Geysers have become common appliances in Indian homes, with almost every house having one. Various types of geysers are available on the market, such as instant geysers, storage water heaters, gas heaters, immersion rod heaters, etc.
If you notice, you can classify water heaters into broadly two types – electric and gas geysers. Let us compare the two and determine the better option for an Indian home.
Usually, people prefer to go for a similar replacement when choosing water heaters. The primary reasons are as follows.
- You have the necessary infrastructure already available.
- You are accustomed to its functioning.
So, if you had previously used an electric geyser, the chances of choosing a similar type are higher. The same logic applies to gas water heaters. However, it is better to know the difference between the two heating systems and understand the benefits and drawbacks to make a better choice.
Electric water heaters are more accessible than gas geysers because all you do is switch on the power supply to get hot water. On the other hand, gas geysers are comparatively challenging because you must turn on the gas and control it well.
Therefore, electric water heaters are better from an accessibility viewpoint.
Instant gas and electric geysers work similarly because they supply hot water instantly. The electrical geysers have a heating element that heats the water before dispensing it. The gas water heaters have a heat exchanger. The water pipes circle the heat exchanger and absorb the heat generated to make the output water hot.
Both gas and electric geysers are easy to install for the first time. However, you must carry out infrastructure changes if you change the mode. For example, switching from an electric geyser to a gas system requires new gas lines. It requires drilling new holes in the walls and installing new pipes.
Similarly, if you switch from a gas geyser to an electric water heater, you need changes to your existing electrical installations. Therefore, switching from one mode to another incurs heavy expenses. That explains why people prefer similar water heaters when replacing old systems.
Electric water heaters are comparatively more efficient than gas heaters because the water becomes hot quickly. Today, electric water heater manufacturers use advanced technology, like Blue Diamond Glass Lining, Titanium Glass Lining, Nano-coated glass lining, etc., to improve the corrosion resistance properties of the inner container tanks. Hence, the water retains heat for extended durations, making electric geysers more efficient.
It explains why most electric geysers get the 4-star or 5-star BEE rating for energy efficiency.
Gas heaters take more time to heat water, but the operational costs are lower than electric geysers. Electricity is more expensive than the cost of natural gas or LPG. On average, electric geysers consume three to four units of electricity daily, as we presume you use geysers for an hour or two daily. In comparison, gas water heaters require a lower operational cost. However, the initial cost of gas geysers is more than electric water heaters. The equipment is more expensive than an electric geyser system.
Gas heaters incur more maintenance costs than electric geysers. The inner containers of both gas and electric storage geysers are similar. The latest models feature high-quality corrosion-resistant technology.
The gas geysers do not have heating elements like electric water heaters. They work on burners that require regular servicing to prevent blockages. The gas pipes can get blocked.
Similarly, there can be gas leakages. So, they need frequent overhauling compared to electrical wiring that lasts longer.
Gas heaters work on depleted resources like natural gas or LPG. Besides, gas heaters release substantial amounts of greenhouse gases into the environment. Hence, they are not eco-friendly.
On the other hand, electric geysers are healthier because they can be powered by renewable energy sources. Moreover, they are more energy efficient compared to gas heaters. Therefore, compared to gas geysers, electrical heating systems are better for the environment.
Both gas geysers and electric water heaters have their risks. Electric water heaters have a risk of causing electric shocks, especially when the earthing is not proper.
Similarly, excessive heat can increase the pressure inside the geyser causing accidental blasts. Gas geysers are also equally risky because LPG or natural gas is flammable. In addition, leakage due to faulty installation can prove hazardous.
However, geyser manufacturers ensure adequate safety precautions in their appliances. For example, electric geysers come equipped with thermostats that cut off the power supply if the water temperature exceeds the pre-set figures. Similarly, all geysers have a pressure release valve to allow excess pressure to dissipate and protect the appliance against accidental blasts.
However, consumers should have proper earthing facilities in their power lines to prevent electric shocks. They should also check the pressure release valve for blockages due to salt formation.
Gas geysers work on sensors. Opening the hot water dispensing tap signals the geyser to start the heating process. Once the water reaches a pre-set temperature, another sensor shuts off the burner automatically. So, there are no chances of burn injuries due to excessive heat. Like electric water heaters, gas geysers have a pressure release valve system to release excess pressure buildup. However, consumers should regularly check the installation and service plumbing arrangements to prevent leakages.
Gas heaters are comparatively more expensive than electric water heaters. However, though the initial costs are high, the overall operational costs are lower. Hence, the prices even out in the long run.
Which is the better option, electric or gas geysers?
Both gas and electric geysers are excellent options. So, if you are installing a geyser for the first time, the gas geyser should prove beneficial because you save on operational costs in the long run. However, the initial investment is higher. Therefore, electric geysers should be ideal if your budget is low because they are comparatively less expensive than gas geysers. Secondly, the existing plumbing arrangements do not require many changes. All you need is a separate electrical point and adequate earthing. So, choosing the ideal water heater for your home is entirely up to you and your preferences.