If you are getting a new water heater to replace your old one, then a world of choice has opened up before you. However, one of the most important choices is what sort of fuel your water heater will use. This will affect the initial upfront price of the water heater as well as the cost you pay over time for fuel. Needless to say, it is pretty important to be informed about your options.
Electric vs. Gas vs. Propane vs. Oil for Water Heaters
Primarily when you are shopping for a water heater, you will have four oil options. Some of them similar to each other, but each with their own advantages.
Water heaters that use electricity to heat water are typically cheaper in terms of upfront cost. However, electricity is typically more expensive than other fuel options, so the monthly cost of heating your water can add up. If you are choosing a small water heater because you have small hot water needs, electric would certainly be a good way to go.
2. Natural Gas
Alongside electricity, natural gas is one of the most popular fuel sources for water heaters. Though the initial cost of a natural gas water heater is typically more expensive, natural gas is more efficient and costs less to use overall. However, with a natural gas heater you will need a pilot light and to make sure to vent carbon dioxide. Though most models are very safe overall, they do have the potential for issues (a pilot light going out or carbon dioxide leaks). If you’re looking for a safer option, an electric water heater might be better for you.
A propane water heater is essentially the same as a natural gas heater. Typically, propane is used when a home doesn’t have access to natural gas. The water heater still has the same benefits and disadvantages of a natural gas water heater.
Like propane, oil water heaters are used when there is no access to natural gas. This water heater uses an oil and water mixture that will need to be ignited by electricity. While they are typically very energy efficient, oil water heaters do come with disadvantages. Not only do they need to vent, but because they use a combustible fuel source, they need to be cleaned and maintained more frequently.