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Apr 27

Electric vs. Gas: The Great Debate

It is easy for consumers to get overwhelmed with the variety of options when shopping for a new appliance. Deciding between electric and gas appliances can get confusing to many consumers. This debate of electric vs. gas has been going on for years, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Which is better: electric ranges or gas ranges? Today’s homeowners are considering both the economic and environmental impact of each before making a choice. To make an informed decision, look at both the advantages and disadvantages of these two energy sources.

What Are They Really?

Scientists began studying electricity centuries before Benjamin Franklin attached his key to a kite string and flew it into the lighting storm. Technically speaking, electricity is the flow of an electric charge created by the movement of electrons at the atomic level. What is important to know is that electricity is generated, so it does not take from the earth.

Natural gas, on the other hand, is a fossil fuel. It comes from the decomposition of organic material. The process occurs naturally, but manufacturers can create in ideal environment to stimulate production. It still takes years for gas to form.

Electric vs. Gas in Your Home

The debate of electric vs. gas comes into play when considering major appliances and heating systems in your home. You have a gas or electric stove, furnace and water heater. When you replace any of these items, you must decide whether you want to use natural gas or electricity as the energy source.

Benefits of Each

Gas is a more efficient form of energy, according to Energy Savers. The more efficient the fuel source, the lower the cost. Electricity is available to anyone, where as gas may not be an option for your home. In order to take advantage of natural gas, you must have a gas line. If your home is not set up for gas appliances, then there is no debate unless you choose to install the line.

The cost of installing a gas line can be high. That does not mean it is not worth it. If gas is available in your area and less expensive than electricity, switching your system will pay for itself in lower monthly bills and home equity.

Economic Factors

When it comes down to it, which source of energy is cheaper depends on where you live. In some areas, gas is readily available, making it the most economical choice. In other places, gas is brought in, so transportation increases the price making it much more expensive than electric energy.

Though electric appliances can be less expensive in some areas, they tend to be less energy efficient, which means they cost more to use in areas where gas is readily available. If gas is available, it tends to be the most economic option.

Environmental Factors

Generally, gas is more environmentally friendly. Electricity and gas both produce carbon emissions, but since gas is more efficient, it produces less pollution. Electricity is catching up, however. For example, certain types of electric ovens heat faster than their gas counterparts, so they are more efficient. When it comes to furnaces and water heaters, gas is a better environmental option. While gas appliances are more energy-efficient, they are also consume a natural resources. Many choose electric appliances at higher costs to conserve the world’s natural gas supply.

What is the Answer – Electric or Gas?

There is no global answer. It depends on too many factors to be clear-cut. In most situations, gas is going to be cleaner and cheaper; still, in choosing gas, consumers are cutting into a natural resource. Contact the utility company in your area to see what options are available to you and which is the most economic. You may have options beyond gas and electric, as well. If you are replacing the heating and cooling system or water heater in your home, look into solar, geothermal and tank-less water heaters for even more environmentally friendly choices and possible tax breaks.

Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, enjoys cooking healthy meals on her gas range. Read her work at

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