How Much Gas Does A Hot Water Heater Use

Energy Cost Calculator for Electric and Gas Water Heaters

  • The “base model” has an efficiency that just about meets the national minimum level for gas and electric water heaters
  • However, the “base model” has an efficiency that exceeds the national minimum standard for gas and electric water heaters. When considering a water heater with an anticipated life of 13 years, the lifetime energy cost is the total of the discounted value of the yearly energy expenditures. The Federal recommendations for future power price trends and a discount rate of 3.2 percent are used to calculate the discount rate. The Federal average price for electricity in the United States is $0.09 per kWh
  • The Federal average price for natural gas in the United States is $0.93 per therm. Estimates of hot water consumption:
  • Taking an average shower (8 minutes) uses 10 gallons of hot water
  • Running an average clothes washer (one load) uses 7 gallons of hot water
  • Running an average dishwasher (one load) uses 6 gallons of hot water The average kitchen faucet flow rate is 2 gpm, while the average bathroom faucet flow rate is 0.5 gpm
  • The average daily hot water consumption rate is 64 gallons.


With the help of our cost calculator, you can estimate the amount of money you’ll save on energy over the course of a product’s lifetime at various degrees of efficiency. Maintenance and installation costs do not differ considerably across products with varying levels of efficiency, and as a result, these expenses are not included in the calculations made by this calculator tool. The Building Life Cycle Cost Study tool, created by the Federal Energy Management Program, may be used to do a complete life cycle cost analysis (BLCC).

Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

You might not have given much attention to the selection of a water heater, other from the cost of the device. However, there are several aspects to consider when purchasing a hot-water heater in order to achieve energy savings. Consider the question of what size water heater you require. What are the different types of hot water heaters? And how should the energy consumption of your water heater be considered in your decision-making? We’ll go over all you need to know about the pricing, size, and efficiency of gas vs.

Understanding water heater energy usage

We turn on the faucet and don’t give much thought to how the hot water is delivered – unless, of course, that is, it isn’t. We have a tendency to take our hot-water heaters for granted in our houses. However, disregarding your hot-water heater may result in the loss of an opportunity to save money on your hot-water heater’s energy use. After all, the energy consumed by water heaters accounts for around 18 percent of the average power bill. There are a few different strategies to save money on your hot-water heater’s energy use.

How to choose a hot-water heater

To begin, here are some fundamentals to consider when buying a water heater. A single-family tank water heater features a hot water reservoir that may hold anywhere from 20 to 80 gallons of hot water. When someone switches on the hot-water faucet, hot water is discharged from the top of the tank and routed to the various locations throughout the home where it’s required most. The hot water in the tank is replenished with cold water that enters via the bottom of the tank, ensuring that the tank is always fully charged.

1. Determine the type of fuel source in your home.

The sort of fuel that you use to power your house might influence your decision on the type of hot-water heater to purchase. Despite the fact that some homes are equipped for natural gas, one in every four residences in the United States is entirely electric. It is also possible that those who live in rural regions will have problems getting access to natural gas.

If you only have access to electricity in your house, the decision between an electric and a gas water heater has already been decided for you unless you’re willing and able to install a gas line yourself.

How to tell if your water heater is gas or electric

To determine if your water heater is gas or electric, begin by removing the access panel from the water heater. It is possible to see a pilot light, often known as a blue flame, behind the access panel, which indicates a gas water heater. Another distinction between gas and electric water heaters is that a gas water heater will be linked to the gas main, whilst an electric water heater will be connected to the electric main through a supply cable.

2. Decide what size water heater you need.

An average family of four could take many showers, run the dishwasher, and wash a few loads of clothes in a single day, if they’re lucky. While this may result in a total water consumption of 100 gallons, it does not imply that the water heater must have a capacity of 100 gallons. Make an educated guess as close to the truth as possible. Using less water in the bathroom is beneficial — water conservation is always vital — but no one likes to be in the middle of a shower when the hot water is running low.

3. Calculate your desired first-hour rating (FHR).

It is recommended by Consumer Reports that while comparing the energy consumption of different water heaters, you bear in mind the first-hour rating (FHR) for a tank water heater when sizing a hot water heater. This information displays the amount of hot water that may be given in the first hour of the service period. Afterwards, depending on the exact model, you may look at the amount of time it will take for the heater to restore to its full FHR capacity. Consider the following scenario: If your shower energy usage is high, you may choose a unit with greater FHR.

4. Pay attention to comparisons between energy-efficient water heaters.

According to Consumer Reports, new federal efficiency regulations have resulted in increased hot-water heater energy savings overall, as evidenced by the company’s own testing. According to the Consumer Federation of America, heaters that use less than 55 gallons of fuel should experience a 4 percent increase in efficiency as a result of the new rules. Water heaters that hold more than 55 gallons of water, on the other hand, can reduce a household’s utility expenditure by 25 percent to 50 percent, depending on the technology of the heater.

Energy-efficient water heaters

When comparing the energy consumption of different water heaters, suggests looking for the yellow energy guide label that may be found on equipment to discover the most energy-efficient water heaters. When it comes to water heater labels, the FHR rating is located in the upper left corner and is labeled as “capacity (first hour rating).” When comparing water heater energy consumption, suggests selecting for models with flow rates (FHRs) that are within 1 or 2 gallons of your peak hour demand during peak hours.

Do you currently have an energy-efficient water heater?

That is dependent on how old it is. The older your hot-water heater is, the more probable it is that you are losing energy savings from your hot-water heater. Unless your hot water heater is under warranty for 12 years and you’ve been using it for 15, Consumer Reports recommends that you consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model to optimize your hot water heater’s energy savings. The Department of Energy has modified the requirements for hot-water heaters, making today’s models more likely to provide energy savings than previous versions.

When purchasing a water heater, it is also important to examine the sort of energy it consumes.

Are electric water heaters, on the other hand, energy efficient? What about the gas-powered units? Check out the comparison between gas and electric water heaters to find out more.

Gas vs. electric hot-water heater cost and efficiency

The majority of the time, the decision comes down to comparing the operational expenses of a gas and an electric water heater. The energy expert Michael Bluejay, dubbed “Mr. Electricity,” has dedicated his professional life to evaluating and comprehending energy use, particularly hot-water heater efficiency savings and the distinctions between gas and electric water heaters.

The difference between gas and electric water heaters

It’s critical to understand the distinctions between gas and electric water heaters before making a decision on which to purchase. Consider the case of running costs. After comparing the operational expenses of gas and electric water heaters, Bluejay concludes that gas is usually always less expensive than electric, given that you already have natural gas piped into your house, according to the company. According to utility rates, gas water heaters normally cost about$30 a month to operate, while electric water heaters cost closer to$42 a month to operate.

Installing a gas connection would be an additional investment, and it would take considerably longer to achieve any possible savings from the hot-water heater’s energy use.

Switching from a gas to an electric water heater

According to Bluejay, moving from a gas to an electric water heater may be the best solution for your situation. When comparing electric and gas water heaters, he says that electric versions outperform their gas counterparts in a variety of aspects, including:

  1. Electric water heaters are more affordable to acquire than gas water heaters. In general, electric water heaters are less expensive to purchase and install than gas water heaters, however the final cost will depend on the size, quality, and efficiency of your device. Electric water heaters are less complicated to set up. A gas water heater installation requires dealing with gas lines, which may be hazardous and expensive
  2. Electric water heaters, on the other hand, tend to be less harmful. Electric water heaters are not only energy efficient, but they also do not contain any fuel that may spill or explode if something went wrong. And since they emit no flammable byproducts, electric water heaters take up less space than gas water heaters. Gas water heaters, in contrast to electric water heaters, can be hazardous to use in confined places where gas might accumulate. Electric tank water heaters are also more energy efficient than gas tank water heaters. When gas heaters vent, they let part of the heat they generate to escape, making them less effective.

Lower your energy costs with a more energy-efficient water heater

You should now be able to make an informed decision about whether or not it is necessary to replace your present water heater with a more contemporary, more energy-efficient type. Consider replacing your hot-water heater if your utility bills are significantly higher than you’d want. If your utility bills are significantly higher than you’d like, it’s worth looking into why. Also, make sure to check out our post comparing tankless water heaters to regular water heaters, as well as the energy savings they provide.

How much does it cost to run gas water heater

The older 2012 Standard test was based on thermostat set at 135�FThe new 2015 Standard test is based on 125�F to reduce standby cost of keeping tank hot throughout day.Other changes in past several years include thicker insulation around tank, adding short piece of insulation over TP valve, and heat trap nipples that stop heat from traveling up the pipe and out of heater. Flue damper reduces amount of heat escaping up flue pipe, but flue dampers consume electricity.How gas water heaters work The future of water heating is solar. Build your house so panels can be installed facing south. Locate water heater and hot water usage points near solar panels.Convert AC water heater to DC Energy factor is NOT efficiency rating. There is a subtraction factor based on size of water heater.To find efficiency for 50 gallon heater, you take EF.675 and subtract (.0015 x tank volume measured in gallons). The result equals.592. so the efficiency for 50 gallon tank, manufactured after April 2015 is.592 or rounded up to.60 as seen on bottom row of chart.The 50 gallon gas water heater has EF.675, but it has .60 efficiency. The 30 gallon has EF.675, but efficiency of.63.So 30 gallon has higher efficiency than 50 gallon, even though spec sheets show same EF for both units.Source for chart AO SmithTrue efficiency of heater has numerous variables.Efficiency declines over time with all appliances. Thermostat calibration is approximate. Other variables include elevation above sea level, quality and temperature of incoming air supply, air supply to burner, ambient room temperature, venting distance, vent obstruction, condition of heater, water hardness and quality, scale build up, etc. The more adverse factors that apply to your heater, the lower the actual efficiency.Troubleshoot gas water heater Higher temperatures from global warming force air and oxygen molecules farther apart, reducing complete combustion of fuel, causing lower efficiency. Except higher ambient temperatures mean water has to be heated less anyway.

How Much Propane Gas Do You Need To Fuel Your Home

This table depicts the approximate average consumption of a family dwelling on a monthly basis. Due to the low price of propane in 2015, which averaged $2.60 a gallon, the average household can expect to spend approximately $3,619 on propane bills per year.

Appliance Average Yearly Usage (in gallons) Average Yearly Cost (based on 2015 average price of $2.60)
Propane Furnace 1000 $2,600
Hot Water Heater 250 $650
Propane Fireplace 200 $520
Propane Stove Ranges 35 $91
Propane Clothes Dryers 20 $52
Total Estimated Yearly Cost $3,619

How Much Propane Gas Furnaces Use

Your furnace, hot water heater, and gas fireplace are the appliances that consume the most propane in your home. Here’s an estimate of how much propane they consume. Each hour, or around 500-1,200 gallons per year, a typical 100,000 BTUpropane gas furnace consumes approximately one gallon of propane gas.

How Much Propane Gas Water Heaters Use

The amount of propane gas used by your propane water heater will be determined mostly by the size of your home, the number of bathrooms, and the number of people who will be using the hot water.

A propane gas hot water heater uses around 1.5 gallons of propane each day on average. You may anticipate using 200-300 gallons of water each year.

How Much Propane Gas Fireplaces Use

Your propane consumption with a propane gas fireplace will be significantly influenced by the size of the fireplace and how frequently you choose to use it. Every two hours of operation, a propane gas fireplace consumes approximately 1 gallon of propane. A propane gas fireplace will consume around 200 gallons of propane per year if used on a regular basis.

Budget Plans: Propane Bills Don’t Have to Break the Bank

It is important to note that the size and frequency of use of a propane gas fireplace will greatly influence your propane consumption. When used for two hours each day, a propane gas fireplace consumes around one gallon of propane. A propane gas fireplace will consume around 200 gallons of propane per year if used on a consistent basis.

How You Can Keep Your Propane Costs Down

Knowing how much propane your household will consume on an annual basis will assist you in making informed selections when it comes to purchasing propane. Reduce your propane prices by doing the following:

  • Choosing the proper size propane tank for your residence. If your tank is too tiny, you’ll have to fill it up more frequently than necessary. Purchasing a bigger tank might help you keep expenditures under control by requiring fewer fill-ups. Purchasing propane in advance while prices are low. It will save you money if you fill up your tank before the winter weather arrives, since this will help you avoid seasonal price hikes. Purchasing appliances that are energy efficient. Changing your hot water heater or upgrading your hot water heater
See also:  What Does A Bad Water Heater Element Look Like

Updating an old water heater can pay off in the long run

When it comes to their hot water heater, few people care about it until it breaks down. When this occurs, on the other hand, it is an excellent opportunity to consider energy efficiency measures. According to data from the United States Department of Energy, hot water heaters can be the second most energy-intensive device in a home, after the heating and air conditioning system. A natural gas hot water heater can account for as much as 15 percent of a household’s total natural gas consumption.

  1. As time passes, the situation worsens.
  2. Lime deposits, which are formed as a result of the water in the tank, accumulate at the bottom of the heater’s tank over time.
  3. In accordance with industry statistics, a quarter-inch of lime deposits on the bottom of a water heater’s tank can reduce the efficiency of the water heater by as much as 20 percent.
  4. Then, all of your energy savings are returned to you.
  5. Moreover, they burn more cleanly, are better insulated, and are designed to be more resistant to lime accumulation than previous models.
  6. The majority of water heaters have a capacity of 30 to 75 gallons or more.
  7. Heating water that is never used will be expensive if you have a large unit.

Take into account the quantity of individuals that will be living in your home.

It assesses the performance of the unit in terms of recovery efficiency, standby losses, and cycling losses, among other things.

The efficiency factors (EFs) of gas water heaters range from 0.5 to 0.8.

This informs you how much hot water the unit is capable of heating during a time when hot water is most needed, such as in the early morning hours when the shower is running nonstop for many minutes.

Once the replacement unit has been installed, the thermostat should be adjusted to 120 degrees.

You may always play with with the settings by adjusting them slightly higher or lower.

On the bottom of the tank of most units, there is a drain plug or a faucet that allows you to drain out the lime sediment that has accumulated over time.

For further information, see the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network, or EREN, Web page on water heaters at for the United States Department of Energy.

Electric vs. Gas Water Heaters: Major Differences, Pros And Cons

Note from the editors: We receive a commission from affiliate links on Forbes Advisor. The thoughts and ratings of our editors are not influenced by commissions.

Compare Quotes From Top-rated Water Heater Installers

Estimates are provided without obligation. Is it past time to replace your water heater? When you turn on the hot water tap and only cold water comes out, or when the unit is unable to keep up with growing demand for hot water, you’ll know something is wrong. Despite the fact that it is obvious that you require a new water heater, which fuel source should you choose? Should you get an electric or a gas-powered model? It’s more important to locate the correct water heater for your needs than to choose between electric and gas because they both have their advantages and disadvantages.

What Electric or Gas Water Heaters Are

It is a tank that is heated by high-voltage electric heating rods that run vertically through the tank, which is known as an electric water heater. The water is heated from the center of the tank outward, starting at the center of the tank.

Gas Water Heater

In a gas water heater, water is heated by a gas-fired burner positioned at the bottom of the tank, which circulates the water. Hot water begins at the bottom of the tank and climbs to the top, where it is sucked out by a discharge tube at the top.

Electric Water Heater Pros and Cons

  • Operation is clean and safe, and the water is heated effectively. Purchase price is reduced. a large selection of sizes
  • There is no need to relight it because there is no pilot light. Because all residences are wired for electricity, it is simpler to connect


  • Higher running expenses
  • Water heats up more slowly than with gas versions
  • Recovery periods that are longer
  • During a power outage, the system will not work.

You May Also Be Interested In Electric Water Heaters Available On Home Depot

Water heater Rheem 18 kW tankless electric water heater Testimonials from customers Exceptionally well-written Water heater Rheem 18 kW tankless electric water heater Tankless Electric Water Heater RTEX-13 by Rheem has a capacity of 13kW. Testimonials from customers Exceptionally well-written Tankless Electric Water Heater RTEX-13 by Rheem has a capacity of 13kW. Testimonials from customers Excellent We’ve researched the finest models from the best companies right here, and we’ve ranked the top five that best fit the demands of the majority of households.

Gas Water Heater Pros and Cons

  • Water is heated fast
  • Lower running expenses as compared to electric vehicles
  • Efficacious in terms of energy consumption When there is a power breakdown, it continues to operate.


  • It is possible that not all residences have gas
  • Thus, it may be necessary to install gas. Ones that are less safe than electric models
  • Operation that is dirtier
  • A more limited range of sizes
  • Electricity has a shorter lifetime than gas. Water heating is less efficient than electric heating. It may be necessary to relight the room on occasion.

You May Also Be Interested In Gas Water Heaters Available On Home Depot

1Rinnai RU160iN RU Model Series 1Rinnai RU160iN RU Model Series 1Rinnai RU160iN RU Model Series 1Rinnai RU160iN RU Model Series 1Rinnai RU160iN RU Model Series 1Rinnai RU160iN RU Model Series 1Rinnai RU160iN RU Model Series 1Rinnai RU Testimonials from customers Excellent1Rinnai RU160iN RU Model Series2Rinnai RL75iN RL Model Series3Rinnai RU160iN RU Model Series4Rinnai RL75iN RL Model Series Testimonials from customers Excellent2Rinnai RL75iN RL Model Series3Rinnai V94iN V Model Series4Rinnai RL75iN RL Model Series Testimonials from customers Excellent3Rinnai V94iN V Model Series4Rinnai V65iN V Model Series3Rinnai V94iN V Model Series4Rinnai V65iN V Model Series Testimonials from customers Excellent4Rinnai V65iN V Model Series 4Rinnai V65iN V Model Series 4Rinnai V65iN V Model Series Listed here are the top gas tankless water heaters, as well as the most significant factors to consider when picking the finest device.


Permits and inspections are often required for both electric and natural gas water heaters. Electric water heaters are easier to install than gas water heaters since electricity is available in all households, whereas gas is not always available.

Electric Water Heater

All of the houses are wired for electricity.

In other cases, the 240-volt connection to the water heater location is already in place in the home itself. If this is the case, a new circuit can be created and connected to the home’s electric service panel.

Gas Water Heater

Not all residences have access to natural gas. If the house does not have gas, it may be necessary to bring in municipal gas from the street to the house, which might be expensive. If the home is equipped with natural gas, a plumber will be required to install the gas lines.

Size of Water Heater

Electric water heaters are available in a wider range of sizes than gas water heaters, particularly when it comes to micro-sized point-of-origin (immediate demand) water heaters, which are becoming increasingly popular.

Electric Water Heater

Electric point-of-use water warmers are available in capacities ranging from two to twenty gallons. Conventional electric tank water heaters have a capacity of 40 gallons and can hold up to 120 gallons. The majority of tanks hold 30, 40, or 50 gallons.

Gas Water Heater

Because there are no point-of-use gas water heaters available, all of the water heaters are tank versions. Gas water heaters are available in capacities ranging from 20 to 100 gallons. The majority of tanks hold 40, 50, 80, or 100 gallons.

Cost to Purchase

Water heaters that run on electricity are less expensive to acquire than water heaters that run on gas. It is always possible to purchase pricey water heaters in either electric or gas versions, but when looking for a less expensive heater, you will almost always find one that is electric.

Electric Water Heater

The majority of electric water heaters range in price from $500 to $800. The vast majority of these are in the $500 to $600 bracket.

Gas Water Heater

The majority of gas water heaters are priced between $600 and $800.


Electric water heaters are safer than gas water heaters since there is no gas line, burner, or pilot light to trigger a gas explosion or explosion.

Electric Water Heater

Installation of electric water heaters necessitates the use of a 240-volt electrical connection. Electric water heaters do not require relighting at any time.

Gas Water Heater

Gas water heaters must be connected to a gas line and have an open flame (located at the bottom of the heater) in order to warm the water. A lighter or a piezoelectric built-in lighter may be required from time to time by the user to relight the gas pilot light on occasion.

Heating Rate

Gas water heaters heat water more quickly than electric water heaters, and they recover from their initial heating faster as well.

Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters provide heat throughout the tank’s height, thanks to heating rods that run from the top to the bottom of the tank. Heating rods, on the other hand, gain heat at a far slower pace than in gas versions.

Gas Water Heater

The open flame of a gas water heater burns hotter than the electric rods or components of an electric water heater. Furthermore, because the burner is positioned at the bottom of the stove, it is more efficient because heat rises.

Cost to Operate

In comparison to electric water heaters, gas water heaters have a lower operating cost (approximately 33 percent less).

Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters have an average monthly operating cost of $42 dollars.

Gas Water Heater

On average, gas water heaters cost around $30 per month to operate. When comparing the cost of gas and electricity in most places, gas is generally less expensive.

Energy Efficiency

Electric water heaters are more energy efficient than gas water heaters when it comes to heating water.

Electric Water Heater

While an electric water heater heats water more slowly and at a higher cost than a gas water heater, it also heats the water more efficiently than the latter. Due to the fact that the heating rods are completely submerged in water in a sealed tank, very little heat is lost.

Gas Water Heater

Despite the fact that gas water heaters burn hotter, they are less efficient than electric water heaters because a large portion of the energy production is lost through the vent at the top of the unit. The vent is required for the proper discharge of harmful gases.


Electric water heaters have a somewhat longer lifespan than gas water heaters, owing to the fact that they operate more cleanly. Electric water heaters have a lifespan of two to three years longer than gas water heaters, depending on the model.

Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years on average.

Gas Water Heater

Gas water heaters typically last between eight and twelve years before they need to be replaced.


Water heaters powered by electricity and gas are about equivalent in terms of their impact on the environment, with no obvious victor between the two varieties.

Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters may be used with both the greatest and the worst sorts of energy supply systems available. Solar and wind energy are the best, if not the most common, source of electricity. Electricity generated by polluting coal-fired or nuclear power facilities is the worst case scenario. Some places may have a bigger supply of clean, low-cost power than others, depending on their geographic location. If the electricity in a given location is generated by contemporary, energy-efficient hydroelectric power plants, then an electric water heater would be an environmentally friendly alternative.

Gas Water Heater

When it comes to environmental effect, gas water heaters fall somewhere in the center. Gas is never as awful as energy generated by coal-fired power plants, but it is never as excellent as electricity generated by wind or solar power. Gas is a fossil fuel that cannot be replenished. While natural gas has traditionally been considered a more environmentally friendly source of energy than electricity, certain places have lately passed legislation prohibiting the usage of natural gas.

Compare Quotes From Top-rated Water Heater Installers

Estimates are provided without obligation.

How much electricity does a gas hot water heater use?

Asked in the following category: General The most recent update was made on the 27th of January, 2020. A hot water heater that operates on a tank will typically operate for three to five hours every day. Consequently, at $.10 per kWh, a 4,000-watt theater that is utilized for three hours per day will cost $1.20 per day, approximately $36.50 per month, or $438 per year. Tank for Gas in the Conventional Style Thermoelectric Water Heater Gas water heaters do not utilize electricity as a fuel, and many homeowners believe that they will continue to operate in the event of a power loss.

  1. Even gas water heaters with electric pilot lights can continue to operate since they do not require continuous access to mains power to function.
  2. The wattage of a natural gas water heater.
  3. In light of this, how much does it cost to operate a gas-powered hot water heater?
  4. Of course, this is dependent on utility prices.
  5. Gas water heaters are often less expensive to operate than electric water heaters, depending on your local utility bills.

They also have a higher up-front cost than an electric. In contrast, based on the amount of energy saved, gas heaters often make up for the difference in price within one year. Gas ranges from $300 to $600 per gallon; electric ranges from $250 to $500 per gallon.

How much propane does a gas water heater use?

Heaters for Hot Water As a general guideline, the average residence consumes around 1.5 gallons of propane per day for regular hot water heating. In order to provide hot water, the average homeowner may anticipate to spend between 200 and 300 gallons of propane each year. How much propane does the average home consume? What is the cost of the average home’s propane consumption?

Appliance Average Yearly Usage (in gallons) Average Yearly Cost (based on 2015 average price of $2.60)
Propane Furnace 1000 $2,600
Hot Water Heater 250 $650
Propane Fireplace 200 $520
Propane Stove Ranges 35 $91
See also:  How To Tell Water Pump Is Bad

Also, how long does a 250-gallon propane tank have a shelf life? The battery will last for three months if we don’t require heat and two weeks if we do (and it’s a touch chilly outside). As a result, how long would a hundred gallons of propane keep you going? about 30.5 days What is the propane consumption of a gas range? If you use a propane range throughout the year, you can anticipate to use around 35 gallons of propane or more on an annual basis on average. Again, all of this is contingent on how you want to utilize your range, which may be influenced by the number of people in your household.

Water Heater Buyer’s Guide: Gas vs. Electric Water Heater

Water heaters aren’t the kinds of things that people pin to their boards on Pinterest. However, when your water heater fails, a new water heater soon becomes your most sought large item of the moment. We explain all you need to know before purchasing an electric or gas storage tank water heater, so you can make an informed decision about which choice is best for your house.

First Things First: Water Heater Cost, Types, and Storage

According to the Department of Energy, heating water is the second most expensive utility expenditure in our homes, accounting for 14 percent to 18 percent of our monthly utility bills. As a result, selecting the appropriate water heater is critical not just for your comfort, but also for keeping your energy expenditures under control. We’ll go through four different types in this section. They all work together to keep water warm in an insulated storage tank until it is needed. And all of them, with the exception of point-of-use systems, are whole-house systems:

  1. Standard, high-efficiency, solar, and point-of-use water heaters are available.

In case you didn’t know, a fifth type of water heater, tankless water heaters, warms cold water on demand just when you need it. In general, this makes them more energy efficient than ordinary tank types; nevertheless, they are more expensive to purchase and install. Furthermore, tankless devices are not always capable of meeting the hot water demands of high-demand households. The majority of tank water heaters are fuelled by either natural gas or electricity. It will be necessary to consider the sort of energy available in your property when determining the type of water heater you should buy.

Standard Storage Tank Water Heaters

Standard water heaters, by far the most common type of water heater, heat water by the use of a gas flame or an electric heating element. Gas water heaters are often less expensive to operate than electric water heaters, depending on your local utility bills. They also have a higher up-front cost than an electric vehicle. Gas heaters, on the other hand, save enough energy to make up for the difference in price in roughly a year depending on the savings.

Gas ranges from $300 to $600 per gallon; electric ranges from $250 to $500 per gallon. The cost of installation ranges from $700 to $2,000. Standard home tank water heaters include the following:

  • They range in size from 20 to 80 gallons. (However, surprise! The most crucial thing to consider is not the gallon capacity. Rather, it is a measure of efficiency known as the first-hour rating that is used. (See below for further information about the first-hour rating.)
  • They are less costly than other types of water heaters
  • Have a lifetime ranging from eight to fifteen years on average

High-Efficiency Storage Tank Water Heaters

High-efficiency (HE) versions, as the name indicates, are the most energy-efficient storage tank water heaters available on the market today. There are both gas and electric variants available. Most gas-fired water heaters are labeled with an energy factor (EF) number, which is regulated by the United States Department of Energy to assist customers in comparing the efficiency of comparable products. The greater the efficiency factor (EF), the more efficient the appliance. The efficiency of standard gas water heaters ranges from.50 to.60.

  • The EF of a high-efficiency water heater that is not Energy Star certified is approximately.62, whereas the EF of an Energy Star-qualified high-efficiency water heater is approximately.67 or higher. It is estimated that they consume 10 percent to 20 percent less energy than their conventional equivalents. This can result in yearly savings of up to $140 and savings of up to $2,900 throughout the tank’s useful life.

Costs range from around $620 to $1,500. Installation costs between $700 and $2,000, depending on where you live in the world. What if you’re looking for a high-efficiency electric vehicle? A heat pump water heater, often known as a hybrid water heater, is an alternative. They are the only electric water heaters that have been accredited by the Energy Star program. They are more costly than high-efficiency natural gas. They work by drawing heat from the surrounding air and transferring it to the water in the tank.

They are more expensive than regular electric heaters, but they may pay for themselves in less than two years by saving you money on energy costs.

Heat-pump water heaters are a type of electric water heater.

  • Need a lot of room – around 1,000 cubic feet of open air area surrounding the unit is required. They also require a location in your house where the temperature is regularly between 40 degrees and 90 degrees so that they can pull in warm surrounding air. Have a lifetime ranging from eight to fifteen years on average

Costs range from $1,100 to $3,000. The cost of installation ranges from $1,400 to $2,000.

Solar Water Tank Heaters

Solar water heaters can reduce your water heating expenses by half when compared to a regular water heater – but only if you’re willing to spend a lot of money on them. They are made up of two fundamental components:

  • A thermal collector that is installed on the roof or in the yard of your home
  • To maintain a constant supply of hot water on foggy and chilly days, you need have a storage tank and an additional source of hot water – such as a gas or electric tank water heater

They function in one of two ways:

  • Using direct systems, water is heated in tubes within the collector, and the water is then sent to a storage tank for later use. The fact that the water circulation system is located outside the residence means that direct solar water systems are not advised for locations where freezing temperatures are likely to occur. Closed or indirect systems circulate sun-heated antifreeze fluid from the collector to the water heater tank through a closed circulation loop to conserve energy. During its journey through the tank, the solar-heated fluid passes through coils and heats the surrounding water before returning to the collector.

Equipment and installation costs around $8,000 to $10,000 in freezing zones; expenses are half that amount in locations where freeze protection for equipment is not required. It can take up to 30 years (which is longer than their estimated lifespan) before the energy savings from their installation pay for the initial investment. Local rebates and tax credits may be available to help offset the costs. Water heaters powered by the sun:

  • Are ideally suited for moderate to hot areas due to the fact that energy savings might be decreased or eliminated on cold or overcast days
  • Have a life expectancy of 20 years on average
  • When the collector is close to the tank, it will work most efficiently.

Point-of-Use Water Heaters

These water heaters work in conjunction with your home’s whole-house water heater to provide hot water for a specific use, such as a kitchen faucet, as needed. By doing so, they limit the quantity of water wasted while waiting for the tap to become warm. If you have a basic understanding of plumbing, you can install a point-of-use water heater on your own. The majority of versions are electric and are available in a variety of gallon sizes, including 2.5, 6, 10, 15, 20, and 30 gallons. It is advised that you utilize the 20- and 30-gallon sizes for tiny, detached constructions and home extensions that do not require a whole-house water heater.

Although a point-of-use water heater can help you save money on water by reducing water waste, you’ll be adding another energy-guzzling equipment to your house, which will raise your utility bills. As a point of clarification, Energy Star does not certify point-of-use water heaters.

What’s More Important than Gallons? First-Hour Rating

Water heaters are frequently purchased by homeowners depending on their capacity. An 80-gallon water heater will normally provide enough hot water for the daily needs of a three- or four-person family, but not every heater with an 80-gallon tank produces the same quantity of hot water per hour. What you really need to know is how long a water heater will last in its first hour of operation (FHR). Using the FHR, you can determine how much hot water the machine will dependably supply in a specified length of time.

An 80-gallon water heater with a maximum annual flow rate of 30 gallons will not enough.

Alternatively, you might use thisFHR spreadsheet from the Department of Energy.

Features and Extras You Should Have

Brass valves: Tanks are equipped with a valve at the base that allows for simple emptying during normal inspection and maintenance (which you should do at least once per year). A sturdy brass valve will outlast a plastic valve by a long shot. Tank with a glass liner: A heavy-duty porcelain glass layer is installed within the water tank to protect it from the corrosive effects of water storage. Digital displays: They offer functionality by allowing customers to readily monitor water heating and customize the settings on their devices.

Warranties that last a long time: Warranties are available for three to twelve years.

They also contain a larger heating element, which helps to prevent mineral scale from accumulating at the bottom of the tank.

Related: How to Lower the Energy Consumption of Your Water Heater

What Does It Cost To Heat Your Water?

To heat a gallon of water, it is commonly recognized that it costs between 1 cent and 2 cents. The actual price will vary depending on the efficiency of your water heater, whether you use gas or electricity, and how much your electricity or gas bills are per unit of time.

  • When one pound of water is raised from 60°F to 61°F at sea level, the quantity of energy required is measured in BTUs, or British thermal units. A gallon of water weighs approximately 8.33 pounds. If the incoming water is 60 degrees Fahrenheit and we want to elevate it to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it is an increase of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to heat a gallon of water with 100 percent efficiency, 8.33 x 80 = 667 BTUs are required.
  • A typical gas tank water heater is just 59 percent efficient, which is below the industry standard. The energy required to heat a gallon of water using gas is 667 59 percent = 1131 BTUs
  • One therm is equal to 100,000 BTUs. The energy in one BTU is 0.00001 therms
  • 1131 BTU’s are equal to 0.0113 therms
  • It will take 0.0113 therms to heat a gallon of water, or 0.0113 × 1000 = 11.31 therms to heat 1000 gallons
  • At $1.20 per therm, it will cost 11.31 x $1.20 = $13.58 to heat 1000 gallons
  • A normal electric water heater has an efficiency ranging between 90.4 percent and 95 percent, with an average efficiency of 92.7 percent. Electricity is required to heat a gallon of water by 667 92.7 percent = 720 BTUs
  • However, natural gas is required. One kWh is equal to 3413 BTUs. One BTU equals 0.000293 kWh
  • 667 BTUs multiplied by 0.000293 kWh/BTU equals 0.195 kWh. When you heat up a liters of water, it will take 0.195 kWh to do so, and when you heat 1000 gallons, it will take 0.195 kWh to do so. To heat 1000 gallons of water @ $0.11/kWh, it will cost 195 x $0.11 = $21.45 dollars.

The age old question: Is my Water Heater Gas or Electric?

It is common for every household to have a water heater. However, if you ask the majority of homeowners whether their furnace is powered by gas or electricity, the odds are good that they won’t know. Yes, I’ll confess it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if my water heater was powered by gas or electricity at first. Personally, it didn’t worry me because I was only concerned with maintaining a constant supply of hot water in my home at all times. But when I really thought about it, I discovered that knowing the difference was critical when it came to budgeting for bills, minimizing my carbon footprint, and choosing whether or not to upgrade my air conditioning unit.

Additionally, investing in the most energy-efficient models and being careful of our running faucets may also contribute to water conservation. So, let’s compare and contrast gas and electric water heaters:

Spotting the difference

Your water heater has been turned on, and you’re not sure if it’s an electric or gas kind. What do you do? Begin by looking for an access panel on the side of the water heater to get access to the tank. A pilot light is a blue flame that appears when you remove the cap. Only gas versions have this feature. Connected pipes are also an indication of a gas water heater, whereas an electric water heater will just have a wire that runs into the top or side of the device.

Comparing Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

The distinctions between gas and electric water heaters go well beyond their physical appearances to include their performance. Natural gas and electricity may both be used to feed traditional storage and tankless demand water heaters, however the kind of fuel used has an impact on the pricing and running costs of the water heater. Electric water heaters are typically less expensive than gas water heaters, in part because of the ease with which they may be installed, as they do not require gas lines or venting systems.

  • House Logic, on the other hand, points out that gas models are typically less expensive to operate, depending on your local utility bills.
  • Meanwhile, high-efficiency electric water heaters are often more expensive upfront than gas versions, but you’ll likely recover the difference in long-term savings if you choose to invest in one.
  • When it comes to routine maintenance, both gas and electric water heaters require the same amount of love and care, with the primary difference being whether you turn off the gas pilot light or flip the electrical switch before commencing work.
  • Your water heater, whether it’s gas or electric, deserves to be protected by a dependable company.
  • Being well-prepared for any type of home repair is always a wise move.

Gas vs Electric Water Heaters: 6 Advantages & Disadvantages

The average lifespan of a hot water heater is between 8 and 15 years, depending on the manufacturer. In this regard, it’s only normal that the day will come when you’ll need to replace the item in question. Following your first investigation, you will be forced to pick between purchasing a gas or an electric water heater, depending on your needs and budget. Although the majority of homeowners would go toward the sort of water heater they had previously, you may be overlooking a hot water system that is more suited to your particular home’s requirements.

We’ve included a list of the benefits and drawbacks of both electric and gas water heaters to assist you in making your decision on which system to choose. Let’s have a look at this.


A normal gas water heater is often more difficult to run than an electric water heater when it comes to operation. Because the system is entirely powered by electricity, you will never have to worry about turning on the gas to get it started. The electric water heater becomes considerably easier to manage as a result of this.

See also:  How Often Change Water Filter


When comparing the efficiency of an electric water heater to a gas water heater, electric water heaters outperform gas water heaters. Despite the fact that natural gas hot water heaters are less expensive to operate on a monthly basis as a result of the cheap cost of natural gas, a gas hot water heater consumes more energy and emits waste into the environment. Because the gas waste carries part of the heat away with it, it is less efficient than electric water heaters in terms of efficiency. While an electric heater will utilize the majority of the energy it receives to heat water, it will be more energy-efficient than a gas or oil heater.

These systems will likely be labeled with the Energy Star logo.


The overall cost of running a gas water heater vs an electric water heater is roughly equal. Gas water heaters cost an average of $1,300 – $2,600 in advance, depending on the model. Because of this, gas heaters have a greater initial cost. The low overall cost of natural gas, on the other hand, means that you will have a reduced overall monthly energy payment. The cost of electric water heaters is the inverse of that of gas water heaters: an electric water heater will have a lower upfront cost (with an average of $950 – $1,500) but a higher monthly cost in general.

Maintenance Requirements

If you compare the maintenance needs of gas and electric water heaters, you’ll find that gas water heaters require more attention than electric water heaters. It is likely that you will need to have both systems cleansed on a regular basis in order to prevent deposits from accumulating at the bottom of the tank. In the case of gas heaters, the gas line and gas tanks will need to be examined on a regular basis to ensure that there are no gas leaks or sediment accumulation. In any event, we recommend that you have at least an annual checkup performed on both systems to protect the longevity of your water heating system.


Both gas and electric water heaters are easy to install and require no special skills or tools. Switching from an electric water heater to a gas water heater, on the other hand, might be a challenging process. Because the gas lines will need to be moved to a new place, this will be a more challenging procedure. The construction of another vent will include cutting or drilling into the side of your house. This, in turn, raises the cost and length of time required for installation.

Environmental Drawbacks

Electric heaters, by their very nature, are more environmentally friendly. As a result of their energy efficiency and the fact that they may be fuelled by renewable energy sources, these systems cause less damage to the environment. Alternatively, natural gas water heaters use natural gas that is extracted from the Earth in a wasteful and damaging manner. This results in a significant amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. As a result, gas heaters are often considered to be less environmentally friendly.

Are you having difficulty determining the source of low water pressure in your home? To establish the cause of the problem, our team of professional plumbers in Arlington, VA will check your hot water heater and water pipes from top to bottom.

How to Save Money On a Gas or Electric Water Heating Bill

Although you like the convenience of being able to run your hot water whenever you want and for as long as you want, let’s be honest: receiving a high-priced energy bill isn’t very enjoyable. Here are some more things you can do around your house to save money on your monthly energy bill, regardless of whether you pick a gas or an electric water heater:

Use Cold Water for Laundry

Using cold water during washing cycles will save you an estimated $67 per year if you have a gas water heater and $161 per year if you use an electric water heater, according to estimates. The fact that most modern detergents do not require hot water to be effective means that you may save money on your monthly power bill in a relatively simple manner. Related Article: How to Select the Proper Water Heater Dimensions

Set the Water Heater Thermostat to 120 Degrees Fahrenheit

With every 10 degrees Fahrenheit drop in water temperature, you may expect to save around 3 to 5 percent on your monthly water heating bills. Families with babies and toddlers should also lower their thermostat to 120 degrees to prevent burns from searing hot water.

Avoid Taking Baths

According to the average, one bathtub full of water is comparable to two individuals having a bath at the same time. When compared to a shower, this takes a greater quantity of gas or energy to operate.

Invest In Low-Flow Shower Fixtures

Installing low-flow shower fixtures is another method of lowering your monthly electricity expenditure. A low-flow shower fixture reduces the quantity of hot water you use, allowing you to save anywhere from 25-60 percent on your water bill each month.

Deactivate Water While You’re Not Using It

Those little seconds when you forget to turn off the water while washing your hair or brushing your teeth pile up over the course of a day. During these brief intervals, you might want to consider shutting off your water. This includes shutting off the shower while shampooing or turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, among other things.

Water Heater Services Near You in Virginia

Please contact our team of professional plumbers at (703) 543-9649 if you are still undecided about whether an electric or gas water heater is the most appropriate option for your family. The water heater in your home is one of the most vital components in the house. If your water heater breaks down, our crew is available to perform water heater repair services around the clock. We also offer a variety of additional HVAC and plumbing services, including sump pump repair, furnace installation, gas line replacement, and air conditioner repair, among others.

To obtain support, please contact our staff right now!

How Much Electricity (Energy) Does a Water Heater Use?

Increasing electricity use is a major concern in many American families today. According to the Department of Energy, water heating systems are the second largest consumer of electricity and account for an average of 18 percent of total electric expenditures; however, these costs may be decreased by selecting an energy-efficient system. An electric water heater is normally used for three hours each day to heat the water in your house, allowing you to take hot showers and baths when you want them.

It is not only the size of the tank that has an influence on electricity consumption in water heaters, but also the insulation that has an impact on energy consumption.

How Much Electricity (Energy) Does a Water Heater Use?

To put it another way, how much electricity (energy) does a water heater consume? The majority of water heaters operate for 3 to 5 hours each day on average. Because the typical wattage of an electric water heater is roughly 4000 watts, if it is used for 3 hours per day at a cost of $0.13 per kWh, it will cost you $1.56 per day, approximately $46.80 per month, and $561 per year to operate. The quantity of power consumed by an electric water heater is determined by the size of the water tank and the energy factor of the water heater itself (EF).

  • Consider this: If you have a 30-gallon tank with an efficiency rating of 0.7, it will generate 21 gallons per day when you use 10 kilowatt hours (kWh) each day (21 x 10 = 2.1) of electricity.
  • If your household uses more than 2 kWh/day to meet its hot water needs, you should consider upgrading to an electric storage tank with higher efficiency ratings.
  • The first question is how many liters of fuel your tank can contain.
  • So let’s have a look at a more in-depth analysis of the data.

Calculating Energy Usage

The typical water heater is only turned on for three hours every day. Assuming you use 50 gallons of water each year, which consumes 5500 watts of power, and your energy rate is $0.13 per kilowatt-hour, your water heater will cost around $781 to operate every year! Consequently, it is critical for those who have one in their homes to understand how much it will cost them in the long run. The following is the formula for determining the energy consumption (in kW) of a water heater for a volume of water at a certain temperature over the course of one hour: Power is calculated as follows: volume of water heater x hours x temperature increase / 3412 = power If the tank holds 100 gallons and the temperature is being raised from 10 degrees Celsius to 65 degrees Celsius, the formula will be as follows:

  • It will need 6.4 kW of power to heat the volume of water in just one hour if you multiply 100 by 4 times 55 and divide 3412 by 100.

If your energy efficiency factor (EF) is 0.98, you may save up to 20% on your annual heating bills! Think about replacing your outdated electric tank-style system with a new high-efficiency gas or hybrid electric/gas one right now! Various prominent manufacturers, including Rheem and Bradford White, as well as GE Monogram and Vaillant, offer these units for purchase.

What Is the Cost to Run an Electric Heater For 24 Hours?

Electric heaters typically have a wattage of 1,500 watts or more. To figure out how much it will cost to run the electric heater for a day, multiply the sum of 1,500 by 24 and 1,000 by $0.13.

(Dividing by 1,000 results in watt-hours being converted to kilowatt-hours.) In this instance, it will cost $4.68 to run an electric heater for a continuous 24 hour period of time.

Can an Old Water Heater Raise Electric Bill?

Water heaters that are more than a decade old might result in higher energy costs. Generally speaking, older water heaters become less efficient and consume more power than modern ones after a decade or two. Because of this, you may see an increase in your monthly high-energy bill! Because of a variety of circumstances, the amount of energy that ancient water heaters consume might fluctuate significantly from one another. Factors include the age and size of the unit, the tank or demand model type, the temperature you set it to, and the amount of hot water consumed in a single day, among many other variables.

Does Turning Down Water Heater Save Money?

Reduce the temperature of your hot water heater to see if you may save any money. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, lowering the temperature of a 120-degree hot water heater to 90 degrees can result in annual savings of up to ten percent, or around $41 for a household of four who spends approximately $415 per year on water.

How Much Gas Does a Hot Water Heater Use?

You might be shocked to learn that an agas hot water heater can consume the same amount of energy as an electric water heater, depending on the model. Gas really consumes less than half the energy of electricity, yet it still consumes far more than most people assume. The technique for figuring your bill is also similar: you must multiply the amount of therms that your heater consumes per hour by the number of hours that it is on, and then multiply that figure by the price you are charged. For example, if you paid $1 per therm and used a heater that consumed 0.205 therms per hour (about 3 hours each day), the total cost would be around 62 cents per day, $18 per month, and 224 dollars per year, depending on your location.

Gas vs. Electric Water Heater Operating Cost

In general, a gas water heater is less expensive to operate on a monthly basis than an electric water heater. Although natural gas costs are often lower than the cost of electricity in most locations, you should consider other aspects like as the efficiency of your unit when considering which would be the best option for you in your particular situation. The good news is that the Energy Factor, often known as the EF rating, of your water heater determines how efficient it is. The higher this number is as compared to other numbers, the better the result.

Consider models with EF ratings in the 90s if you’re in the market for another electric model for your house but aren’t sure which one would be the best fit for your needs.

How to Keep Your Bills to a Minimum

If you want to save money on the expense of heating your water, there are a few easy things you can do. Start with the following suggestions!

  • Reduce the temperature of your home by turning down the thermostat
  • Take shorter showers. Purchase low-flow faucets and shower heads. Make use of a more recent and more efficient model
  • Find a tank that is the right size for your needs
  • Make sure your tank is properly insulated.

Reducing Water Heater Electricity Usage

One method of conserving power on the water heater is to reduce the temperature setting on the unit. Because you won’t have to reheat this item as frequently if you keep it below 120 degrees Fahrenheit, lowering the temperature can help you save money on your energy bill. A few other options include installing an insulation blanket around the tank, upgrading your old model and choosing a unit that has been certified as Energy Star compliant, or switching over completely to an instantaneous heating of water system, which eliminates the need to wait for hot showers because they are always ready when needed!


Your water heater has the potential to be a significant drain on your electrical budget. Consider using less hot water in order to save money on your power bill. Shower heads and faucets with low flow rates are a good investment to make to limit the quantity of cold water you use for showers and laundry; turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving; and take shorter showers – especially if there are more people living with you than just yourself! If your home relies heavily on electric heating during the winter months, it is critical that any outdated appliances be replaced as soon as they reach the end of their useful life to ensure that efficiency stays high.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.