Gas vs Electric Appliances & Vice Versa

Comparing Gas vs. Electric for Water Heaters, Stoves & More

Gas lines, which deliver natural gas or propane to appliances like stoves, water heaters, and furnaces, are essential to a building’s plumbing infrastructure. Many neighborhoods in Plano, Frisco, and other North DFW cities have natural gas supplied to all homes. Due to this, there is a lot of flexibility if the homeowner wants to use a gas appliance instead of an electric one or vice versa.

This article will review the pros and cons of gas vs electric appliances. We will also talk about the process of replacing one type with another.

Benefits of Gas Appliances

Lower Operating Costs

Gas appliances are typically cheaper to operate over the long term, although this varies based on the average cost of gas and electricity in any local area.

Electric heating elements consume a lot of electricity! The Department of Energy states that the average household with a typical tank-style electric water heater uses around 20% of its electricity to heat water and keep it hot.

While this energy consumption can be lessened with newer technologies like heat-pump electric water heaters, these products are typically more expensive upfront for installation.

Faster Cooking Times

Some gas stoves heat up and cool down more rapidly than electric stovetops, which depend on heating coils or electric elements for heat generation. Gas stoves are usually the tool of choice by chefs. In addition to being so responsive, they typically offer excellent temperature control.

This tends not to be as big of a consideration with newer technologies like induction cooktops. This technology uses electromagnetic fields to directly heat cookware, resulting in quicker heating times and superior temperature control. However, these also tend to cost much more than traditional electric stoves. 

Reliability During Power Outages

During power outages, some gas appliances will still operate. For instance, traditional standing pilot tank water heaters don’t depend on electricity. In addition, igniting gas stoves with matches is also a possibility for many models.  

Many experienced this firsthand in February 2021. Texas experienced a major power crisis due to intense winter storms sweeping the country. Over 4.5 million residences and businesses lost power, with some being cut off for several days.

Besides standing-pilot gas water heaters, gas stoves, and some gas fireplaces, most other gas appliances still require electricity (including heating furnaces and tankless water heaters).

Benefits of Electric Appliances

Purchasing Rebates

Many of Texas’s newer, efficient electric appliances (like heat-pump electric water heaters) qualify for rebates or tax credits through government and utility programs. There are likely to be more of these rebates introduced later this year. These may help offset the cost of upgrading your existing appliances. 

Convenience and Safety

Electric appliances tend to be more user-friendly compared to their gas equivalents. For instance, electric stoves are operated just by rotating a dial. There is no need to make sure a flame is ignited adequately before adjusting the heat level.

Also, since electric appliances don’t come with an open flame, they are much safer than gas heaters. There’s no risk of gas leaks or carbon monoxide leaks.

Steps to Replacing an Electric Appliance With A Gas One

If you want to remove an existing electric appliance and install a gas appliance, the first step is to ensure natural gas is supplied to the home.

A new gas line must be installed from the main trunk line in the attic down to where the appliance will be installed. Different ways of doing this depend on the house’s framing and gas system layout.

Installing a new gas line requires BTU demand calculations on the system to ensure everything is sized correctly and up to code. Then, a permit must be pulled from the local municipality so that the job can pass a third-party inspection.

While some gas appliances are unvented, most will need ventilation piping installed on the home’s exterior so that all combustion byproducts are directed safely away from the living area. 

Steps to Replacing a Gas Appliance With An Electric One

On the other hand, perhaps you’d like to remove the existing gas appliance and install a nice electric one. What is involved in this project?

When abandoning that old gas valve, you’ve got to do it right. You cannot hide it in the wall or some hard-to-reach spot. Instead, follow the gas piping to where it joins the main trunk line. Once you’re there, disconnect it and cap it off. By doing this, you’re ensuring that there won’t be any gas leaks from that pipe or valve in the future.

When installing a new electric appliance, it is essential to select the right one and know its requirements. Unlike gas-powered appliances, electric ones often need high-amperage dedicated circuits, which may necessitate an electrical panel upgrade. Hire a licensed electrician to install additional wiring or circuit breakers to accommodate your new electric appliances. 

This is essential for ensuring safety and compliance with building codes. Whereas your gas stove connects to a standard 110-volt outlet, an electric model consumes more power and typically needs a 220-volt outlet. That means your Electrical experts must also install high-capacity wiring when replacing 110V outlets with 220V units.

Is it Worth Switching from Gas to Electric?

Hopefully, this article has given you a much more complete picture of the considerations involved in switching from natural gas to electric or vice versa:

  • The initial cost of purchase (along with the variety of features on the market)
  • Cost of energy source conversion (hiring a licensed plumber and electrician)
  • Cost of energy usage over the life of the appliance
  • Safety and environmental considerations of the appliance and energy source
  • Maintenance requirements and reliability of power source
  • Personal preference and ease of use

When the time is right to make the switch, Legacy Plumbing will help! Every one of our plumbers is licensed and background-checked. Furthermore, as a company, we always do things by-the-book and stand behind our work. That means you will not have to endure the headaches of dealing with “shortcuts” during installation that reveal themselves months or even years afterward.

If you have questions, give us a call! We pride ourselves in industry-leading UPFRONT communication and would happily review your home’s particulars and vision.

Gas and Electric FAQs

Can you replace a gas stove with an electric stove?

Yes, indeed, it’s possible to replace a gas stove with an electric one. But, there are upgrades required. The existing gas connection may need to be removed and capped off. New electrical wiring may need to be installed as well. This work will require permits and licensed professionals.

Can you replace a gas water heater with an electric water heater?

Absolutely, a gas water heater can be substituted with an electric counterpart! The old venting and gas supply will need to be disconnected and capped off. Then, a new electrical circuit must be installed to power the water heater with 220 Volts. A licensed Plumber and Electrician will need to be involved in this project to make sure everything is done safely and up to electrical and plumbing codes.

Can you replace an electric stove with a gas stove?

Yes, you can upgrade from an electric cooktop or range to a gas one – as long as the house already has a natural gas or propane system installed. A new gas line will need to be ran to the stove’s location by a licensed plumber.

Can you replace an electric water heater with a gas water heater?

If there is already natural gas or propane supplied to the home, you can replace an electric water heater with a gas model, but there are several parts of the installation that will need to be upgraded. In addition to running a new gas line to the location of the water heater, venting will have to be installed as well. Gas water heaters require vent piping to take the combustion byproducts safely out-of-doors. If the water heater is a condensing model, then a condensate drain pipe will need to be added too.

Are electric stoves and water heaters more energy-efficient than gas stoves and water heaters?

Generally speaking, electric appliances tend to have a higher energy efficiency than gas appliances. However, the precise degree of energy efficiency can fluctuate based on the particular model of the appliance. Also, because natural gas is often cheaper than electricity in many areas, it often costs less over the long run to power a gas appliance over an electric one.



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