Pros and Cons: Electric vs. Gas

In our Pros and Cons series, we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of important decisions that apartment dwellers are making every day.

When you’re looking to move into your first apartment, it’s common to see some apartment listings with gas heating and stoves. You might also see electric heating and stoves (and many gas appliances require electrical power to operate). That’s why you might wonder if one is better than the other. Find an in-depth comparison of electric vs. gas below.

Pros of electric over gas

Electric stoves are easier to clean

Coil electric burners and flat-top electric stoves are easier to clean than are stoves that run on gas. With a gas stove, it’s harder to clean food debris out of burners, whereas an electric flat-top stove has no such obstructions.

Pros and Cons: Electric vs. Gas

Lower maintenance for heat and hot water repairs

Electric heaters require less maintenance than gas heaters, so when you rent an apartment with electric heat, you can fairly assume you’ll have fewer maintenance concerns to address with your landlord. And you won’t make fewer calls to only your landlord or property manager – better heaters means fewer days spent waiting for the utility company representative or your repair person to show up.

Energy efficient

Electric heaters use almost all the energy they receive to heat water. A gas heater, on the other hand, must vent a portion of the gas, and with this gas goes some heating capacity. That means you’ll need less electricity – and thus less money – for your heat and hot water when you go electric.

Cons of electric over gas

Gas stoves are easier to use

Stoves that run on electricity take much longer to heat up, whereas gas stoves quickly respond when you turn the heat up or down. To warm up an electric stove faster, you can move your pan off the heating element, but that still won’t beat the heating speed of gas.

Gas provides affordable heat during the winter

Although natural gas heating is more expensive to install than are electric heaters, that’s your landlord’s problem. You only have to worry about your monthly utility bills, and gas usually costs less than electricity, so for you, gas furnaces are better.

Electric heat doesn’t work during power outages

Electric heaters don’t work during power outages, so you won’t have access to heat and hot water if your power goes out. Gas heaters continue to provide heat and hot water even during a power outage, assuming there’s no disruption in the gas line either.

The landlord probably won’t pay the bill

Often, gas and electric costs are your responsibility. However, some landlords will cover the portion of your gas used toward heat or hot water. You’re far less likely to find a landlord willing to cover your electricity costs, though some apartment prices include all utilities.

Price

While gas and electric prices vary throughout the country, gas appliances are usually more affordable than their electric counterparts. If you cook every night, your monthly cooking gas might not be more than $15 per month. The average monthly apartment gas heating cost is affordable too, at approximately $40. That’s far less than electric heating, which can cost $160 per month in some areas. 

What are your thoughts on electric versus gas? Sound off in the comments!

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