Gas Water Heaters Vs. Electric Water Heaters: Which Is More Affordable?

Want an efficient and economical water heater that won’t drain your bank account? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. The range of fuel types such as propane, electric, natural gas, and hybrid water heaters can make finding an affordable Water heater installation Hamilton quite challenging. We have finally narrowed down this long list to two options based on the cost of operation, installation, and fuel types. In this article, we will discuss these two and evaluate which one is best. Let’s find out more below.

Working Principle Of Water Heaters

Water heaters generally have tanks that store and heat water regardless of the fuel they are powered by. Gas heaters have water tanks connected to the gas valves by a gas pipe. The water inside the gas water heater tanks is automatically heated when the aquastat detects a lower than the required temperature. Your local utility company will charge you based on how much gas you use. Electric water heaters also work on the same principle as gas water heaters. The only difference is that electric elements are used to ignite the burners.

There are several factors to consider when identifying the cheapest heater. We will compare the estimated water heating costs with both heaters in the following section and identify which is cheaper.

Estimated expense with electric water heaters

The average price of an electric heater at big box stores is $494. In addition to the purchase price, electric heaters also have installation costs, ranging from $200 to $500 for big box stores and $400 to $600 for HVAC companies. HVAC installation costs are higher due to the extensive safety compliances they follow during installation. Moreover, they offer a colossal warranty to cover premature failure of their tanks.

As a result, the average cost of an electric water heater will be between $1400 and $1600 if you purchase your heater from an HVAC company. A family of four with an average monthly electric expense of $44.43 and a heater’s lifespan of between 10 and 15 years, electric water would incur a total expenditure between $5331.60 and $7997.40.

Now let’s compare this with the estimated cost of a gas water heater.

Estimated expense with gas water heaters

The average cost of a gas water heater is $798, far higher than an electric water heater. Electric water heaters and gas water heaters have the same prices for installation. The average estimated cost of a gas water heater stands at $1398 if you hire an HVAC company to install it.

The estimated cost of operating a gas water heater for a family of four is $2665.8 over 15 years (estimation based on the fact that a gas tank consumes less energy than an electric heater).

If the operating cost and the purchase cost of a gas water heater are summed up, we get a result of $4663. 8, which is $3333. 6 less than the average operational cost of an electric water heater.


Well, the math clearly shows that a gas water heater is much cheaper than an electric one. However, with energy costs becoming highly variable, it is imperative to consider your energy costs before purchasing a heater. Additionally, electricity and gas are priced differently based on your city. To avoid making a costly mistake, make sure to compare prices before deciding on a purchase.