Homeowners should definitely be aware of the differences between gas and electric water heaters. The biggest difference is their overall efficiency and output—electric is one of the most inefficient ways to heat water, whereas gas is a much more efficient avenue.
The other thing to remember about gas and electric water heaters is that they work in two completely different ways. A gas heater uses a burner at the bottom of the tank, and it closely resembles placing a pot of water on a gas stove. At the bottom is an eye with a gas flame burner that heats up the water. Electric heaters have elements going into the side of the unit. If the system has two elements, they both won’t turn on at the same time. They alternate between heating at the top or the bottom.
Many times, sediment and buildup can gather at the bottom of a tank. Gas heaters may make popping and rumbling noises, which is an indicator that the flame is transferring heat up through all that sediment and buildup before it can get to the water. If this happens, the system will not be operating as efficiently as it should be.
A standard gas water heater is going to be able to provide you with hot water even if the power goes out. As long as you have municipal water and don’t use a pump or well, you won’t need power to get water into the home. Because gas water heaters don’t use electricity and aren’t plugged into any outlets, they will continue to use gas to heat the water in the event of a power outage. Electric water heaters, on the other hand, require power to function. If the power goes out, you will lose hot water.
One of the biggest real-world differences we pay attention to when finding the best fit for a homeowner is how much hot water they need. Do they have a large family with teenagers that take long showers, for instance? If there is a tremendous need for a high volume of hot water, it would definitely be a good idea to get a gas heater instead of an electric heater. The overall quantity of hot water it can produce (in terms of gallons/hour) is going to be much greater with a gas system versus an electric one.
If you’re unsure about which type of water heater would be the best to use in your home, contact us online or give us a call at 540-483-9382.. An expert will come out, ask some relevant questions, give you some options for a solution that would best fit your situation, and give you a free estimate.