The majority of homes in the U.S. have gas water heaters, but more and more people are switching to electric units instead. When deciding what type of new water heater to install, energy efficiency is one of the main things you should focus on. With this in mind, here is an overview of electric water heater efficiency and how these units compare to gas water heaters.
Comparing Electric and Gas Water Heaters
Electric water heaters are generally always more energy efficient than their gas counterparts, and this is true for both traditional and tankless units. However, despite using less energy, electric water heaters are still more expensive to operate than gas units, and this is simply due to the difference in price between electricity and natural gas or propane. That being said, electric water heaters are still better for the environment, cheaper to purchase and install and have a longer average lifespan compared to gas units.
Electric Heat Pump Water Heaters
There is one type of electric water heater that is much more energy efficient and cheaper to operate than any gas unit, and this is a heat pump water heater. These units work similarly to an air conditioner or refrigeration system except in reverse. A heat pump water heater uses a special refrigerant that captures heat energy from the air inside the building and uses it to heat the water inside the unit’s tank.
A fan inside the unit draws in hot air and blows it over a coil containing cold refrigerant. The refrigerant captures heat energy from the air so that it becomes much hotter. The hot refrigerant then moves down to a larger coil inside the tank where the heat energy then flows out of the refrigerant to raise the temperature of the water.
Most heat pump water heaters are hybrid units, which means they can switch over to using electric resistance heating whenever either a lot of heat is needed or the air temperature is too cold for the unit to work properly. Compared to a standard electric water heater, a heat pump water heater is usually nearly three times as efficient and can lower your energy costs by several hundred dollars a year.
If you need any water heater services in Bellevue, ProMax Water Heaters & Plumbing has you covered. We install, repair, and maintain both gas and electric traditional and tankless units, as well as heat pump water heaters. Our team of plumbers also works on faucets, toilets, and water lines. To learn more about your options for a new water heater, give us a call today.