Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

Top Asked Questions When Deciding:

Gas Heaters vs Electric Heaters

You’re choosing a water heater and deciding between getting a gas or electric model. Both have their advantages and considerations. Understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll address the top asked questions when comparing gas and electric water heaters.

1. The main difference between the two?

What they run on:

Gas water heaters rely on piped gas to generate a flame to heat the water. Electric water heaters use electrical elements to generate heat. This main difference affects  their performance, efficiency, and installation requirements.

2. Are gas heaters more energy efficient?

Gas: lower carbon footprint

Gas has a lower carbon footprint compared to electricity. In Singapore, we get electricity by burning gas at a power station. Gas powered heaters skip this stage and have a lower carbon footprint.

Electric: can be more efficient

However, electric water heaters have improved in efficiency over the years. Their efficiency goes up with features like renewable heat pump technology. Heat pumps have an even lower carbon footprint than gas heaters.

3. Do gas heaters have a lower upfront cost?

HDB: both are affordable

For entry level HDB models, both types of heaters are affordable at around $300+. High end storage options for HDB go up to $1000.

Condo: gas heaters cost more

Condo gas heaters are more expensive than storage heaters. They are around $1000 as they have higher water pressure.  Storage heaters remain in the $200-1000 range, similar to HDB models.

Don’t overlook installation costs. Gas water heaters require extra water pipes as they are further from the bathroom.

4. How do gas heaters fare with running costs?

Depends on whether you are HDB or Condo

If you are using a low flow rate HDB gas heater, running cost will be about the same as electric because water flow rate is low.

The running cost of a condo gas heater seems to be higher than a storage heater because water flow rate is high.

Comparing with CityGas ads:

On some gas ads, it seems you can save more with gas heaters. This is is not accurate because the ad omits water temperature. Once we include water temperature, we can see the cost of running a gas heater is about the same as storage.

Is gas really cheaper?

You’ll never really know, until you start using and measuring the cost on your own. The next best thing to do is check out online reviews.

5. Differences in performance and speed?

Gas: Instant continuous hot water

Gas heaters have a faster recovery rate than storage heaters. This means you can get hot water continuously.

Storage heaters can produce water for limited time period. E.g. 16 min

Tip: Storage tank users must size tank correctly to get enough hot water

Storage: consistent hot temperature

On Singapore’s colder rainy days, storage heaters continue to deliver very hot water. Gas heaters will register temperature changes from hot-cold-hot.

Want to know long a new heater takes to heat up? Find out more here.

Storage: higher water pressure

Storage heaters are a pressurised system, so you can get better hot water pressure. This is good for rain showers and 2-bathroom usage. Gas heaters will reduce water pressure and it is best to use 1 bathroom at a time.

Want to understand why? See how these heaters are built to find out more.

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Amanda is an education specialist at AOS Bath. She enjoys building a trusted network by sharing knowledge. Making difficult concepts simple and engaging is rewarding, on both ends.