Gas vs electric tankless water heaters? The age-old question for all new tankless water heater buyers. We know deciding which one to buy is not so easy to do. So we will guide you and let you know all you need to make the decision. In the end, the decision of the best will depend on you and based on your own needs. As the matter of the best tankless water heater is subjective based on who purchases it.
If you believe that there would not be much difference between a gas and an electric tankless water heater, you can’t be more wrong. Besides both these units’ functionality of giving endless water supply, energy efficiency, and on-demand water heating, both these units don’t share many similarities. Today, we will guide you about these differences and how one tankless water heater can be multiple times better than the other one for your needs.
Let’s discuss some factor of Gas vs electric tankless water heaters
Suppose you are a person who is conscious of price. This is the case for most of us, you might want to consider an electric tankless water heater. Whose unit price ranges around $500-$700, instead of a gas tankless water heater whose price starts from around $1000. But don’t be hasty in deciding to buy an electric tankless water heater as there are many factors which can make you regret it.
Like unit price, gas tankless water heater installation costs more than electric tankless water heater. The reason being that a gas tankless water heater needs a few additional installations. For a gas tankless water heater to work appropriately, it needs an adequate supply of natural gas.
Gas tankless units require 200,000 BTU of gas to function correctly. You cannot achieve this supply with standard gas pipelines installed in your house or use your old tank water heater gas channel which only needed 40,000 BTU. That’s why you need more pipelines. Other than this, you also need to install vents to exhaust the byproduct gases that arise from gas combustion while heating the water. hence gas tankless water heater costs more.
On the other side, installing an electric tankless water heater also requires additional installations. These installations are a circuit upgrade as electric tankless units need 100-200 AMP and 200-240 Voltage. Most of the houses have the voltage, but they need to upgrade their circuits for the current requirement. This upgrade raises its cost, but these costs are less than gas tankless units.
Remember when I said that buying an electric tankless water heater may make you regret it if you are a price-conscious person. Despite being less expensive than gas, electric tankless water heaters have higher operational costs.
A gas tankless water heater can help you save 30-40%(hundreds of dollars) more on operational costs. This is because, on average, gas is less expensive than electricity. It is not a universal thing. In some areas, electricity is a comparatively cheaper source than natural gas.
So, check for the prices of gas and electricity in your locality to make the decision. Another thing to know is that gas prices have increased many times in the past decades and will continue to increase in the future. So, consider that also while making the decision.
Unlike operational costs efficiency, an electric tankless water heater can easily beat gas-powered units in energy efficiency. The electric tankless water heater has a 98-99 percent energy efficiency rating. While a gas-powered unit only has an energy efficiency of 80-85%. It is because rest is exhausted in the form of steam or vapors.
Hence the energy efficiency of gas-powered is nowhere close to an electric tankless unit. Only condensing tankless water heater, a variant of gas tankless water heater, can give more than 90% of energy efficiency and more significant savings but are more expensive.
Be sure to check the unit’s energy efficiency, as you may be eligible for a more significant rebate if the energy efficiency factor is high enough.
In terms of maintenance ease, it is far easier to maintain electricity than a gas tankless water heater. Homeowners can do the maintenance of the electric tankless unit as it doesn’t require much technical knowledge.
The maintenance of electric units only mostly requires you to do two things. One is cleaning the air filter, and the second is to flush the unit once or twice a year. The flushing frequency depends on the water hardness in your region.
On the other hand, a gas tankless require more meticulous checks after every few years. Because a gas tankless water heater unit uses the combustion of explosive gas to heat the water. That’s why you need a plumber to make sure that there isn’t any damage in the unit as it can be dangerous for your unit and house.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it cheaper to run a gas or electric water heater?
A gas-powered tankless water heater is less expensive to operate than an electric tankless water heater since natural gas is often less expensive than electricity. But it doesn’t mean the gas-powered tankless water heaters are also as efficient. In fact, gas tankless water heaters are less efficient than electric tankless. But as the price of electricity can be multiple times the price of gas. So, gas tankless water heater operational cost is less even though they are not that efficient.
What is better a gas or electric water heater?
Gas tankless water heaters are better for a lot of people as due to following reasons:
1. It has a low operational cost and gives extra savings, which recover the price difference between a gas and electric tankless unit in a few years.
2. It can manage the same efficiency in warm and cold weather.
3. It can work in a blackout if you use a secondary power source, as it doesn’t require much electricity—only as much as a light bulb.
Are gas tankless water heaters better?
For most of us, it is better to side with a gas tankless water heater. Because it is possible to pay a large amount for one time but it is a burden if you have to pay it regularly. Similar is the case of gas tankless water heater, although the price is high it has a lower operating cost, as much as 30 to 40% less than an electric tankless water heater. It is a big problem when you have to accommodate the higher expenses from the budget at regular intervals.
So, have you already envisioned which tankless water heater you want to buy? Alternatively, if you need to get another read in order to decide what is better a gas vs electric water heater? If so, you can skip it. The below tables contains the summarized content of the above article to help you make an assessment on what may be the better tankless water heater for you.
Gas tankless water heater
- Operation cost efficiency is high as gas is cheaper and give you higher savings
- It doesn’t require you to upgrade your electrical circuit
- It can still work in blackout as long as a small battery powers its computer part(display screen)
- It has a complicated construction that needs the help of a plumber.
Electric tankless water heater
- It doesn’t need any vent or additional pipeline installation
- The cost of a unit is comparatively cheaper, around $500-$700
- They are eco-friendly and doesn’t release harmful substances
- Operating cost efficiency is low as electricity is expensive, so saving is comparatively less
Leave a Reply