Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters in Singapore
When deciding to get either a gas or storage heater, most people struggle to find accurate information on the pros and cons for both systems. Since A. O. Smith manufactures both gas and storage heaters, we have come up with a simple comparison for both systems based on feedback homeowners.
Tips and advice to find a cheap paris bodybuilding coach halobol why become a partner client of forever? sébastien dubusse, blog musculation / fitness passion – musculation / fitness passion.In the past, we only focused on gas and basic storage heaters for HDB but we have since updated this article to compare a greater and more popular variety of gas and storage heater options for both HDB and condominiums in Singapore.
1. Initial Cost
You can find both gas and storage heaters in the affordable $300 – $1800 range. Gas heaters for HDB have a lower flow rate and cost around $350. Gas heaters for condos have a higher flow rate and are priced at around $1800. Large condos need to install several gas heaters.
There are different types of storage heaters. The most basic storage heaters are around $400, while the higher performing digital heater range which can produce more hot water goes for around $1000. Renewable energy storage heaters are in the $2000 range. These prices are for apartments that use a single heater to supply hot water to showers, basins and kitchens.
2. Energy Saving
In Singapore, gas companies frequently market gas products as being very much greener than storage heaters, but international statistics and user experience suggest that the consumption is about the same at around 3000W. There is no great variance in the utility bills either.
The CityGas statistics on the left paint a picture of how much homeowners can save with gas heaters but this is misleading for laymen as it omits factors such as target water temperature. When making an apple to apple comparison using the table on the right, we can see that the unit cost of running a gas heater is about the same as running a storage heater. There are no significant savings for end-users.
Both electricity and town gas need to go through a conversion process before it reaches customers, so for a water heater to be truly green, the best way is to use renewable energy sources. (Solar excluded from this comparison as it can’t be installed in apartments)
Power Consumption Comparison
- Gas heaters: 3000W (equivalent)
- Electric heaters: 3000W
- Digital heaters: 3000W
- Heat pumps: 210W
Renewable energy heaters like heat pumps absorb free air heat from the surroundings to produce hot water. While regular electric heaters run at 3000W, heat pumps at only 210W. This is because they are not creating new energy, they are collecting free energy from the environment. Choose this option if you really want to save energy.
Electric heaters have been used safely for years both in Singapore and overseas markets. They are comparatively safer than gas heaters. In each electric heater, there are 3 basic safety features. As a precaution, if any one of these features fail, the heater will cut out power immediately.
In comparison, gas heaters require many more safety features than storage heaters because of the dangers gas leaks may pose. Gas is toxic, and gas-related fires are difficult to put out because gas can flow continuously from the pipe source. The higher cost of running anti-leak, anti-corrosion pipes and safety checks specially for the gas network is transferred to homeowners and thus, we pay a premium for the gas infrastructure.
Furthermore in about 90% of the overseas markets, ‘natural gas’ is used. The remaining 10% of the countries use ‘town gas’. Singapore falls in the 10% which uses ‘town gas’. Because of greater market demand and R&D for ‘natural gas’, ‘natural gas’ heaters are equipped with more safety features and a higher level of performance technology. ‘Town gas’ heaters are more basic and offer lower performance in terms of water pressure and consistency.
4. Wasted Water
Because gas heaters must be installed externally for safety reasons, homeowners might face the daily inconvenience of wasted water. This is due to having to clear out ‘cold feed’, which is the cold water in the pipe length that needs to be cleared before hot water can reach you. Clearing the cold feed can take around half a minute. That’s quite a lot of water.
Because storage heaters can be installed in close proximity within the bathroom with no safety concerns, you can get hot water almost immediately without clearing out too much cold feed.
5. Ease of Installation
Storage heaters can be positioned anywhere indoors, but the challenge is finding a large enough space for a tank that is bigger than a gas heater. If you are looking at an exposed installation for HDB, there are designated heater locations for you. However, in a condominium with false ceilings, the installation space can get quite tight.
Gas heaters also have a designated installation location, close to the gas pipe point and usually outdoors. As they are smaller, it is usually easier to find a space. If you don’t already have a gas point, it may be costly to run one for the heater.
6. Speed heating
If you use your heater on a daily basis, there is no wait time for both types of heaters.
If you take vacations often and your heaters have to start heating from cold water, gas heaters will produce hot water immediately whereas storage heaters will need some time to warm up. These are the timings recorded for the different types of storage heaters:
How do digital heaters reduce heating time significantly?
They do it with MAX Technology.
7. Water Pressure
Gas heaters are instantaneous heaters and that means they have an in-built water pressure reducer. Users will experience a water pressure drop of about 50% at the shower compared to 100% coming in at the PUB mains. The pressure drop for condominiums is not as pronounced, it is around 30% from PUB pressure. If two bathrooms are used simultaneously or if the kitchen taps are running, water pressure will be reduced even further. With gas heaters, it is not advisable for two showers to be running at the same time or for users to have rain showers at home.
Storage heaters are closed tank systems that preserve 100% water pressure from the PUB water mains. If two showers are running simultaneously, water pressure will drop slightly to around 90%. This means that two rain showers can run simultaneously.
8. Water Temperature
An acceptable shower temperature in Singapore is around 38°C. Both gas and storage heaters can attain this temperature. However if two hot water points are in use, storage heaters will produce a more consistent 38ºC, while gas may produce a fluctuating 38ºC. This is due to different ways in which both heaters generate hot water.
If you have a preference for onsen-style steaming hot showers and tubs, the temperature you require is between 40 to 42°C. Go for a storage heater because these can give you reliable temperatures and high water pressure. Storage gives you the 5-star hotel shower effect.
Both heaters need to be maintained. For gas heaters, it is advisable to do checks on gas leaks every 6 months. Storage heaters have safety device checks and tanks flushed every 3 years to keep shower water clean.
Regular maintenance of your water heater will keep it running at high heat efficiency over many years, and prolong the lifespan of your heater by about 30%. In Singapore, we have a slight cost-saving advantage as our water quality standards are high and maintenance does not have to be done that frequently.
10. Clean energy
Gas is a cleaner source of energy compared to electriciy and a gas heater can produce about 60% less carbon than an elelctric heater. This is because gas is piped direct to the heater and burned at the gas heater itself instead of needing to go through a gas power station to generate electricity for a storage heater.
Storage heaters score 3.9/5.0 stars while gas heaters score 2.9/5.0 stars.
There’s really no perfect heater and no right or wrong answers. What’s most important is that you get something that suits your needs. For some, a simple gas heater might do the job. For others, a factor like high water pressure might take priority. If you’re just starting out and water heaters are completely new to you, you might want to take a Heater Quiz and speak to a friendly Heater Specialist to sound out your ideal fit.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gas Water Heaters And Electric Water Heaters In Singapore
Other related articles:
The fastest storage water heater in Singapore which can perform like an instant heater to produce hot water in 0 minutes.
Useful step by step guide which walks homeowners through the procedure and costs of making the switch from gas to storage
Which water heaters are most popular in Singapore?
How do you determine which is the best size for your family?