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.

6. Which is better for a rain shower? 

It depends.

It depends on the heater flow rate. Rain showers require 10 lit/min.

Make sure you get at least 10 lit/min from your heater for a good shower experience.

  • HDB gas heaters produce 8 lit/min
  • Condo gas heaters produce around 15 lit/min. Avoid showers at the same time.
  • Storage heaters give you up to 25 lit/min

7. What about maintenance and lifespan?

Gas heater: requires more maintenance

Gas water heaters may need more maintenance due to components like burners and vents. Electric water heaters have fewer moving parts, resulting in lower maintenance needs.

Gas: 5 years

Storage: 10-20 years

Most storage and gas models have an average lifespan of around 5 years.

A good storage heater brand can last over 20 years.

Tip: Read local reviews

The quality of every local model is different. It is best to read reviews before buying.

8. Which installation is more complicated?

Gas: installation more complicated

  • Gas heater installation is more complicated and expensive.
  • Thye are far away from the bathroom and need more pipes.

Storage: easier to install

  • Electric water heaters are easier to install as there are fewer components
  • Requires less electrical electrical wiring and water pipes.
  • Lower installation cost.

Gas heater: located further away

Gas heaters must be at the yard for safety reasons so it may take longer to get hot water. A storage heater delivers hot water faster as it is closer to the shower.

9. How does warranty for each heater compare?

Gas: up to 1 year full warranty

  • A full warranty covers all out-of-pocket costs. This includes on site service, transport and parts.
  • Gas heaters come with a 1 year warranty, max.

Storage: up to 3 years full warranty

  • Storage is easier to maintain, so warranty can be for longer
  • It is better to go for a full warranty than a partial warranty.
  • Full warranty is completely covered with no hidden costs.

Conclusion: Gas or Electric?

The choice is yours.

The decision to go for a gas or electric water heater depends on many factors. Understand your family’s needs. Consider installation, running costs, hot water demand and performance. Reading reviews from other users in Singapore can also help you make the best decision.


How to get the hot steam shower effect?

Electric heaters give out higher temperature and water pressure. Go for this if you want the steam effect.

Can I Install a booster pump to increase water pressure?

Installing a pressure pump in your home may increase your water pressure but this is not legal in Singapore. This is because a pressure pump can draw water pressure away from your neighbours.

If all your neighbours are experiencing water pressure problems, it is advisable to contact your Town Council or MCST for a better solution.

Should I switch my heater off after use?

Yes. You should always switch the heater off after use to conserve electricity. Otherwise, use a built-in timer, available with digital heaters.


Other related articles:


The instant-storage heater

The fastest storage water heater in Singapore which can perform like an instant heater to produce hot water in 0 minutes.



Convert: gas to storage heaters

Useful step by step guide which walks homeowners through the procedure and costs of making the switch from gas to storage



How to size your water heater

Which water heaters are most popular in Singapore?
How do you determine which is the best size for your family?



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.