so, i need to replace the water heater. my home is the 1950's ranch style in north texas. it's currently gas. the thing is…i was in a nasty gas explosion a few years ago…and consequently HATE gas, scared to death of it, can't even use my oven without freaking out. but…also not rolling in cash. right now i just keep the closet door shut and never get near the water heater.
when i get the new one, which is better and cheaper? gas or electric? and if i already have a gas one, can i even switch to electric? or is that impossible?
i have a 30 gallon heater, is that ok? this house has two people in it. about how much should i pay for a water heater, will any one do?
Electric water heaters cost less to purchase but are more costly to operate. Gas water heaters are a little more expensive to purchase but cost a little less to operate. It will be cheaper for you to have a gas model installed as you already have things set up for a gas one. If you switch to an electric water tank you will have a more costly installation as you will most likely have to hire an electrician. It is possible to do though.
In addition, you should do a little research and try to buy an “energy star” rated model regardless of whether it's gas or electric. This will save you a bit of money annually. Also, as for safety…the newer water heaters are much safer than older models used to be. To insure safety always have a qualified technician install a hot water tank.
Depending on where you reside, a 30 gal. (which is fine for 2 people) electric water tanks generally costs $140 and up whereas a gas model may start at around $200 and up. Installation will be an additional cost. Most brands that are energy star rated are pretty good, it really doesn't matter what brand name you purchase.
If I may also suggest something, you should look into purchasing a tankless water heater, especially since you have a ranch style home and it appears that your water tank is currently on the same floor as your living space (in a closet). I have an on demand tankless gas water heater. Mine is actually from the mid. 1980's. It's gas and I have never had a problem with it except for regular maintainence. I can't tell you how much money they save. They also make electric models. I have a newer small electric model in a cottage where gas is not available.That one also works wonderfully. I do suggest that if you do ever choose to go with this type of water heater, that you have a plumber who routinely installs these do it. I have heard some plumbers say how they wouldn't recommend them but in reality it's usually because their company either doesn't sell them or they don't know how to install them. These water heaters do cost more, usually around $450.00 and installation generally costs the same as a tank model. However, in my opinion, they are really worth it if you consider the fact that they aren't continually heating up water day in and day out, they save so much money in gas. It's designed to only heat the water as you need it (when you turn the faucet on). They work very well.
Whatever you choose, good luck to you!