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Gas Vs. Electric Appliances: Which Option Is Cheaper For Homeowners?

5-Minute Read
Published on March 17, 2022
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Is gas or electric a cheaper energy source for your home needs? We’re glad you asked. If you’re considering whether to go gas vs. electric, while things may seem relatively straightforward at first, in practice, the answer may be more nuanced.

That’s because as you consider the upsides and downsides of these two power sources, it’s important to take several factors into account. For those asking themselves “Is gas cheaper than electricity?” − it helps to do your research and homework.

Let’s take a closer look at if gas is cheaper than electricity, and the pros and cons of each energy option for your home.

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Is Gas Or Electric Cheaper For Home Appliances?

Gas is generally a cheaper energy source than electricity. Operating costs for home appliances fueled by gas are typically less expensive than those which are powered by electricity.

While up-front installation costs can be higher for purchasing and installing gas appliances, homeowners who opt for gas-powered appliances can save more money on their utility bills in the long run.

Calculating Costs For Gas Vs. Electric Appliances

Wondering how to compute if gas or electricity makes a better source of power for your home? It may help to note that the operating costs associated with natural gas appliances are typically less than electricity-powered alternatives. In fact, a 2,400-square-foot home could save roughly $20 a month, or $360 a year, by making the switch from electric appliances to gas-fueled systems instead.

To calculate your prospective cost savings here, you’ll want to research average monthly expenses for your area for each energy source, and by square footage of dwelling. Acall to your local utility provider can help. Afterward, you’ll want to prorate these numbers to the size of your home and compare the power sources.

Additional Energy Cost Considerations

Of course, when calculating the costs of gas vs. electricity, there are other factors that homeowners will want to consider. For example, energy-efficiency, durability of appliances and the associated costs of initial installation and setup.

After all, if your home isn’t setup to tap into natural gas as a source of energy, you’ll need to both hire a plumber to install a gas line to your property and pay to upgrade your house to new appliances.

You’ll also want to factor in the lifespan and replacement cost of each  appliance, noting that some electrical appliances can last far longer than natural gas counterparts.

The location of your property and where you reside will also impact potential operating costs here, given that natural gas prices vary from state to state. In fact, some states even allow access to energy markets that allow residents to shop around and choose how they’d prefer to buy natural gas and electricity.

To find out more about local and state regulations, and how they might impact your expenses here, research energy options in your local area.

Comparing Gas Vs. Electric Systems And Appliances

Gas and electricity are the two most common and popular forms of energy for home appliances and systems. Devices powered by each respective energy source will exhibit both similarities and differences.

Gas Vs. Electric: Furnaces

Should you buy a gas or electric furnace? A lot depends on where you reside. For instance, gas furnaces generally come with lower fuel costs and higher efficiency attached, making them a preferred choice for colder climes. On the flip side, electric furnaces may last longer, and cost considerably less over their lifespan to install and maintain.

If natural gas is expensive in your area and/or cheap electricity is available, and you plan on being in your home for some time, an electric furnace may be your preferred option here.

Gas Vs. Electric: Water Heaters

An electric water heater is generally a more affordable option to buy and install than a gas-powered water heater. They’re the smaller, more durable and more environmentally friendly option.

Gas water heaters come with their own perks, though, such as lower operating costs and the ability to heat water faster. Likewise, gas water heaters aren’t dependent on power lines, electrical grids and other potential points of failure caused by power outages.

Gas Vs. Electric: Ovens And Ranges

Electric ovens tend to offer higher power output, solid performance and are easier to clean than gas range ovens. However, they can also take longer to heat up and cool down than gas-powered alternatives. On the flip side, gas range ovens are typically cheaper to operate, but often cost more to purchase and install up-front and there are more safety concerns with operating them.

Some consider gas oven ranges better for cooking and baking, although they don’t use heat as efficiently as electric counterparts. Realistically, you’ll find no shortage of great options when it comes to gas or electric oven ranges, though. It’s largely a matter of cooking preferences and what model makes the most sense for your kitchen.

Gas Vs. Electric: Dryers

Gas dryers may cost slightly more than electric dryers upfront, but often cost less to operate, meaning they’re cheaper over time. Then again, while an electric dryer takes more electricity to operate, models are available in more options and configurations and cost less to purchase. In addition, if your dryer breaks down, electric dryers are often far easier to self-repair and fix.

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The Costs Of Converting Energy Systems

As a rule, in most cases, converting your home from electricity to gas is far more expensive than converting from gas to electricity. That’s because modern properties are wired for electrical power. Adding a new line for an electric water heater or oven range isn’t as time-consuming or difficult as running a new gas line.

If you need to install a new gas line for an appliance, you can expect to spend anywhere from around $350 — $750 on average − not including the cost of purchasing and installing the appliance itself. You may also encounter other costs such as the need to rework piping, framing and ductwork to accommodate gas appliances, which could easily add expense.

Whether or not the cost of the conversion will be worth it depends on how much you stand to save on utility bills  and how long you plan to remain in the home. To crunch the numbers here, estimate your average monthly savings and multiply this number by how long you expect to enjoy these savings for. Then compare it to how much the cost the new appliance installation would be to get a sense of whether if it makes sense in the long-run.

Pros And Cons Of Gas Vs. Electricity

There are benefits and drawbacks to both gas- and electricity-powered appliances.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Gas

            PROS

  • Generally cheaper to operate over the course of their lifetime
  • May be more energy-efficient to utilize
  • Often heat faster and more thoroughly

           

           CONS

  • Often more expensive to purchase up-front
  • Harder to fix and repair yourself
  • Natural gas prices and options vary from state to state
  • Can be less safe than electrical

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Electricity

            PROS

  • More affordable appliances in general
  • Equipment is often smaller and more durable
  • Greater choice of models and options to pick from

           

           CONS

  • Typically expensive to operate over the use of appliance
  • May not heat and cool as rapidly
  • Vulnerable to power outages

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The Bottom Line

Gas appliances are generally cheaper to own and operate over the course of their lifetime but tend to cost more upfront and can be more difficult to repair. On the other hand, electric appliances are less expensive at first, and come in a wider range of shapes, sizes and configurations.

Whether or not gas or electricity will be cheaper for your home depends on many variables, though, including how often you use these appliances, where you live, local weather conditions and more.

So in the end, which makes the most sense: Gas vs. electric? It all comes down to your individual household needs and preferences − making it important to research and plan. Interested in cutting your expenses? You can learn more about reducing electric and utility bills here.

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Scott Steinberg

Hailed as The Master of Innovation by Fortune magazine, and World’s Leading Business Strategist, award-winning professional speaker Scott Steinberg is among today’s best-known trends experts and futurists. A strategic adviser to four-star generals and a who’s-who of Fortune 500s, he’s the bestselling author of 14 books including Make Change Work for You and FAST >> FORWARD. The CEO of BIZDEV: The Intl. Association for Business Development and Strategic Planning™, his website is www.AKeynoteSpeaker.com.