As you can read in our general information on water heater cost, it is important to understand the costs of all different types of water heaters.
You should figure out the most cost-efficient way to heat water in your home as this will influence what type of heater you will buy.
This article is on lower priced electric water heaters, but the question is if these type of heaters are still more economical over several years time.
Long- and Short Term Cost of Electric Heaters
Aside from the general considerations, here are some specifics about electric water heater costs:
- Most electric water heaters last 10-13 years, so if it’s been awhile since you have replaced yours, you should definitely consider it. Modern electric water heaters are much more efficient than their ancestors.
- Electric hot water heaters are more energy-efficient than their gas cousins. They allow less energy to escape as you heat your water, a mere 8-30%, as compared to up to 50% with gas heaters.
- An electric water heater is relatively cheap and inexpensive to install, gas heaters usually have a higher price tag. Many people are attracted to these lower start-up costs when they consider buying a hot water heater.
If you do not plan to be in your house more than several years, than these lower start-up costs will be especially appealing.
- Electric heaters are undoubtedly safer than gas heaters, in that there is no fuel that can leak or explode, no pilot light that can go out, etc.
- Despite all of the above advantages, it should be noted that electric hot water heaters are more expensive to operate than gas heaters.
Electricity still costs more than gas, and most studies show that it costs three times more to heat water with electricity than gas.
Other questions to consider as you decide for or against an electric heater include:
a) Is your home built for a gas or electric heater?
b) How much water do you use?
c) What is the exact difference in start-up costs in your area?
Do the math
Once you do the math and figure out how much it will cost you to use an electric water heater as opposed to a gas water heater, you can make an informed decision.
There are many websites that will help you to calculate these differences, but we prefer the following page because it’s very informative while not being overly complicated as some of the other calculation methods:
Energy Cost Calculator for Electric and Gas Water Heaters
(Please note that maintenance and installation costs are not included in the tool and “the comparison assumes a storage tank water heater as the input type. To allow demand (tankless) water heaters as the comparison type, users can specify an input EF of up to 0.85; however, 0.66 is currently the best available EF for storage water heaters.”!)
Figure in the start-up costs and how many years you plan to be in the home and use the heater, and you should be able to make a very informed choice.