Whereas gas water heaters use a burner plate, electric water heaters use electrical elements to heat the water. Like the gas water heater, an electrical model will turn on when the temperature drops below the thermostat setting. The elements will turn on and start to heat the water.
Because you don’t need to connect an electric water heater to a gas line or exhaust system, installation is less expensive and can usually be completed relatively fast. Additionally, you can install insulation upgrades like a water heater blanket that will reduce heat loss from the tank without worrying about the gas burners.
The trade-off of easier and less expensive installation is that an electric water heater is often more expensive to operate. In Bowling Green, KY and the surrounding area, electricity is more expensive than natural gas and will likely remain that way for some time. So, you will pay more to operate your water heater if it is electric.
Ultimately, the decision on what type of water heater is best for your home depends on the size of your home, the relative cost of installation and what you currently have installed. If you only need a small water heater for a basement apartment, electrical might be your best option, whereas a full–sized gas water heater may be better for your entire home.