Tankless water heaters continue to gain popularity as demand for efficient home appliances continues to increase. Tankless water heaters, gas and electric, only deliver a precise hot water at a specific time when needed. This makes them energy efficient. They save more energy, unlike tank water heaters where the water is heated and stored in tanks leading to energy loss. Not to mention the hard water scale that forms in tank water heaters raising the question of hygiene.
Gas vs electric tankless water heater: which is the best? There’s no direct answer as to which is the best tankless water heater. Availability of electricity and gas or liquid propane is one of the factors you should consider before settling for any tankless water heater. Let us have a look at the two in details. I hope after comparing their pros and drawbacks, it will be easy to know which one is best for you.
Gas Tankless Water Heater
The gas tankless water heaters are more reliable over time since they last longer. They use fossil fuels as their source of energy and have an excellent performance even in cold weather. Gas tankless water heaters deliver consistent temperature even in a huge volume of water. However, they require the installation of proper ventilation pipes so as to work efficiently and ensuring safe fuel combustion.
Gas tankless water heaters are great if you need a system for the whole house. This is because natural gas provides higher heating and flow capacity as compared to electric heaters. This makes them suitable if you are heating water for a large family during cold seasons.
Advantages of gas tankless water heaters
Gas tankless water heaters have many advantages. Some of the advantages you will get from such a heating system include the following:
Cheaper to run
Natural gas is cheap hence gas based tankless water heaters are cheaper to run. With the low cost of natural gas, these water heaters are cost efficient for any household or business. This to translate to low budget and you can enjoy saving your money. There’s guarantee for hot water when you need, without any heat loss. You’re sure of hot water supply when you need a hefty price tag. Since no tanks are required there’s no need to continuously re-heat the water this not only save, energy but also the running cost.
Tank water heaters can become rusty over time especially if not regularly maintained or even unwanted hard mineral deposits forming in the tank. These deposits may have traces of lead, which is a cancerous mineral. The traces of hard water scale form over long periods of heating water. Gas tankless water heaters, heat freshly piped water without allowing the water to sit and stale. Considering the water may be used for cooking or washing dishes the need for clean hygienic water is paramount.
Gas tankless heaters are more reliable over time with a lifespan of about 20 years. With no hard water, scale builds up hence increasing their efficiency and elongating their duration of service. Regular checkup and maintenance will also increase the heater’s life expectancy.
Trying to go a little green? With the environmental conservants raising alarm on the need to go green, gas heaters not only heat a precise amount of water but also have a low carbon footprint. Gas tankless heaters save energy since there’s no need to heat a lot of water which ends up in storage tanks, therefore less amount of energy is used. Hot water stored in tank water heaters will need to be re-heated due to thermal heat loss leading to more energy demand.
Disadvantages of gas water heaters
Gas tankless heaters are quite expensive to purchase (with the cost ranging between $1000-14000). They also require proper ventilation ports and fuel hookups. Installation these vents is an extra cost to the initial cost of acquiring the heater. Apart from increasing over-reliance on fossil fuels gas tankless heaters emit greenhouse gases which contributed to global warming.
The regular annual maintenance may leave a big dent in your wallet. Natural gas rose by a whopping 115% between 1994-2005 with such a high increase rate in the cost, it makes these heaters an expensive undertaking given their long lifespan.
Electric Tankless Water Heater
Runs completely on electricity and are about 1/3 inch smaller as compared to gas tankless heaters hence can be installed much closer to the point of use in many locations around your house. Just as gas tankless water heaters, electric heaters also save a significant amount of energy and money and still give you a constant supply of hot water.
Advantages of electric tankless water heater
Cheaper to run
We all want heaters that are cost-effective and can work well with a minimal budget. One that will cut the cost of the bills paid. Electricity tankless water heater, are cheaper to install compared to gas tankless water heaters. Since they don’t require any installation of vent pipes which turns out to be an expensive undertaking. Generally, the initial cost of electric tankless water heater is cheaper compared to that of a gas tankless water heater.
Global warming is among the chronic problems in the 21 century. Governments are over the world continuing raising awareness on the dangers of global warming. Electric tankless water heaters are eco-friendly since they do not emit harmful greenhouse gas which brings about global warming. This ensures a safe and greener environment full of fresh air. Additionally, the heaters also consume less electric energy for there’s no standby heat loss as it is the case in tank water heaters.
The only maintenance these heaters require is cleaning the inlet screen filter occasionally. On the other hand, gas heaters have to be checked regularly if the burner is in good condition or any leaks in the pipes which may pose great danger. Electric tankless water heaters are also easy to troubleshoot, diagnose and repair. Gas tankless heaters, however, require an annual checkup and maintenance. With minimal maintenance for the electric tankless heaters, it translates to cutting cost on the budget.
Electric tankless water heaters are easy to install and easy to get them running. The unit just requires proper wiring for it to be up and running. Their gas based counterparts require loads of work in installing proper vents pipe for a smooth combustion. It’s highly unlikely for the gas tankless water heaters, to use an existing gas pipe layout.
In the case of a gas hot water heater, great caution ought to be taken not to place the heater close to the gas tank, which if neglected may cause an explosion leading to a massive loss. Electric hot water heaters can be installed almost anywhere in your business or house, without the risk of worrying about their closeness to natural gas tank line or propane tank.
For you to use a gas tankless water heater, you’ve to be in an area that can access natural gas easily. On the other hand, electricity is widely spread in many countries and regions. This makes electric tankless water heaters a smart choice for a huge percentage of people.
Disadvantages of electric water heaters
Despite the many advantages, electric tankless heaters are annoying time-consuming. This is because they need to take time to warm up the water first before it’s hot again. It can bring inconveniencies especially if you’re in a hurry and need to take a shower. They also have a low water flow usually between 20 to 35 gallons of water. This can result in running out of hot water at an inconvenient time; maybe when taking a shower or doing the dishes.
Electric supply is stable as compared to natural gas supply. As far as the cost of both sources of energy, electricity has a proven to have a low rate of price appreciation over the past few years. This makes electric tankless water heaters, the favorite choice. Putting into consideration they cost way cheaper than Gas tankless heaters. Electric tankless heaters are cost efficient in terms of installation, maintenance, and repair. Electricity is readily available compared to natural gas or propane thus making electric tankless heaters the most preferred choice for many.
Which one is the best?
Every homeowner has different requirements when it comes to the choice of water heaters. Choosing between gas vs electric water heaters highly depends on your needs. For instance, if you have a large family, heating water with gas water heater can be a great decision. Such a heating system is ideal for large families or a person who needs a whole house heating system.
On the other hand, an electric water heater is ideal for people living in relatively warmer areas. This means that the need for hot water is below 40 gallons in a day. Other instances where choosing an electric water heater will be great include:
- Homes with no natural gas
- If you want to save money. They are affordable as compared to propane or gas.
- When it comes to efficiency, electric water heaters are inefficient. I would recommend gas tankless water heaters because they are efficient in the heating water.
I’m hoping you have all the required information that will help you select the water heater system to serve your needs. Compare the two systems well and weigh their pros and cons. This will help you to choose a water heater system that is perfect for your home.
Before making the final choice on gas vs electric water heaters, it is wise to put into consideration the few factors stated above. Make a smart choice for a good heater that will not bring any inconvenience to your household, business or your wallet.