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Gas VS Electric Hot Water: What You Need To Know

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Has your hot water system passed it’s prime or suddenly stopped working? Yes, a new one is going to hurt the wallet, but the family isn’t going to patiently hang out under cold showers, either. Time for a new hot water system installation and to ask yourself that important question: should you get a gas or electric hot water system put in?

Gas VS Electric Hot Water – Are there any other options?

Without a doubt, ‘gas or electric’ is the question asked most frequently when homeowners are on the hunt for a new hot water system. You might also have heard of…

Heat pumps: Costing more than a basic gas or electric hot water system, a heat pump is more like a fridge … in reverse! Heat is extracted from the environment to heat the water.

Solar hot water: An increasingly popular choice, solar hot water systems are not just a storage tank but also collectors that are mounted on your roof, absorbing energy from the sun.

‘Tankless’ Instant hot water: Increasingly popular (especially where space is limited), tankless or instantaneous hot water systems can be electric or gas – and you’ll never run out of water! The downside is that there could be a slight delay in heating up the water.

But today, we are going to focus on the traditional ‘gas vs electric hot water system’ question.

Gas VS Electric Water Heater – Which one should you get?

With hot water accounting for about a quarter of your household’s total energy costs, making the right choice between a gas or electric system is crucial.

The answer? It really depends on your home, your family, and your lifestyle.

3 things to know about electric hot water

Let’s take a closer look at electric hot water systems, which use an electric element to heat the water and then store it in a tank:

1. They are traditionally most popular

Just about everyone has lived in a house (or 3) with electric hot water, but in the world of climate change, many governments have been regulating to phase them out or make them more efficient.

2. They are traditionally inefficient

As we mentioned above, traditional electric hot water systems are expensive and inefficient to run because they are operating a lot. However, ‘off-peak’ electricity tariffs now work in conjunction with modern electric systems that make running them cheaper and better for the environment.

3. Installation is cheap and easy

The big ‘pro’ of an electric system has traditionally been the up-front price, and they’re also quiet (with the exception of electric heat pump systems which can be noisy).

3 things to know about gas hot water

Gas hot water systems are similar to their electric counterparts, with one big obvious difference: the heat source. Gas systems utilise a gas element, whether LPG or natural gas.

1. They are cost effective

Because gas is cheaper than electricity, gas hot water systems are usually more cost-effective in terms of running costs. You don’t need to worry about ‘off-peak’ tariffs, for instance, but if you’re not connected to the mains, your bottles can most certainly run out.

2. They cost a little more up-front

While the cost of operating gas hot water systems is generally notably cheaper, they usually cost you a little more at the checkout. Gas units are more expensive and switching from electric to gas will mean new gas lines will also need to be installed by a qualified gas fitter.

3. They’re energy efficient

Gas hot water systems are more energy efficient as they heat water faster and don’t need to run as often as the electric models. Typically a continuously burning pilot flame ignites the main burner when needed. Since they don’t need as large a storage tank the actual systems are also smaller, especially the tankless instant gas water heaters mentioned above.

Gas VS Electric Hot Water: The verdict

So, gas vs electric hot water … what should you get? To make sure you get this important decision right, answer these questions about your home/family on a piece of paper and then call the pros for advice:

  • What energy sources are available?
  • What is the current hot water system?
  • How many people live in your house?
  • How much space do you have?

At Advanced Plumbing & Gas we can fix, service, replace or install your hot water system today with all the right gas compliance requirements taken care of. Ready to talk to our qualified plumbers and gas fitters about your hot water system? Call us today!

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