Which is More Expensive, Electric or Gas Heating?

Cutting down on heating costs is one of the biggest and simplest ways to save on operational costs. Having efficient heaters and affordable heating costs directly impacts the profitability of your project.

This article looks at the costs of gas versus electric heaters. As well as breaking down the factors that contribute to the overall costs from installation to operation to repairs.

Efficiency

Efficiency is arguably the most important consideration in considering the true cost of a heater. A truly efficient heater requires less energy to run and can run less often to achieve the same or greater results. Not only does this reduce operational costs, but it also increases the value of the heater overall.

To this end, electric heaters win the efficiency category. They have a better output allowing them to achieve target temperatures faster while requiring less energy to do so. As well, they provide greater reliability and accuracy. This further improves their efficiency by preventing issues and inconsistencies.

Another consideration under efficiency is how the heating system performs over time. Natural gas heaters use combustion which requires a more complex design and is tougher on the system. As a result, repairs are required more often and take longer to complete. In contrast, electric industrial heaters have a simple design. This results in easy maintenance and few/easy repairs which require menial downtime when necessary.

Installation

It used to be that fossil-fuel heaters were significantly cheaper than electric ones. Now, with the widespread adoption of electric heating systems, the prices are more comparable. If you are currently using natural gas heaters, making the switch to electric may have a higher short-term price tag than staying with the same system. 

Installing gas heaters can be less expensive in the short term. However, in the long term, the savings and efficiency are greater with electricity. 

Energy Cost

Another important consideration is the cost of the energy itself. Generally, electricity has a much lower energy cost than natural gas. It is also available from multiple sources, such as renewables, which may reduce costs further, depending on the available infrastructure.

Not only is electricity less expensive energy to purchase (1), but it also has virtually no waste. With fossil fuels, there are significant losses through wasted energy during the transportation, delivery, and use of the energy. Whereas, electricity is almost 100% efficient, meaning you don’t waste any of the costs spent on the energy. The amount you spend on electricity correlates directly to how much electricity you use. Fossil fuels are much less efficient energy sources so there is always waste.

As well, there are many initiatives favoring the use of clean and renewable energy. This can further reduce the cost of electric energy through the available grants and benefits.

Future-Proofing

The long-term costs and value of an industrial heater system require anticipation of future needs and market changes. A good example of this is the changing landscape of energy. Industries are moving to renewables, batteries, and electric power. For instance, HVAC is shifting towards Tesla batteries.

To meet these future needs, a heater should be compatible with new and upcoming power sources. Otherwise, the heater will be rapidly outdated and will require premature replacement. Fossil fuel heaters are incompatible with the main energy sources of the future, making them an impractical choice for new systems.

Electric heater systems are better equipped to continue functioning effectively with new technology. This furthers their functionality and already superior shelf-life. The future-proof technology offers the best long-term value.

Electric Heater Quotes

Wattco custom manufactures electric immersion and circulation heaters. Our engineers work with you to select the outputs, materials, heater types, and design for your specific project and budget.

Contact us today for electric immersion heater quotes and information.

 

Resources

  1. Tan, Burcu & Anderson, Edward & Parker, Geoffrey. (2021). Managing Risk in Alternative Energy Product Development.

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