Gas or Electric Appliances: Which is Better For You?

We all like a little retail therapy every now and then. Instead of buying more knickknacks that’ll gather dust, or a piece of clothing that you’ll find five years from now with the tags still on, why not consider new appliances? They’re a great bang for the buck. After all, they’ll look great, and you’ll use them daily, so they don’t go to waste. Whether you’re buying to replace worn old appliances, undertaking an extensive remodel, or looking to save a few dollars on energy, you’re probably wondering whether gas or electric appliances are better. Ace Plumbing took a closer look, and here’s what we found.

A Quick Word on Mechanics

Most appliances require some amount of electricity to run, with even many gas stoves using electricity to power timers, ignition, and the oven light. Where they differ is the other big way that electricity (or gas) is used: heat. Dryers, stoves, hot water heaters, and home heating can either use an electric heating element or a gas flame to generate heat. Now that we’ve established that, which does the job better?

Appliances in Brief

Let’s do a quick side-by-side comparison between gas and electric appliances to see which typically does its job better.


A gas stove does require a bit more finesse to control heat, making electric a bit easier for novice chefs and bakers. However, the relative simplicity of gas stoves makes for fewer repairs and higher reliability. 


While either a gas or electric dryer will get the job done equally as well — and both have the same features for temperature and efficiency settings — when it comes to cost, there’s no contest. A gas dryer costs roughly half as much to run, saving you up to $75 per year on average, thanks in part to the fact that many dryers use 110v instead of 220v to run.

Water Heaters

While we’re fans of on-demand water heaters, they’re not always practical for larger families or other situations that lead to high hot water demand. The traditional storage water heater works best for many homes. This is one of the few times when an electric model will cost more (at least if you opt for a high-efficiency unit), but the gas water heater still comes with a lower operating cost. Furthermore, some advanced electric units (which rely on heat exchangers) come with installation requirements that renders them unrealistic for some homeowners. 

Gas Appliance Installation

So let’s say you’ve decided on gas appliances. Now what? Where you buy isn’t as much of a consideration as who’s doing the installation. Whether or not the installation is taking place in a home that’s already plumbed for gas, it’s often necessary to run new lines from the main to the location of the appliance(s), which isn’t something you want to leave to the average appliance installer. Ace Plumbing also provides gas plumbing, so we have the tools and know-how to do the job properly and safely.

Other Considerations

Besides capabilities and costs, there’s something else worth taking into consideration with select appliances. In the event of a power outage, gas appliances can still be used without requiring any electricity (like your stove) or while using much less electricity than their electric counterparts. You wouldn’t necessarily be running your dishwasher daily during a power outage, but it’s possible to run some gas appliances (like your furnace and hot water heater) with only minimal electricity from a backup generator. 

The Verdict

Here’s the thing about the gas-versus-electric dilemma: cost is a major consideration, as it is with any major purchase. But like any other purchase, you have to weight short-term costs against the longer-term costs. Gas appliances cost more than electric up front, it’s true. But over the long term you can recoup the cost difference — and then some — because they do their jobs more efficiently and with lower operating costs. In fact, Consumer Affairs pegs the difference in operating costs about thirty percent less for gas! 

For assistance with gas appliances — from selection to expert installation — contact Ace Plumbing from anywhere in the Sacramento, Folsom, and Fair Oaks areas.