Propane vs. Electric Water Heaters

Written on: February 6, 2023

Which one is right for your home?

water heater options oklahoma

How old is your home’s water heater? You’re on borrowed time with it if it is more than 10 years old. That’s because the average life expectancy of a conventional water heater with a tank is ten years.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to replace your water heater; the repercussions of procrastination far outweigh any benefits. Not only could you be left with an expensive mess and costly repairs, but also you would have to make a rushed decision on which heater is best for your home without taking the time to do proper research. By replacing your water heater now, you can choose the perfect fit for your needs without hassle or stress!

Pitmon Oil & Gas offers expert water heater installation and service, along with reliable propane delivery.

As you search for the ideal water heater, energy efficiency should be a key consideration. When it comes to this factor, propane is an indisputable winner and leaves electric models in the dust!

Factors in water heating costs

You may not have known, but water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home, second only to cooling and heating. To help reduce this considerable expenditure, making a wise decision when it comes to selecting a water heater can result in some noteworthy savings!

Here are some things to take into account when comparing propane and electric water heaters.
Energy factor. When shopping for a water heater, use the Energy Factor score to easily assess which one is most energy efficient. A higher rating indicates better efficiency and cost savings on your utility bill over time. When you’re considering the operating costs of a water heater, the energy factor is an invaluable metric for comparison between water heaters.

The Energy Factor number is obtained from a test developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and takes into account heat loss within the heater and its plumbing, and the heater’s capacity to send heat to the water in its tank. The Energy Factor of a propane water heater is often in the range of .5 to .65, whereas electric water heaters an Energy Factor of around .9.  

However, the Energy Factor does not consider the cost of fuel or power. So, while the Energy Factor is a good beginning in determining a heater’s operational cost, it is not enough to accurately determine a water heater’s operating costs.
Recovery efficiency. The Energy Factor is a standard for gauging how quickly water heaters can generate warmth. Propane-powered ones generally have excellent recovery efficiency, particularly compared to electric models. Thanks to propane water heaters’ ability to meet hot water demands more efficiently, you may be able to forgo a larger tank size compared with electric water heaters. A smaller tank requires less energy to keep a large volume of water hot, resulting in lower operating costs. 

Recovery efficiency also impacts how long it takes for a tank of water to re-heat. With the superior recovery efficiency of propane, you won’t need to wait long after someone’s shower in order to enjoy your own! Also, propane tankless water heaters eliminate the wait completely because they produce endless hot water, on-demand! 

Fuel and energy costs. Even though electric water heaters have a higher Energy Factor, the cost of running a propane water heater is more economical than using an electric due to the high price of electricity.

The Department of Energy provides a calculations that enable you to measure the operational costs of water heaters and make comparisons.

Get energy efficiency and comfort with a propane water heater from Pitmon Oil & Gas! Get in touch with us to get started.