There are certainly debates about the differences between gas and electric water heaters. But usually, unless you are buying a new home, the choice between a gas and electric water heater is already made for you. This means that unless you want to go through an entire home renovation, you may be already invested in the utility devices that you have. It's not a deal breaker if you buy a new home; having an electric water heater just means that you will have other responsibilities when it comes to being energy efficient.
While gas is cheaper to use and makes hot water faster, there are some advantages to electric water heaters. Most people think of electric water heaters as outdated devices that waste too much energy for the hot water that they provide; but they have come a long way since their invention.
Electric water heaters can be installed almost anywhere. They can be installed under your sink as a point-of-use water heater in a condo where you just might just want to wash your hands or a few dishes with water at the right temperature. This makes small electric water heaters more energy efficient if you live on your own.
Of course, if you have a larger family you may benefit from a gas water heater. Just remember, a gas water heater cannot be installed in a living area, a bathroom or a bedroom. In the Peninsula and Bay Area, this makes installing gas water heaters a challenge because not all of the homes are built the same. There are many historical homes and commercial buildings in the area, and if you purchase one, you will be presented with unique challenges when it comes to rebuilding them. It is always best to call a professional plumber before you start renovating a local building or home. So you should always check with local plumbers and municipalities before you install any kind of water heater to make sure if a gas or electric water heater will be more efficient and also will comply with local ordinances.