Electric vs. Gas Water Heater in Lake Tahoe Real Estate?

As a Lake Tahoe realtor and a home owner, I was recently faced with electric water heater vs. gas water heater decision for my own Lake Tahoe real estate, which lead me to investigate my options. There are several things to consider for your Lake Tahoe real estate water heater needs. This is a loose guideline and not an advice for electric vs. gas water heater and you should always consult with a licensed plumber to confirm. All statements are approximate.

Perhaps the most important factor when considering electric vs. gas water heater is the location of the water heater in your Lake Tahoe real estate. There are several codes that have to be followed when installing gas and electric water heaters in Lake Tahoe real estate, and most of them have to do with venting. Gas water heaters need to be vented, whereas the electric water heaters do not. If your Lake Tahoe real estate has a constricted area in which to put the water heater, the electric vs. gas water heater decision may be easy for you, as electric may be the only option.


Electric Water Heater vs. Gas Water Heater


Electric Water Heater Pros:

1.) Electric water heaters can be installed in constricted area, and usually smaller sizes exist
2.) Cheaper to install
3.) Cheaper to buy
4.) No venting required
5.) No air intake required


Gas Water Heater Pros:

1) More efficient
2) Cheaper to operate
3) Can heat more water in an hour (i.e. you don’t have to wait as long for the water to heat up between showers)


Electric Water Heater Cons:

1) Nearly double in operating costs
2) Heats much less water in an hour
3) Need a designated 220 V electric circuit


Gas Water Heater Cons:

1) Require elaborate (read expensive) installation, including a venting system that either has to go through the side or through the roof, gas line, and combustion air intake
2) More expensive to buy


Gas water heaters are not all created equal, though!


Types of Gas Water Heaters

1) Power vent:¬† the only option if you have constricted space and can’t vent up, but have to vent to the side. Has a blower at the top to blow the air out to the side, so smaller vent pipe is sufficient. Most expensive option up front, but installation may be less since smaller pipe to vent may be OK, and it doesn’t have to vent through the rooGas vs. Electric Water Heaterf, which in Lake Tahoe real estate means, snow splitters etc. Lake Tahoe real estate gas water heaters have to vent a foot above the snow line, so keep that in mind. It requires a combustion air intake, so if in constricted space, the door either has to have slats or there has to be a vent inside the enclosure.

2) Direct vent: like power vent, it vents to the side, but it is not a space saver as it requires about a foot above before the larger pipe is allowed to make a turn. Usually cheaper than¬† power vent, and a great option if you can’t vent through the roof.

3) Atmospheric water heater: otherwise known as the “regular” gas water heater, the cheapest to buy but it has to vent directly up and through the roof.

4) Tankless water heater: the ultimate space-saver, and the most efficient and eco-friendly. But, do tankless water heaters work in Lake Tahoe real estate? I was told they have to work overtime to heat up the Lake Tahoe real estate frigid water, and anything less than 200,000 BTU doesn’t really work. I was, also, told that it affects the water pressure in Lake Tahoe real estate. They require a larger gas line, and both installation and purchase price are significantly more.


So, electric vs. gas water heater in Lake Tahoe real estate? If you are trying to save up front costs, or otherwise won’t be affected by the operating costs, electric is the way to go; however, gas water heater will pay for itself in less than 3 years in operating costs, and will heat up nearly twice as much water in an hour, so if you have many people showering, time between water heating is much less for gas water heaters. If space and up front costs aren’t an issue, the gas water heater in Lake Tahoe real estate is the way to go!

Once you decide electric vs. gas water heater, when shopping, keep in mind that for Lake Tahoe real estate both need to be high altitude models! If you are buying from Home Depot or Lowes, make sure you ask for high altitude models, as most floor models are not! Allow extra time when ordering your Lake Tahoe real estate water heater.

For all your Lake Tahoe Real Estate needs, call Olja Mihic, your Lake Tahoe Realtor!

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