January 13, 2017
One of the most important appliances in your Edmonton home is your water heater. In fact, residential water heating is estimated to be the second biggest energy use for Canadian households, accounting for approximately 40% of total electrical energy consumption.* It’s importance is especially felt in the dead of winter, when it provides a heating component essential for your household health and comfort. This is why it’s important that your home has the right kind of model for your needs.
There are a variety of water heater designs on the market including standard, tankless, point-of-use, high-efficiency and solar. The most common is the standard tank unit, which comes in gas and electric options. While most homes have a natural gas unit, there are a variety of benefits that an electric water heater can provide. Thinking about purchasing a new water heater? We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons when considering an electric model:
Efficiency: Electric water heaters are much more energy efficient than their natural gas counterparts. Conventional gas storage units keep the water hot at all times and, while this is convenient, it means that energy is constantly being used (and lost). But the cost of electricity ultimately makes running an electric water heater more expensive. However, options such as using off-peak rates from your utility company can sometimes offset some of the additional costs. Also, investing in an ENERGY STAR qualified unit will help keep costs down as well.
Timer: One of the advantages of owning an electric heater is that a timer can be installed, which can be programmed to shut off during off hours. A short window (as opposed to the 24 hour heating of a gas tank) will considerably cut down on the utilities. This makes an electric water heater a more attractive option for those looking to save energy and cut down on bills.
Heat Recovery: A gas water heater can heat a 50 gallon tank in about an hour, which is much faster than an electric unit. For families of four or more, a natural gas model might make more sense as an electric heater will have trouble keeping up with demand.
Cost: In most instances, an electric water heater is less expensive than natural gas. A typical electric tank heater retails anywhere from $250 to $500. A natural gas heater will cost around $300 to $600. High performance models of both designs will cost considerably more. Installation prices will vary considerably depending on several factors, but most natural gas units require a more complex procedure (making them more expensive).
Installation: An electric tank heater doesn’t require a complicated installation process. The tank can easily be connected by adding an outlet or extra wiring. A gas unit is a bit more complicated in that it requires venting the exhaust through a flu. This usually entails the connection of PVC tubing from the unit to the roof of the home.
Safety: Compared to natural gas units, electric tanks are considered much safer. A gas explosion or leak is much more probable than an electrical mishap. Pilot lights on gas tanks will sometimes need to be re-lit (which can be dangerous if not attended properly).
Space: If your home has limited space, an electric water heater might be ideal. Unlike natural gas designs, which require 6 -18 inches of ventilation around the sides and top, electric tanks don’t need a lot of ventilation and work well in confined areas.
Life Span: An electric water heater generally has a longer life than a gas unit. Electric tanks are composed of less parts and, unlike natural gas designs, aren’t compromised by direct heat. In fact, an electric heater can last for several more than a typical gas unit.
You’ll find a wide variety of water heater designs on the market, including an array of brand name electric tank units. While an electric model might not be right for your home, researching the best kind of design for your needs is essential. It is even more important when considering a typical Edmonton winter and the necessity for hot water on demand. When you decide that you are in the market for a new water heater, make Always Plumbing & Heating your first call. Our trained technicians will help assess the best design for your needs – including different sizes, designs and fuel options. Call us today at 780-489-8118 to schedule an appointment.
Call the experts in water heaters in Edmonton at Always Plumbing & Heating today. Schedule your appointment by calling us at 780-489-8118 or contact us online .