Many common household appliances run on either natural gas or electricity. If you’ve always had either gas or electric, you might be wondering if the grass is greener on the other side of the power source. When the time comes to purchase a new home or upgrade your appliances — and you think you’re ready for a change — you might have some questions about gas vs electric. Do appliances have the same functionality whether they’re gas or electric? Is electric heating cheaper than gas? Is one option more environmentally friendly? What about initial investment costs?
Deciding whether to use gas or electric in your home appliances is a big decision, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Below, we'll compare electric and gas appliances and the pros and cons of each.
Gas Appliances vs Electric Appliances
Natural gas is more versatile for in-home use than most people realize, while electric has been the staple for most appliances for the last several decades. Gas was around long before electric, and many appliances in almost every room throughout your home that can be powered by electric can also be powered by gas. Gas appliances tend to be cheaper to operate than electric appliances, but they also require a higher upfront investment. The most common appliances that people go back and forth on for gas and electric are:
- Clothes dryer – Dryers that use gas produce an abundance of heat and typically dry clothing fast as a result. Gas dryers are also better for your clothes! They tumble around the machine less, create fewer wrinkles, and give your clothing more longevity. Electric dryers have many different models and are cheaper upfront than gas. They’re low maintenance and easier to repair, and some have an added steam feature to aid in wrinkle reduction.
- Fireplace – Gas fireplaces with faux logs give the look and feel of an authentic fire, but without the mess and fuss. They’re hotter, more energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly. Electric fireplaces don’t have the same ambiance and heating power as gas fireplaces. They are simpler and safer, which makes them a great option, especially in a smaller space.
- Water heater – Tankless gas water heaters heat up cold water as needed, whereas a gas water heater with a tank uses a burner. Gas water heaters warm water quickly and are cheaper to operate. An electric water heater is more efficient and heats water more evenly than gas and doesn't pose as much of a safety risk as gas.
- Furnace – A gas furnace is incredibly efficient and effective at heating your home. Not only does a gas furnace heat your room quickly, but it can also ventilate and humidify your home, too. An electric furnace is a cheaper investment upfront, runs more quietly than gas, and is safer — you don’t have to worry about gas leaking into your home with electric.
Gas vs Electric Ovens
The stove and oven is the appliance at the center of the gas vs electric debate, and it deserves its own category. The reason why the debate around gas vs electric ovens is so much more so than around the appliances listed above is that cooking with gas involves a different cooking style than cooking with electric.
While gas stoves and ovens offer a faster way to heat your food and the heat is easier to control because you can see the flame and adjust it, electric stoves are safer because there’s no open flame and free gas flowing into your home. Gas ovens cook with more heat and allow your food to retain more moisture than electric ovens do. This is ideal when you’re cooking certain foods such as meat. Because electric ovens cook with dry heat, they’re perfect for baking or making chips and other foods that don’t necessarily need moisture retention.
The debate between gas and electric may never be fully settled because there is no clear winner. Both have so many advantages, so it often comes down to a matter of taste, especially when it comes to your stove. If you’re looking for more energy efficiency, moisture retention in your air and food, and lower prices on your energy bill, gas is the way to go. If you’re looking for a safer option that has a lower upfront cost, eclectic is for you.
If you want more professional advice from an expert home-building team, contact Lancia Homes today.