Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heaters: Which is Best?

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“Hot water from gas heaters is like a soothing elixir that washes away the stress of the day. Tankless heaters, specifically tankless gas heaters, are a convenient and efficient way to ensure hot water is always available. They work wonders for relaxation.” – Unknown

Imagine stepping into a warm shower in your house, feeling the comforting cascade of hot water from your tankless gas heaters envelop your body. It’s a great feeling knowing that these heaters do their job and provide endless hot water for your needs. Now picture having an endless supply of hot water at your disposal, without any worries about running out. With our heater service, you can ensure that your heater is always functioning properly, including the pilot light. That’s exactly what tankless water heaters offer – instant and continuous hot water on demand. With this service, the pilot light ensures that hot water is always available.

Electric and gas tankless water heaters, which do not require a pilot light, are two popular options. Understanding the differences between electric water heaters and storage water heaters can help you make an informed decision for your household. Whether it’s for hot water usage or considering a gas water heater, knowing the distinctions is crucial.

Electric tankless water heaters utilize electricity to heat the incoming water as it passes through a heat exchanger. On the other hand, gas tankless water heaters rely on a pilot light and a gas burner to generate heat for the same purpose. Each type of water heater, including storage water heaters, gas water heaters, and demand water heaters, has its own advantages and considerations. These include initial cost, installation requirements, overall performance, and hot water usage.

So let’s dive in and explore which type of water heater, whether it’s a demand water heater or a storage water heater, might be best suited for your home!

Advantages of Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Electric tankless water heaters offer several advantages over their gas counterparts. Let’s take a closer look at why electric tankless water heaters are a popular choice for many homeowners.

Compact and Easy Installation

One of the main advantages of electric tankless water heaters is their compact size and easy installation process. Unlike gas tankless water heaters, which require proper ventilation and gas line connections, electric models can be installed in smaller spaces without the need for complex venting systems. This makes demand water heaters ideal for homes with limited space or where retrofitting may be required. With electric tankless water heaters, you can save valuable floor space while enjoying the benefits of on-demand hot water.

Longer Lifespan

Electric tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan compared to traditional storage tank water heaters. While conventional water heater storage tanks typically last around 10-15 years, electric tankless water heater models can last up to 20 years or more with proper maintenance. This longevity can result in significant cost savings over time as you won’t need to replace your water heater unit as frequently.

Efficient and Instant Hot Water

One of the key advantages of electric tankless water heaters is their efficiency in providing instant hot water without standby heat loss. Traditional storage tanks constantly heat and reheat the water stored in the heater, resulting in energy wastage even when hot water is not being used. Electric tankless heaters only heat the water when needed, eliminating standby heat loss entirely. This not only saves energy but also reduces utility bills, making it a cost-effective solution for your water heater.

Consistent Supply of Hot Water

With an electric tankless water heater, you’ll never run out of hot water again! These heater units provide a continuous supply of hot water on demand, ensuring that you have enough for all your household needs. Whether it’s taking a long shower or running multiple appliances simultaneously, an electric tankless heater will keep up with your demands without any interruptions.

Little Maintenance Required

Electric tankless water heaters require minimal maintenance compared to traditional storage water heaters. Unlike storage tanks, electric tankless heaters do not store water, eliminating the risk of corrosion and mineral buildup. Regular flushing and sediment removal are not necessary for electric tankless heaters. This translates into fewer maintenance tasks and potential cost savings in the long run for your water heater.

Benefits and Features of Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Electric tankless water heaters have gained popularity in recent years due to their numerous benefits and features. Let’s explore why water heaters are a great choice for many homeowners.

Precise Temperature Control

One of the standout advantages of electric tankless water heaters is their ability to provide precise temperature control. Unlike traditional storage tank water heaters, which often struggle to maintain a consistent temperature, electric tankless models allow you to customize your comfort level with ease. Whether you prefer a piping hot shower or a lukewarm bath, an electric tankless water heater can deliver the perfect temperature every time.

Low Maintenance Requirements

Another significant benefit of electric tankless water heaters is their low maintenance requirements. These water heater units have fewer moving parts compared to gas-powered models, reducing the risk of mechanical failures and the need for frequent repairs. Since there is no combustion process involved in heating the water, there is no need for annual inspections or cleaning of vents or chimneys. This not only saves you time but also eliminates potential safety hazards associated with gas-powered water heater systems.

Advanced Safety Features

Electric tankless water heaters often come equipped with advanced safety features that provide peace of mind for homeowners. Many water heater models include overheating protection mechanisms that automatically shut off the unit if the temperature exceeds a safe limit. This water heater feature helps prevent accidents and ensures the longevity of your water heater appliance. Some electric tankless water heaters have freeze prevention technology, which protects against freezing temperatures during winter months by activating when necessary.

Energy Efficiency

Electric tankless water heaters are known for their energy efficiency compared to traditional storage tank counterparts. Since they heat water on demand rather than continuously maintaining a large reservoir of hot water, they eliminate standby heat loss—an issue commonly found in conventional tanks that constantly keep stored water heated even when not in use. By only using energy when needed, electric tankless water heaters help reduce utility bills and minimize environmental impact.

Space-Saving Design

For homeowners with limited space, electric tankless water heaters offer a significant advantage. These water heater units are compact and can be mounted on walls, freeing up valuable floor space in your home. Whether you live in a small apartment or have a tight utility room, an electric tankless water heater allows for more flexibility in terms of installation options.


Disadvantages of Gas Tankless Water Heaters

Gas tankless water heaters, while offering several advantages, also have some drawbacks to consider. Let’s take a closer look at the disadvantages associated with these units.

Larger Size and Installation Space Requirements

One notable disadvantage of gas tankless water heaters is their larger size compared to electric models. These units require more space for installation, which can be a challenge in smaller homes or apartments. The additional space needed may pose difficulties.

Higher Upfront Costs

Gas tankless water heaters often come with higher upfront costs compared to their electric counterparts. This is primarily due to the additional ventilation requirements and professional installation that gas units necessitate. The need for proper venting increases both the complexity and cost of installation, making it a pricier choice for homeowners.

Venting Exhaust Gases

Unlike electric tankless water heaters, which produce no exhaust gases, gas units generate combustion byproducts that need proper venting. This means that you’ll have to install an exhaust system or flue pipe to safely remove these gases from your home. It adds an extra step and potential expense during the installation process.

Reliance on Gas Lines

Another factor to consider is the reliance on gas lines when using a gas tankless water heater. If your home doesn’t already have natural gas service or if you’re using propane as an alternative fuel source, you may need to invest in installing new gas lines. This can add significant costs and complexity to the overall setup.

Fluctuating Gas Prices

The operating costs of a gas tankless water heater are subject to fluctuations in gas prices. As we all know, the price of natural gas can vary over time due to market conditions and other factors beyond our control. This unpredictability makes it challenging for homeowners who want stable monthly expenses.

Overall Costs

While gas tankless water heaters may offer energy savings in the long run, they generally have higher initial costs and ongoing maintenance expenses. The need for professional installation, venting requirements, and potential gas line installations can add up quickly. It’s essential to consider these factors when evaluating the overall costs of a gas tankless water heater.

Exploring Gas Tankless Water Heaters: Factors to Consider

Gas tankless water heaters offer a range of benefits and factors that should be considered when deciding between electric and gas models. Let’s delve into some key factors to help you make an informed decision.

Flow Rates for Larger Hot Water Demands

One of the significant advantages of gas tankless water heaters is their higher flow rates, making them suitable for larger households with high hot water demands. These units can provide a continuous supply of hot water, ensuring that multiple faucets or appliances can be used simultaneously without any drop in temperature or pressure.

Energy Efficiency Comparison

While gas tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than traditional storage tanks, it’s important to note that they may not match the efficiency levels of electric models. Electric tankless units have a higher energy factor (EF) rating, indicating greater efficiency in converting energy into hot water. However, gas models still offer substantial energy savings compared to conventional tanks due to their on-demand heating mechanism.

Availability of Natural Gas or Propane Supply

Before considering a gas tankless unit, it’s crucial to ensure the availability of natural gas or propane supply in your area. Without access to these fuel sources, a gas-powered model would not be feasible. Consider the cost and accessibility of these fuels in your region as they can impact the overall operational expenses.

Safety Precautions and Ventilation Requirements

Gas tankless water heaters require proper ventilation due to combustion processes involved. Adequate venting ensures safe operation by expelling harmful gases such as carbon monoxide outside your home. It is essential to follow manufacturer guidelines regarding ventilation requirements and consult professionals for installation if needed.

Space Considerations and Installation Needs

Compared to electric tankless units, gas models often require more space for installation due to additional components like venting systems and combustion chambers. Ensure you have enough room available for proper installation and factor in the space requirements when making your decision.

Service Life and Maintenance

Gas tankless water heaters generally have a longer service life compared to traditional storage tanks. With proper maintenance, these units can last up to 20 years or more, providing long-term savings. Regular maintenance, such as descaling and flushing, is essential to ensure optimal performance and extend the lifespan of your gas tankless unit.

Size and Aesthetic Appeal

Consider the size of the unit when choosing between electric and gas tankless water heaters. Gas models tend to be larger than their electric counterparts due to additional components required for combustion processes. Take into account the available space in your home and how the unit will fit aesthetically with your surroundings.


Choosing Between Electric and Gas Tankless Water Heaters

One of the primary decisions you’ll need to make is whether to go with an electric or gas model. Both options have their advantages and considerations, so it’s important to evaluate your household’s hot water needs, available space, and budget before making a choice.

Consider Hot Water Needs, Space, and Budget

Before diving into the specifics of electric vs. gas tankless water heaters, take a moment to assess your hot water requirements. How many people are in your household? Do you have multiple bathrooms or appliances that require hot water simultaneously? Understanding your usage patterns will help determine the appropriate size and capacity for your new water heater.

Next, consider the available space in your home. Electric tankless models tend to be more compact and do not require venting like their gas counterparts. This makes them ideal for smaller homes or locations where venting may be challenging. On the other hand, gas tankless units generally require more space due to venting requirements.

Budget is another crucial factor when choosing between electric and gas tankless water heaters. While electric models typically have a lower upfront cost compared to gas units, they may have higher operating costs depending on electricity rates in your area. Gas models can be more expensive initially but often offer greater energy efficiency and potential long-term savings.

Evaluate Cost-Effectiveness

To determine which option is more cost-effective for you, it’s essential to consider both initial investment and ongoing operating costs. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Electric Tankless Water Heaters:

  • Pros:
    • Lower upfront cost
    • No need for venting
    • Easy installation
  • Cons:
    • Higher operating costs depending on electricity rates
    • Limited flow rate compared to gas models

Gas Tankless Water Heaters:

  • Pros:
    • Greater energy efficiency
    • Lower operating costs with natural gas
    • Higher flow rate for simultaneous hot water usage
  • Cons:
    • Higher upfront cost
    • Requires venting and compliance with local building codes

By evaluating your budget, anticipated hot water needs, and long-term energy savings, you can determine which option will provide the best return on investment for your specific circumstances.

Assess Feasibility of Gas Installation

If you’re considering a gas tankless water heater, it’s crucial to assess the feasibility of gas installation in your home. This includes determining if there is access to a natural gas line or if propane is a viable alternative. You’ll need to ensure that your home meets the necessary requirements for venting and compliance with local building codes.

While gas tankless water heaters offer excellent energy efficiency and high flow rates, they may not be suitable for every household due to these installation considerations. It’s important to consult with professionals who can assess your home’s infrastructure and provide guidance on the most appropriate options.

Comparing Electric, Gas, and Propane Tankless Water Heaters

Electric tankless water heaters are a popular choice for homeowners due to their affordability upfront. These units are generally cheaper to purchase and install compared to gas or propane tankless water heaters. However, it’s important to consider the operating costs associated with electric models, especially in regions with expensive electricity rates.

One of the main advantages of electric tankless water heaters is their simplicity. They don’t require a flue or venting system since they don’t produce any combustion gases. This makes them easier to install and maintain. Electric units tend to have a longer lifespan compared to gas or propane models.

Despite these benefits, electric tankless water heaters may not be the best option for households with high hot water demand. They typically have lower flow rates compared to gas or propane models, which can result in limited hot water supply during peak usage times.

On the other hand, gas tankless water heaters offer faster heating and better performance for high-demand applications. These units use natural gas as their fuel source and can provide a higher flow rate compared to electric models. This means you can enjoy multiple hot water activities simultaneously without experiencing a drop in temperature or pressure.

Gas tankless water heaters also tend to be more energy-efficient than electric models when considering the cost per unit of heat produced. Natural gas is often cheaper than electricity in many areas, making gas tankless water heaters more cost-effective in the long run.

However, it’s important to note that installing a gas tankless water heater requires access to a natural gas line. If your home doesn’t have an existing connection, you’ll need to factor in the additional cost of running a new line during installation.

For those living in areas without access to natural gas lines, propane tankless water heaters provide flexibility and convenience. Propane tanks can be easily installed outside your home and refilled as needed. This makes propane tankless water heaters a viable option for rural or remote locations.

Propane tankless water heaters operate similarly to gas models, offering fast and efficient heating. However, it’s worth considering the cost of propane fuel compared to natural gas or electricity. Propane is typically more expensive, which can result in higher operating costs over time.

Making an Informed Decision on Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

Now that you have explored the advantages of electric tankless water heaters, the benefits and features they offer, as well as the disadvantages of gas tankless water heaters and factors to consider when exploring gas options, it’s time to make a decision. Choosing between electric and gas tankless water heaters ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Consider factors such as your budget, energy efficiency requirements, available fuel sources, installation costs, and long-term maintenance. Reflect on your household’s hot water consumption patterns and evaluate which type of heater aligns better with your lifestyle. Remember that while gas tankless water heaters may provide higher flow rates for larger households or high-demand applications, electric models often have more compact designs and require less maintenance.

In conclusion, selecting the right type of tankless water heater is crucial for ensuring efficient hot water supply in your home. Take into account all the information you have gathered so far about both electric and gas options before making a final decision. If you are still unsure about which option suits you best, consult with a professional plumber or heating specialist who can provide personalized advice based on your unique circumstances.



Are electric tankless water heaters more expensive to operate than gas ones?

Electric tankless water heaters generally have lower upfront costs compared to their gas counterparts but may be slightly more expensive to operate in certain cases. However, advancements in technology have made electric models increasingly energy-efficient over the years.

Can I install a gas tankless water heater if I don’t currently have a natural gas connection?

If you don’t already have a natural gas connection at your home but prefer a gas tankless water heater, it is possible to install one by connecting it to a propane supply instead. Propane tanks can be installed outside or underground depending on local regulations.

Do electric tankless water heaters require a lot of maintenance?

One of the advantages of electric tankless water heaters is that they generally require less maintenance compared to gas models. However, it is still important to perform regular maintenance tasks such as descaling and checking for any mineral buildup to ensure optimal performance.

Can I use an electric tankless water heater for my entire house?

Electric tankless water heaters come in various sizes, and their capacity depends on the specific model you choose. While smaller units may be suitable for point-of-use applications or single fixtures, larger electric models can provide hot water for an entire household.

How long do tankless water heaters typically last?

Both electric and gas tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan compared to traditional storage tank water heaters. With proper maintenance, you can expect them to last around 20 years or more.

Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heaters: Which is Best?

Discover the pros and cons of electric vs gas tankless water heaters. Find out which one is best for your needs. Expert advice and comparisons.