Gas Vs. Electric Heaters

Written by jay leone
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Gas Vs. Electric Heaters
Gas and electric heaters. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Michael Cote')

Gas and electricity are popular fuels used to power different types of heaters. Several different models of space heaters and water heaters are available using gas or electricity. All types of heaters offer their advantages and disadvantages. To reduce risk of injury or fire, care should be taken while operating any gas or electric heater.

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Function

The basic function of any kind of gas or water heater is to provide heat to an item or location. Electric and gas space heaters are appliances that are used to heat an area or room. Electric and gas water heaters are used to heat water that will pass through the plumbing of a given house or building.

Features

There are basically four types of space heaters on the market, and most types are available in electric or gas power. Heater fans can provide quick and even heating of a room or area. Ceramic heaters are widely used in home and office settings. Radiant heaters quickly provide focused spot heating and are well suited for draughty areas or rooms with high ceilings. Convection heaters are good for long-term heating of whole rooms.

Cost

Space heaters that use gas or electricity for power are widely available in a variety of sizes for anywhere from less than fifty dollars to several hundred dollars. Electric-generated heat is traditionally more expensive than gas-generated heat. Electric water heaters can cost anywhere from £325 to £455 and gas water heaters can cost anywhere around £650 or more.

Considerations

Consider several things before investing in any type of gas or electric heater, including availability of gas or electricity and water use habits. Also, gas prices around the globe tend to fluctuate more dramatically than prices for electricity. Gas and electric heaters can get extremely hot, and care should be taken when handling or standing near a gas or electric heater. Space heaters should only be used in well ventilated areas.

Comparisons

A gas water heater usually has an efficiency that peaks at anywhere between 80 per cent and 85 per cent. Electric water heaters are known to be up to 98 per cent efficiency. Electric water heaters are more efficient than gas heaters; they have a longer service life and are cheaper to install. Gas however, is a cheaper input fuel per BTU of output power.

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