Which Is Better: A Gas or Electric Water Heater?

When you’re installing a new water heater, you have a lot of decisions to make. One of the most important, of course, is deciding whether you want to install a gas or electric water heater. Both systems have their own unique pros and cons, so the question is: which is better for your needs?

Pro’s and Con’s of Gas and Electric Water Heaters

Both gas and electric water heaters have their advantages and disadvantages. When choosing which is better for your home, learn about each of the water heaters below.

Gas Water Heaters


  • Gas water heaters are less expensive to run in the long term
  • Gas water heaters tend to be well insulated, maintaining water temperature with less energy
  • Modern gas water heaters are safer than ever
  • Gas water heaters heat water much more quickly than electric water heaters


  • Gas water heaters have higher upfront costs than electric water heaters
  • Modern gas water heaters use electric ignitions instead of pilot lights, so if the power goes out you’ll still lose hot water
  • Gas water heaters require more space than electric water heaters
  • You’ll need to have access to propane or natural gas in order to install a gas water heater


Electric Water Heaters


  • Electric water heaters are safer than gas water heaters
  • Electric water heaters can be installed without access to gas lines
  • Electric water heaters are much cheaper to install than gas water heaters
  • Electric water heaters tend to last longer than gas water heaters


  • Electricity is much more expensive than gas, making electric water heaters more costly to run long term
  • If the power goes out, so does your hot water (this also happens with newer gas water heaters)
  • Electric heats up more slowly than gas, so if you run out of hot water you could be out for a longer time

Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, most of our customers at R.V. Carey’s tend to prefer speedy and efficient gas water heaters over electric. Remember: when choosing a water heater, there are more things to think about than just operating costs—you also want to look at things like:

  • Startup costs
  • Required maintenance
  • Repair costs
  • Location and space available in your home
  • Gallon capacity of the storage tank, or output capacity of a tankless

If you’re interesting in installing a gas or electric water heater in your home in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, don’t wait—call R.V. Carey’s today!