gas vs electric water heater

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

Choosing the right water heater for your home is a complex decision with many options to consider. The market provides various choices, and understanding the differences and benefits of each type is essential. Homeowners often debate between gas and electric tankless water heaters, as both have unique advantages and challenges. Your decision may depend on your home’s infrastructure, your family’s needs, and environmental considerations.

This guide aims to clarify the complexities by examining both gas and electric water heaters, including traditional tank and modern tankless models, along with their pros and cons. Through this exploration, homeowners will gain insights to help them make informed decisions suited to their specific needs. Covering everything from heating efficiency to energy cost considerations, this guide will act as a helpful guide in your water heater selection process. It will aid you in choosing a system that fits well with your lifestyle and home requirements.

Understanding Water Heaters

To better understand water heaters, it’s important to first grasp their basic operating principles. There are two main types: tank-type and tankless. Each functions differently and suits various needs and preferences. Regardless of the type you choose, remember that maintenance is crucial. Regular upkeep is essential for both tank-type and tankless water heaters to maintain their efficiency and extend their lifespan.

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.

Tankless Water Heater Gas or Electric

Wondering whether to choose a gas tankless water heater, a propane tankless water heater, or an electric model? Here’s what you need to know.

Gas tankless water heaters, including models using propane, are ideal for meeting high hot water demands, making them a great fit for larger households. Their advantages are plentiful: they provide instant and continuous hot water and generally have lower operational costs compared to electric or gas tankless heaters. However, consider their higher upfront cost and the necessity for a proper venting system due to combustion.

On the flip side, electric tankless water heaters are more suitable for smaller households or areas without gas lines. These units are compact, offering flexible installation in different spaces. Typically, electric models cost less initially but be aware that they might lead to higher operational costs. Upgrading your home’s electrical system might be necessary to support these heaters.

When installing a gas or electric tankless water heater, including propane models, the expertise of a professional plumbing company is invaluable. They can advise on the best type for your needs, ensure safe installation in compliance with regulations, and offer maintenance tips. Their experience is key not only in setting up your system correctly but also in maximizing its efficiency and lifespan.

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.

Similarly, Read About Troubleshooting Low Hot Water Pressure