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The Pros and Cons of Gas Water Heaters

One of the biggest decisions you need to make when you install a new water heater is whether you want an electric or gas water heater. A gas heater is an option if your home already has a gas line. Otherwise, installation of a gas line can add thousands to the cost. There are several benefits to going with a gas model as well as a few drawbacks to consider.

Gas Water Heaters

Benefits of Gas Water Heating

Faster Than Electric

Gas water heaters are approximately twice as fast at heating water compared with electric models. While an electric heater may take an hour to heat 100 litres of water, a gas model can heat an entire 200-litre tank within an hour. This means you’re less likely to run out of hot water. For larger families, a gas heater is usually the better option because electric water heaters may have trouble keeping up with high demands for hot water.


Generally Lower Energy Costs

Although electric heaters are more energy efficient as gas storage units suffer heat loss from the walls of the tank and exhaust gasses, electricity is more expensive that natural gas. This makes gas heaters more affordable to operate in terms of energy costs, more than balancing out the heat loss.


Don’t Lose Hot Water during Blackouts

Gas water heaters that ignite with a pilot light instead of an electric ignition will work even if the power goes out. Australian homeowners are no strangers to power outages and the ability to have hot water even when the power goes out can be a big advantage.


Downsides of Gas Water Heaters

Higher Upfront Cost

While your energy bills will likely be lower with a gas water heater, gas models cost more upfront and they’re more costly in terms of maintenance and installation. Despite the higher upfront cost, most gas water heaters make up for this price difference within a year, so long as they are well maintained.


Slightly Shorter Lifespan

Gas water heaters have a slightly shorter lifespan than electric water heaters. If you install a gas and electric unit at the same time, the electric model will be expected to survive about a year longer than its gas brother.


More Difficult Installation

Gas water heaters require a more complex installation that includes a ventilation system. If the home has never had a gas water heater, PVC pipes will need to be installed to vent through the roof. This ventilation system will also require occasional maintenance or repairs that may be done when the water heater is replaced.


Get Professional Advice

If you still can’t decide what’s best for you, get in touch with trusted professional plumbers for advice. They can provide you with a more detailed assessment of costs and installation requirements based on your specific home and needs.

If you need a gas hot water system for your home or business, get in touch with G.F. James Plumbing today on 02 9649 1099 or enquire online.

Geoff James
Written By:

Geoff grew up in Berala near Lidcombe in Sydney and attended Birrong Boys High School where he finished his Year 10 school certificate. Geoff was encouraged by his uncle to consider plumbing as he had done a bit of plumbing work on weekends during his school years. DJ Childs Plumbing in Canterbury offered him a plumbing apprenticeship and he spent most of his time working on plumbing maintenance and new roofs on commercial sites. Geoff on Google+.