Hot water heaters account for approximately 25% of home energy usage. Inefficient hot water heaters can cost you up to … per year. Depending on your home heating and energy usage, choosing which type of water heater – propane or electric – can save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

A close comparison – propane water heaters are more efficient

Propane water heaters are more efficient, but electric water heaters closely compare in efficiency. 

The cost to operate a propane water heater vs an electric water heater is a marginal difference. Propane water heaters can save you roughly $70-80 per year compared to electric water heaters. Efficiency, propane fuel cost, and your in-home energy usage all factor into your cost savings.

However, there are several more factors you need to consider…

Initial expense

Propane Water Heaters cost more up front than electric water heaters. A gas water heater unit is about $850 on average, but more efficient models can cost up to $1,400. Electric water heaters cost about $650. Likewise, higher quality units can rise up to $1,500.

Gas water heaters may cost a little more to install upfront. However, check with your propane gas supplier to see if they will install it for you at a lower price.

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Propane water tanks deliver more consistent heat

We’ve all had the water go cold in the middle of a shower. It’s the worst! Gas water heaters help make sure this doesn’t happen. While electric water heaters can take hours to heat your entire tank and the hot water eventually runs out, propane heaters are constantly keeping the water hot. This uses less energy and results in lower fuel consumption and costs.

The switch is not worth the cost

Electric and propane water heaters are a close comparison with a small cost difference. Propane heaters take the lead by a small amount. Switching from electric to gas is really only worth it if you are looking to replace your tank anyway. But if your tank is still in good condition, the cost to switch would be more than you’d save.

Tankless water heaters are more efficient, but have high price tag

Tankless gas water heaters can be up to 22% more efficient than conventional models. However, the upfront cost is still high and maintenance costs may also be higher.