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Electric, Gas or Hybrid: Which Water Heater is For You?


Choosing a new water heater can be tricky. There's so many different options out there it can make your head spin. Generally, you're faced with three main options - electric, gas, or hybrid variants. Learn about the pros and cons of each below to help narrow your selection.

Electric Water Heaters

Overall, many people prefer electric water heaters because of their low overall cost of a few hundred dollars, generally speaking. Because electric heaters are rather simple in their design, they're also easier to install. Additionally, electric water heaters don't have a fuel tank, meaning that there is a lower chance of explosions or dangerous leaks.

The main problem with electric water heaters is that they are less efficient than their gas alternatives. They also take a longer time to heat up water, which is disappointing if you run out in the middle of your shower. 

Gas Water Heaters

As previously mentioned, gas heaters cost a lot less to operate than electric heaters. On a monthly basis, a gas heater only costs an average of $30 to operate. Electric heaters are closer to $42 a month. Best of all, they heat up water three to four times quicker than an identical electric heater. They can put out 50 gallons of hot water an hour compared to only 14 gallons of hot water for electric.

One downside of a gas heater is that if you don't already have gas service to your house, it will be rather expensive to add. Unless you'd also like to start using other gas appliances, this cost isn't worthwhile and will take years for you to recoup your investment. Additionally, gas heaters are also slightly more expensive to install, as you'll need to vent the exhaust to prevent buildup of hazardous fumes.

Hybrid Water Heaters

While there are various kinds of hybrid water heaters, the most common are electric heat pumps. This type of water heater beats out both electric and gas, as it extracts heat directly from the air to reduce the need for other fuel. Experts estimate that they use 60 percent less energy than normal electric water heaters. 

However, they also take up a lot of space. They'll need seven feet of clearance as well as 1,000 cubic feet of uncooled space to function properly.

Ready to Get Started?

Find yourself needing more help to decide which water heater is right for you? Give David Gray Plumbing Services a call at (904) 605-8190. We'll help you understand your options and can even install your water heater when you finally make your purchase.