Jun 19, 2012 by Alagasco

Shopping for a Natural Gas Water Heater

In the market for a new water heater? There are several things to look for when shopping for a water heater…maybe we can help you out with a few things to consider while you’re looking.

First of all, let’s talk tank vs. tankless.

If you have never heard of a tankless water heater…they are the latest and GREATEST natural gas appliance.  A natural gas tankless hot water heater  is a water heater without that pesky, space-consuming tank. Tankless water heaters heat the water as you need it. Since there’s no tank of water to keep warm, they are energy efficient and help reduce your energy consumption.  Tankless water heaters are 34% more efficient than traditional tank units. Tankless water heaters have multiple venting options and can even be installed outside the home. Overall, tankless water heaters have lower life-cycle costs and accurate temperature control.  But, while the tankless is our favorite, it does have a slight drawback…higher up-front costs.

The natural gas tank water heater is the most commonly used. Tank water heaters are becoming more and more energy efficient, and they have lower up-front costs.  Some drawbacks of the tank water heater are that they have more standby heat loss and higher life-cycle costs. Also, temperature control is not as precise.

Now, the next factor you need to consider is electric vs. natural gas.

What’s the difference?

  1. Natural gas water heaters heat water twice as fast as electric water heaters.
  2. A natural gas water heater costs far less to operate than an electric water heater.
  3. No cold showers when the power is out.
  4. 83% of consumers prefer natural gas for water heating.

You may be thinking…if I have an electric water heater, how much will it cost to convert from electric to natural gas?

This depends on several variables. Costs can vary upon whether you already have a gas service line running to your home. If you do, the cost is less. If you already have natural gas, the best way to get an estimate is to simply contact one of our Gas Advantage Contractors. If you live in an all-electric home and are interested in natural gas, call us at 800-292-4010. We’ll walk you through the process of switching.  

The good news is that Alagasco offers a rebate towards a free gas tank hot water heater and up to $450 toward installation when you switch from electric. That’s a value of up to $800! Alagasco also offers a rebate up to $800 toward the purchase and installation of a new tankless hot water heater. For more information, click here.


Alagasco, your natural gas partner, provides clean, energy efficient natural gas to approximately 437,000 homes, businesses and industries in central and north Alabama. To report a gas leak, a line break, or any other gas service emergency, please call 1-800-292-4008. For other inquiries about your account, service or billing, you can reach us via email or phone.

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