Gas vs Electric Water Heaters: Which Is Right for You?

Choosing the right water heater for your home could significantly impact your energy usage and the overall efficiency of your plumbing fixtures, from your showerheads to your sinks.  

At Diamondback Plumbing in Phoenix, Arizona, we understand how this choice between gas and electric water heaters can leave you puzzled. Both options offer unique benefits regarding energy savings, operational efficiency, and environmental impact. 

Today’s article aims to dissect these nuances, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your household needs and values. Whether you’re building a new home or updating your current setup, the insights we share here are designed to illuminate your path toward a more efficient and suitable choice for your hot water needs.

Upfront Costs of Gas and Electric Water Heaters in Phoenix

When considering the upfront costs of gas and electric water heaters in the Phoenix area, several factors come to mind – professional water heater installation, the price of the units themselves, and how your home’s location and available space can influence your choice. 

Generally speaking, electric water heaters tend to have lower initial purchase prices compared to their gas counterparts. This difference is partly due to the more straightforward design of electric units, contributing to their lower installation costs. For homeowners in Phoenix, this can be particularly appealing, especially when budgetary concerns are at the forefront of their decision-making process.

However, consulting with a professional is crucial if you need to learn about the installation specifics in your home. Gas water heaters, for example, require access to natural gas lines, which might not be a straightforward option for every Phoenix location. Space availability also plays a crucial role, as gas water heaters need adequate ventilation—a factor that might only fit seamlessly into some homes’ design or space constraints.

Taking these considerations into account can help Phoenix residents make an informed decision about whether to invest in professional water heater services.

Energy Efficiency of Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

When evaluating the energy efficiency of gas and electric water heaters, it’s essential to consider both their operational costs and their environmental impact. Gas water heaters, for instance, are known for their ability to heat water quickly and lower operational costs in many regions. This efficiency stems from the combustion process, which, though potent, does emit greenhouse gasses.

On the other hand, electric water heaters boast a higher efficiency rate during their operation because they convert almost all the energy they consume directly into heat. 

However, the source of electricity is a crucial factor; if it comes from renewable resources, the environmental impact is lower, making electric heaters an eco-friendly option. But, if the electricity is generated from non-renewable sources, this efficiency comes at the cost of a higher carbon footprint.

Regarding long-term savings, electric water heaters often lead to higher utility bills in areas where electricity is more expensive than natural gas. However, they offer a greener alternative in regions prioritizing renewable energy sources. This choice between gas and electric water heaters becomes a balance between immediate operational efficiency and long-term environmental impact. 

Residents of cities like Phoenix, where both options are viable, must weigh these factors carefully to make a decision that aligns with their household needs and environmental values.

Carbon Footprint of Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

When dissecting the environmental implications of gas and electric water heaters, the carbon footprint casts a long shadow over the debate. To understand the impact, we must consider how each type of water heater operates and its energy source.

Gas water heaters utilize natural gas, a fossil fuel that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned for heat. Although these units are efficient in heating water quickly, their reliance on combustion inherently contributes to the emission of greenhouse gasses. This direct relationship between the use of natural gas and the increase in carbon footprint is critical for eco-conscious households to consider.

Conversely, the carbon footprint of electric water heaters hinges profoundly on the grid’s energy mix from which they draw power. Electric water heaters have a significantly lower carbon footprint in regions where the electricity supply is heavily reliant on renewable resources, such as wind, solar, or hydroelectric power. 

However, the environmental advantage diminishes in areas still dependent on coal or natural gas for electricity generation. The indirect emissions – the emissions produced during electricity generation elsewhere – can be substantial, muddying the waters for those prioritizing a reduced carbon footprint.

While the initial glance might suggest electric water heaters are the clear choice for the environment, their true impact varies widely with the local energy landscape. This intricate balance between operational efficiency and energy source footprint makes the choice between gas and electric water heaters a nuanced decision for Phoenix residents who aim to align their domestic needs with environmental stewardship.

Installation Requirements

Both gas and electric water heaters have their own sets of installation requirements, including the following:

Gas Water Heaters 

Installation requires a gas line and proper venting to ensure combustion gasses are safely expelled from the home. If one still needs to be put in place, the complexity of installing a gas line necessitates expertise in gas fittings and adherence to local building codes. Additionally, gas water heaters need an adequate air supply for combustion, which must be factored into their installation site.

Electric Water Heaters

Although they do not require venting like gas units, electric water heaters have their specific needs, including a dedicated electrical circuit. The installation should comply with electrical standards to safely handle the high power demand of heating water. This often involves upgrading the home’s electrical system to accommodate the heater, a task that a professional should handle.

In both cases, the importance of hiring a professional company for installation cannot be overstated. A skilled installer, such as one of our team members at Diamondback Plumbing, not only ensures that the water heater is installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications and local codes but also maximizes the unit’s efficiency and safety. 

Professional installation helps prevent common issues such as leaks, inadequate heating, and carbon monoxide exposure in gas water heaters. Homeowners can secure peace of mind by choosing a reputable provider like Diamondback Plumbing, knowing that their water heater installation is in expert hands.


The decision between gas and electric water heaters is not merely comparing energy bills or evaluating heating capacity. It encapsulates a broader consideration of environmental impact, energy efficiency, installation requirements, and the local energy landscape. 

Phoenix residents’ decisions should be informed by their households’ immediate needs and environmental commitment. The choice requires careful deliberation, with gas water heaters offering operational efficiency and electric heaters presenting a potentially greener alternative, depending on the electricity source.

Fortunately, Phoenix residents don’t have to make this decision alone. Our team at Diamondback Plumbing stands ready to guide you and your family through the process. 

With expertise in both gas and electric water heater installations, we can help you assess your needs, understand the environmental implications, and choose the water heater that aligns with your energy goals and values. 

Contact Diamondback Plumbing today to ensure your water heating solution is not only efficient and safe but also lives up to your environmental standards.

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