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W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Is an Electric Water Heater Worthwhile?


When you’re looking to have a new water heater installed for your home, you’ll find you have more choices than you once did. However, the two standards, gas tank water heaters and electric tank water heaters, are still the most common and reliable. Many homeowners find themselves gravitating back to the tried-and-true.

You may be considering an electric water heater in Rocky Mount, VA as your next installation. If your house is all-electric, then your water heater selection is definitely narrowed down. Even some homes that use natural gas may choose to have an electric water heater installed. Is this a worthwhile investment? 

We can’t give you a solid answer because whether an electric water heater is a good investment for your home depends on numerous factors. We recommend you consult with our professionals to get our expert opinion about what water heater to rely on. Below, we’ll walk you through several of the pros and cons of an electric water heater.

PRO: Flexible and easy to install

It’s a straightforward process for our technicians to have a new electric water heater installed. Because these water heaters do not combust fuel, they don’t require gas lines or special venting. Your home doesn’t need a chimney for gas to escape. An electric water heater can work in almost any home.

CON: Cost to operate

You might hear that electric water heaters have higher energy efficiency than gas water heaters. This is technically true but misleading. An electric water heater doesn’t lose heat energy to exhaust the way a gas water heater does, so all electric water heaters have 100% AFUE (efficiency) ratings. However, because the cost of electricity is usually higher than gas, electric water heaters often run up higher bills over their service lives.

PRO: Safety

The reason that many people opt to go electric even if they have natural gas available is that electric water heaters are safer. There is no danger of toxic gases or combustion hazards. Electric water heaters are still not completely safe, but they are definitely the safer choice.

CON: Slower recovery rate

It takes longer for the heating elements inside an electric water heater to warm up and heat the entire tank than it does for the gas jets of a gas water heater. If running out of hot water is something that commonly happens in your house, you’ll have longer to wait before an electric water heater can supply you with more.

PRO: Longevity

Because electric water heaters don’t have to deal with combustion gases and venting, which can lead to early corrosion in gas water heaters, they have longer estimated service lives. You can expect from 20 to 25 years from an electric water heater. 

CON: May require an electrical system upgrade

If you live in an older home, you may not have the electrical wiring or voltage necessary to support the high demands of an electric water heater. (These appliances use more electricity than any other home appliance, even the air conditioner.) This will mean needing to make several costly electrical upgrades to your house.

We can help you make the best choice about your water heating needs. Rely on the experts at W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning.

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