Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater – Pros & Cons Of Both

A tankless hot water heater can be a good choice when replacing traditional storage-type water heaters, but which one should I choose Gas or electric tankless water heater.

Though Both gas and electric tankless hot water heaters are efficient, green appliances that use less energy than traditional storage-type water heaters, but there are some major differences. Let’s start by looking at the basic differences between electric vs gas tankless water heater.

Quick Overview Of Electric Tankless Water Heater

An electric tankless water heater produces hot water by heating a small amount of water with electricity. The unit works on demand, so it only heats the amount of water needed instead of keeping a large volume of heated water constantly available.

Quick Overview Of Gas Tankless Water Heater

A gas tankless water heater works similarly to the electric model, except that it heats water with natural gas or propane instead of electricity. When both models are operating properly, they can provide unlimited hot water for your home.

Quick Comparsission Of Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

AspectsElectricGas
Initial CostLowhigh
Operational Cost low high
Installation EaseEasyA bit difficult
Safety Ultra-safeNot too Safe
Flow rateLowHigh
MaintenanceNo NeedNeeds after 10-12 months
Life CycleNormalHigh
VentilationsNot neededNeeded
PortabilityYesYes
Real Winter performanceMediumHigh
Environmental ImpactsLowHigh
WarrantiesHighHigh

Electric Vs GasTankless Water Heater (Detialed Comparison

Initial Cost:

The first difference between gas and electric tankless water heaters is the initial cost of the units. Electric tankless hot water heaters are typically lower expensive than gas. A gas water heater costs between $900 to $1200 while the electric tankless unit comes in between $500 to$1000. Also, the installation could be complicated and expensive as compared to the electrical units

Costs to Operate:

Another major difference between the two types of tankless water heaters is what it costs to operate each one. Electricity costs will play a major role in determining whether an electric or gas unit makes sense for you because it can factor into daily operating costs. Gas units use around 1/3 less energy than electric models, resulting in lower annual fuel expenses.

Though the gas unit is less expensive in the long run but it may be very expensive in near future, as fossil fuels are predicted to become hell expensive.

Installation Easines:

The installation of an electric tankless water heater is incredibly easy. All you have to do is hook it up to your home’s existing electrical circuit with a dedicated 20A outlet, and plumb in the water lines as needed. The gas models are slightly difficult to install and there are some concerns about safety issues as well.

Safety Features:

Electric units are more secure as compared to gas units. Gas tankless water heaters Emit toxic gases due to improper installation or leakages. Those toxic gas is definitely bad for a human but also can cause an explosion if an ignition source is available.

Flow Rate:

Gas tankless water heaters can supply more flow rate as compared to electric units. I have both electric and gas units. As per my experiments, gas units at least provide 6GPM even in real winter however an electric unit may struggle to provide a steady flow rate. The bottom line is that you don’t have to be fooled by the manufacturer’s listed flow rate. You have to see the customer’s reviews.

You can check out our guide on how to get the proper size of a tankless water heater

Maintainance Requirements:

Normally Gas unit needs an annual tune-up to keep the pilot light lit. But there is nothing like this with electric units. I do maintenance of my gas unit right after 10 months though I have installed a water softener. On the other hand, I do maintenance of my electric unit right after 14 months.

Life Expectancy:

Gas tankless water heaters can last up to 15 years, but they require regular maintenance and yearly gas source inspections which may qualify their lifespan. Electric Tankless Water Heaters are typically rated for 10 years, but there are some concerns over their lifespan due to the fact that they require a higher voltage electric supply.

Ventilation Requirements:

Gas units require a dedicated ventilation system to remove water vapor from the air. If not installed, they will shorten the life expectancy of the unit, leakage problems, etc. Electric Tankless Water Heaters do not have a ventilation requirement as they don’t create any moisture when in use.

Here is our guide to doing proper ventilation for your gas unite

Portability:

You can find camping portable units in both gas and electric options, but as I have mentioned above gas units can give you a better GPM as compared to electric units they may have a slightly bigger size if you are going to purchase higher flow rate units.

Energy Source Availability:

Gas is widely available in most regions of the United States. You can get gas lines easily installed in your place however, you may have to pay a large sum to get a gas line extended from the street. On the other hand, electric units work on any standard 110v or 220v electric supply.

I would If you have electricity go for electrical units otherwise you can use gas units with a gas line or tank. I personally use my gas unite on camping because of no availability of electricity.

Environmental Impacts:

In terms of environmental impact, electric tankless water heaters use less power and consequently create fewer greenhouse gases, however, the gas units constantly burn the flue gases to heat up your water.

Warranties:

Both Gas and Electric tankless water heaters have a longer warranty period. Though some gas units of rinnai provide extended warranties but on average we found very similar waraties and customer support.

Pros And COns Of ELectric S Takless Water Heater

  • Efficient
  • No maintenance needed
  • Low initial cost
  • Extremely safe
  • Low carbon Footprint
  • Mostly Compact design
  • No Ventilation
  • Easy to Install
  • High ongoing cost
  • Last Lower then Gas unit
  • Can not work in coldest regions
  • Low GPM

Pros And COns Of Gas Takless Water Heater

  • Low going Cost
  • High GPM
  • Can work In Coldest region
  • Less Eco friendly
  • Not easy to install
  • Need Ventilations
  • Need proper safety

Which one should I choose?

Depending on your circumstances, the following situations might assist you in making the proper decision.

When Is Electric Recommended?

  • Electric tankless water heaters are recommended best for indoor installations . They also work well where the power source is available and would like to save on installation costs by not extending or installing gas lines.
  • If your hot water demand is low electric unit will work like a charm for you.
  • Also, If you dont want to spend on maintenance, Safety alarms etc.
  • If your area and home have proper electricity suppply.

When Is Gas Recommended?

  • Gas tankless water heaters are recommended when you can provide a proper ventilation or installed in an outdoor locations.
  • When natural gas is available at the desired installation site, or when electricity is extremely expensive compared to natural gas prices.
  • When you need high GPM.
  • If your area is too cold.

Quick Recommendation Table

SitiuationElectricGas
My area is too cold i need instant high flow rate Right Choice
I Need a safe unit and maintenance free unitRight Choice
You dont want to pay higher utility bills Right Choice
You need higher Pressure Right Choice
You dont have Gas supply Right Choice
You dont have Electricity supply Right Choice
You dont Have ventilation space Right Choice
You Dont have higher budget Right Choice
You dont have to spend on installation Right Choice
You want an environmental friendly Unit Right Choice

Conclusions

We have tried our best to provide you with a proper image of an electric vs gas tankless water heater. Both Gas and Electric Tankless Water Heaters are a great alternative to the traditional storage-tank water heaters. They have a fast recovery rate, low maintenance costs, long life expectancy, smaller installation space requirements. But even then there are some noted differences between the two that may assist you in making your final decision on which one would best suit your needs. The choice is yours!

Frequently Asked Questions-FAQs

  1. Will electric heating replace gas?

Yes, it will as fossil fuels are hazardous for the Environnement and become expenses day by day.

About Fareed Nawaz

Aqua macho was started by Fareed, a renewable energy and clean environment geek who completed his degree in energy and environment in 2017. He has worked in EPA, water heater installation, and water treatment companies for 2 years before starting this website.

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