Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heater: Which One’s Better?

electric vs gas tankless water heater

The electric vs gas tankless water heater debate is one of the most complicated ones. Because of that, most homeowners are struggling to determine whether or not their home is ready for a water heater switch.

However, there are many factors to consider. Your home might not be the perfect ground for gas tankless water heater installation. Furthermore, an electric tankless heating unit could make your electricity bill surge, which could give you more problems in the future.

Both options have their pros and cons, but sometimes a quick comparison is not enough for you to reach a decision. Therefore, we have decided to offer you a detailed guide to both options which will hopefully help you make the best choice for your home.

The first thing you should consider is the cost of the water heater. Right now, electric water heating units are quite cheap. You can get a decent one for 500 dollars, and it will serve you well for many years to come.

However, when talking about gas tankless water heaters, the prices change. Gas water heaters are generally expensive, and they could cost you more than a thousand dollars.


electric vs gas tankless water heater

Nevertheless, the decision is more complex than that. You have to bear in mind that these water heaters require different types of installations. That could also affect your purchase, especially if you are switching from a traditional water heater.

Which One Is Easier To Install?

If you are switching from a traditional water heater, you have to bear in mind that there is a good chance you will have to go for an electric tankless heating unit.

Gas tankless water heaters require you to meet all the essential air supply requirements. Because of that, it is often quite expensive to make the switch because most homes cannot cater to those demands. Hence, you would have to pay the additional installation fees.

Furthermore, gas tankless water heaters have to be placed in a designated area. Unlike electric ones, you cannot install them wherever you want. Thus, you would have to find storage space in advance.

Electric water heating units are generally much easier to install. Their design is often sleek and compact, so you can place them almost anywhere you want in your house. In fact, you can even hide them inside closets and cupboards.

However, they do require you to have a strong electric power system. Otherwise, you could have many problems with maintenance and overall water heating.

Nevertheless, both of these water heaters have to be installed properly so that they could work. It is not something you should take upon yourself to do, and you will probably have to pay a reasonable technician fee.

How Often Do You Have To Service Them?

When switching to tankless water heaters, you are probably thinking about making your life a bit easier. Therefore, it is vital to check which one requires the least amount of maintenance.

Even the best gas tankless water heaters have to go through an annual inspection. You have to hire a technician to do it because there is little chance you will be able to perform the inspection yourself. Furthermore, the technician will know how to clean all the parts properly, and he will also tend to the venting ducts as well.

In contrast, electric heaters require little maintenance. However, it doesn’t mean that you can leave them as they are and never worry about them. You should clean the screen filter at least once a year. In addition, you should also flush the unit once a year so that it could continue working perfectly.

Which One Can Tend To Your Water Heating Needs?

If you have a large family and you need to use a great quantity of hot water on a daily basis, then a gas tankless water heater would be a better choice for you. Even though it is an expensive option, it will be able to provide enough hot water for the entire family.

Electric water heating units provide less hot water, but the supply is enough for an average sized family. Still, you have to think about situations when you would need more hot water.

Which Option Has The Highest Operating Costs?

Before making your purchase, you should think about the gas and the electricity costs in your area. Usually, gas is cheaper than electricity, which is why many homeowners decide against electric heaters.

However, in some areas, gas is more expensive because there is a limited supply of it. If you also add that to the general maintenance fees, it could cost you a lot more than you might think.

Meanwhile, electric tankless gas heaters will make your electricity bill go up. Still, electricity rates are more stable than gas rates, and they will not fluctuate in the near future.

Which Option Is More Efficient?

When calculating the costs, you have to consider the efficiency as well. Most gas tankless water heaters are highly efficient, but even the best units peak at about 85%.

In contrast, electric water heating units offer a higher percentage of energy efficiency - about 98% at least. Therefore, you might have to pay a bit more for your electricity bill - but you will be getting better results.

Which One Has A Longer Service Life?

Both of these options are an investment. Because of that, it is crucial to determine which option will last you the longest.

When installed properly, both electric and gas tankless water heaters can last you for years. However, the electric ones have a simple design that is easier to maintain. If your unit breaks down, the technician will probably be able to fix it quickly and without expensive fees.

Meanwhile, gas tankless water heaters are more complex. Their heat exchangers are complicated and difficult to replace. Furthermore, if you fail to schedule annual maintenance, it could lead to a shorter lifespan for your unit.

Which One Is Better For The Environment?

Lastly, if you want to be environmentally friendly, then an electric water heating unit is the ideal choice for you. It doesn’t release any gases that could hurt our environment, and its simplistic design means that less energy was used to make it.

However, when it comes to gas tankless water heaters, the environmental aspect could be a deal-breaker. They emit greenhouse gases that pollute our air. Even though they are energy efficient, this is a factor you cannot ignore.

Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heater - Who Wins?

Your electricity bill will rise if you purchase an electric tankless heating unit. However, unlike gas prices, the rates will probably stay stable in the next decade.

A gas tankless water heater is an expensive investment that could easily make you go over your budget. Even the best units cannot provide you with enough security when it comes to operating costs. Furthermore, when it’s time to perform a general maintenance inspection, you will have to get the unit thoroughly checked.

Nevertheless, gas tankless water heaters are a perfect choice if your family needs a higher supply. All members will have enough water to shower, and there will be enough hot water left for other activities, like dishwashing and laundry.

As expected, the decision depends on your needs, preferences and your budget. If you don’t mind the installation and maintenance costs, a gas tankless water heater is still a good option for you.

However, if you have an average sized family and you don’t want to spend a lot of money every year to maintain the unit, buying the best electric tankless water heater will certainly pay off in the future.

In conclusion, the result of the electric vs gas tankless water heater debate will be determined by a number of factors. Therefore, it's essential to understand your investment and what it will entail in the future.

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