Is Electric Heater Cheaper Than Gas? Explained.

Electric heaters are typically cheaper than gas heaters. However, the cost savings can depend on several factors, such as the cost of electricity and gas in your area, the energy efficiency of the heater, and the frequency of use.

Electric heaters are often considered more cost-efficient compared to gas heaters because they don’t involve the cost of gas. However, the actual cost savings can fluctuate based on where you live and the rates charged for electricity and gas in your area.

It’s essential to consider not only the upfront cost of the heater but also the long term savings on energy bills. The energy efficiency of the heater and the frequency of use can also affect the cost savings. In this article, we’ll go over the pros and cons of electric and gas heaters, examine the factors that impact energy costs, and help you determine which type of heater is best for you.

Is Electric Heater Cheaper Than Gas? Explained.


Understanding The Differences Between Electric And Gas Heaters

Are you considering purchasing a new heater but unsure whether to go for an electric or gas one? Understanding the differences between these two types of heaters can help you make the right decision for your home. In this section, we’ll explore how electric and gas heaters work, compare their energy efficiency, and explain the costs associated with each type of heater.

Explanation Of How Electric And Gas Heaters Work

Electric heaters work by converting electrical energy into heat through a heating element. This element is typically a coil or ceramic material that heats up and emits warmth into the surrounding area. The heated air then rises and circulates, creating convection currents that spread warmth throughout the room.

Gas heaters, on the other hand, use combustion to produce heat. The gas is ignited, causing a flame to heat up a heat exchanger. This heat exchanger transfers the heat to the surrounding air, which is then circulated throughout the room via a fan or natural convection.

Gas heaters require a gas supply to operate, usually from a natural gas or propane line.

Comparison Of Their Energy Efficiency

Electric heaters are generally seen as less energy efficient than gas heaters, as they tend to be more expensive to run. This is due in part to the higher cost of electricity compared to gas. However, electric heaters are often more efficient at converting energy into heat, as no energy is lost during the conversion process.

Gas heaters, on the other hand, lose some energy in the combustion process, leading to a slightly lower efficiency rating.

Despite this, gas heaters may be more cost-effective in the long run, as gas tends to be cheaper than electricity. However, this depends on several factors, including the size of your home and the cost of the fuel in your area.

Explanation Of The Costs Associated With Each Type Of Heater

The cost of purchasing an electric or gas heater can vary depending on the brand, size, and features. Electric heaters are often cheaper to purchase than gas heaters, as they do not require a gas supply or complex combustion system.

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However, as mentioned earlier, they tend to be more expensive to run over time.

Gas heaters may require additional costs upfront, such as installation of a gas line or flue system. However, they may be cheaper to run over time, particularly in areas where gas is inexpensive. It’s important to consider the cost of fuel in your area and the efficiency rating of each heater before making a purchase.

Electric and gas heaters have their own advantages and drawbacks. By understanding how they work, their energy efficiency, and associated costs, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs and budget.

Determining The Cost Of Operating An Electric Heater Vs. A Gas Heater

If you are looking for a heating solution for your home, you may be pondering whether to choose an electric or gas heater. The cost of operation is one of the critical factors that make a difference. In this section, we will explore the factors affecting the cost of operating an electric heater and a gas heater and calculate each one’s operating cost.

Finally, we will analyze the results to determine which heater is cheaper to use.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of Operating An Electric Heater And A Gas Heater

Various factors influence the cost of operating an electric or gas heater. Understanding these factors will help you make informed decisions while choosing a heating solution for your home.

For electric heaters, some essential factors include:

  • Power rating of the heater: The higher the wattage, the more energy the heater consumes. Thus, a heater with a higher power rating will cost more to operate.
  • Cost of electricity: The rate at which electricity is charged in your area will determine the electricity expense of running an electric heater.
  • Duration of operation: The longer the duration of operation, the more electricity the heater will consume.

For gas heaters, the important factors include:

  • Energy efficiency: A heater’s efficiency determines how much gas it uses to heat a room. Thus, a more efficient heater will use less gas and be cheaper to operate.
  • Cost of natural gas: The price of natural gas varies depending on the region. The cost of running a gas heater is affected by the price of natural gas in your area.
  • Burner rating: A heater with a higher burner rating uses more gas and, thus, costs more to operate.

Calculation Of The Operating Cost For Each Type Of Heater

The operating cost of a heater can be determined by multiplying the power rating of the heater by the cost of electricity (for electric heaters) or gas (for gas heaters) per unit, and then multiplying this value by the duration of operation.

Let’s consider two examples to calculate the operating cost for each heater type.

Operating cost calculation for an electric heater:

  • A 1500-watt electric heater operated for six hours per day
  • Cost of electricity is $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kwh)
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P = 1500 watts x 6 hours per day = 9 kwh per day

C = 9 kwh per day x $0. 12 per kwh = $1. 08 per day

Operating cost calculation for a gas heater:

  • A 30,000 btu gas heater operated for six hours per day
  • Cost of natural gas is $1.00 per therm

P = 30,000 btu per hour x 6 hours per day = 180,000 btu per day

C = 180,000 btu per day ÷ 100,000 btu per therm x $1. 00 per therm = $1. 80 per day

Analysis Of The Results And Determining Which Heater Is Cheaper To Use

Based on the operating cost calculations above, it is clear that electric heaters cost less to operate than gas heaters. In the example above, the electric heater cost $1. 08 per day to operate, while the gas heater cost $1.

80 per day to operate.

Overall, the cost of operation for a heating system depends on several factors, such as energy efficiency, power/burner rating, cost of energy source, and duration of operation. Understanding these variables’ interplay and the types of heaters themselves will help you make an informed choice about which type of heater to use.

Calculating the operating cost for an electric and a gas heater can give you a sense of which heater type will save you money in the long run. If you live in a region where electricity is cheaper or want to heat smaller spaces, then an electric heater might be a better choice.

However, if you have a larger space to heat or natural gas is cheaper in your area, then a gas heater can be a more efficient and cost-effective option.

Considering The Other Factors

Explanation Of Factors Other Than Cost That May Affect The Decision To Choose An Electric Heater Or A Gas Heater

The decision to opt for an electric heater over a gas heater, or vice versa, is not just about cost. Other factors come into play, and considering all of these factors is essential to ensure that you make the right choice for your home and your needs.

Some of these factors include:

  • Energy efficiency: Electric heaters are more energy-efficient than gas heaters. Electric heaters will convert 100% of their energy input into heat, while gas heaters will lose some through the chimney, leaving you with less heat for the same amount of energy input.
  • Installation and maintenance: Gas heaters tend to be more costly to install and maintain. You will need a gas line installed if you don’t already have one, and you will also need to schedule annual maintenance. If you don’t have experience working with gas lines, it’s best to leave the installation and maintenance to professionals.
  • Ventilation: Gas heaters require proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and other safety hazards. Electric heaters do not produce the same risks and thus do not require ventilation.
  • Heat output: Gas heaters tend to produce more heat than electric heaters, making them ideal for large spaces. Electric heaters are perfect for small spaces, bedrooms, and offices.
  • Lifespan and durability: Electric heaters tend to have a longer lifespan than gas heaters. They have fewer working parts and are less susceptible to rust and other forms of damage.
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Comparison Of The Safety, Convenience, And Environmental Impact Of Both Types Of Heaters

When comparing the safety, convenience, and environmental impact of electric heaters and gas heaters, several factors come into play:

  • Safety: Electric heaters are safer than gas heaters since they do not produce carbon monoxide or fumes that could pose a risk to your health. Gas heaters require proper ventilation and maintenance to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
  • Convenience: Electric heaters offer more convenience than gas heaters since they are portable and easy to move around. You can switch them on and off instantaneously and use them as needed without waiting for them to heat up. Gas heaters tend to take longer to heat up and cannot be moved around easily.
  • Environmental impact: The environmental impact of electric and gas heaters varies. Gas heaters are more environmentally friendly than electric heaters since they produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. However, electric heaters are more efficient at converting energy into heat, making them the more practical choice for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint.

Concluding Thoughts On The Overall Comparison Between Electric And Gas Heaters

Choosing the right heater for your home depends on several factors, including your budget, the size of your space, and your environmental concerns. Both electric and gas heaters have their advantages and disadvantages, and it ultimately comes down to personal preferences and needs.

If you are looking for a heater that is energy-efficient, portable, and easy to maintain, an electric heater is an excellent option. On the other hand, if you need a heater that can warm up larger spaces and don’t mind the cost and maintenance requirements, a gas heater is a perfect choice.

Ultimately, the decision on whether an electric heater is cheaper than gas depends on your individual circumstance.


As we conclude our discussion on whether an electric heater is cheaper than a gas heater, it is essential to consider that both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Electric heaters have a lower initial cost and are more efficient in small spaces, while gas heaters are ideal for larger areas and are powerful enough to heat water for a whole home.

When it comes to energy costs, it largely depends on the electricity and gas rates in your locality. However, in most cases, electric heaters seem to be a better choice as they have a lower operating cost and require less maintenance than gas heaters.

It is also worth considering the impact on the environment when making a decision. Electric heaters have zero emissions, while natural gas heaters are not eco-friendly. Ultimately, the choice between an electric or gas heater depends on your individual needs and preferences.


I am a mechanical engineer and love doing research on different home and outdoor heating options. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy blogging about my findings and helping others to find the best heating options for their needs.