system but also in optimizing its performance and longevity.

Also Read About: Outdoor vs. Indoor Tankless Water Heater

Final Words: Making the Right Choice

Consider factors such as the availability of natural gas in your area, your usage patterns, and long-term operational costs before choosing between gas or electric water heaters, and tank or tankless models. If your family is large and uses significant amounts of hot water, gas-fueled tankless heaters might suit you better. On the other hand, for smaller households, electric and tank water heaters can offer simpler, more energy-efficient solutions. Ultimately, choose a heater that best fits your specific needs, preferences, and home conditions.

Daigle Plumbing can help you to make the right choice between several water heaters. We offer water heater repair, maintenance as well as installation services in Derry and surrounding New Hampshire areas. Contact us today for any queries.

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