HomeTechnologyGas vs. Electric Tankless Water Heater: How to choose?

Gas vs. Electric Tankless Water Heater: How to choose?

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People always want to surround themselves with various kinds of conveniences. Families buy and install various intelligent devices that make their lives more comfortable and manageable. One of them is a water heater. This device helps to heat water almost instantly. A lot depends on its category and power. We recognize 2 categories – units with a tank where the water is stored and heated and the ones without a tank. The latter option heats water much faster and more efficiently. That is why we will concentrate on this category.

This category is also divided into 2 types. These depend on the fuel type. It may be either natural gas, such as propane, or electricity. This is when a big “battle” of opinion starts. It’s sometimes tough to define what type is more beneficial for housekeepers. We want to help them to make the right choice. We will make a gas vs. electric tankless water heater comparison.

We won’t convince that a particular type is better than its competitor. The facts we provide in this informative overview speak for themselves. Your task is to read this article, analyze the facts, and draw the right conclusions. Afterward, you may get busy finding a Noritz contractor to install this or that heater on fair terms and fast.

Check the Initial Prices

The comparison of electric vs. gas tankless water heater commonly starts with their average prices. These are the initial price for the unit. We have excluded any possible installation or maintenance expenses.

Gas Options:

  • The standard cost is a bit more than $1,000. If you add features and settings, the cost will increase.
  • Models with a non-condensing system are cheaper, but they may be even more expensive because it’s necessary to install venting.

Electric Options:

  • They commonly cost around $500 – $600.

Installation Peculiarities

The next thing we need to discuss in the comparison of tankless gas water heater vs. electric is their installation. 

Gas Options:

  • More expensive;
  • Harder to install;
  • A non-condensing system needs a venting system (additional costs);
  • Old gas lines and venting conduct rarely work with a new system.

Electric Options:

  • Easier to install;
  • Commonly cheaper;
  • No need for ventilation.

Operating Expenses

Now, we should discuss the tankless water heater electric vs. gas operating expenses. The calculations should be based on the fuel cost and the unit’s efficiency. Gas is commonly cheaper in most regions of the country. As a result, it will be more beneficial for any housekeeper. However, things change drastically if the price of electricity is cheaper. 

As for energy efficiency, Electric systems are more efficient. They offer 98-99% in comparison to 80-85% of gas analogs. Therefore, this round is one by an electric unit.

Take into Account Average Prices for Fuel and an Energy Factor

The next thing you should check when you compare gas tankless water heater vs. electric is the cost of both kinds of fuel. Different regions may set pretty different prices for these fuel types. You should also know that sometimes the prices are almost equal.

If the prices for both types of fuel are almost identical, an electronic unit will be more beneficial. Why is it so? The answer is simple – These units are cheaper compared to their gas analogs. Commonly, tank water heaters’ energy factor ranges from 0.5-0.6. In other words, you use only 50-60 cents of fuel when the unit consumes $1. That is why you need to know the yearly cost gas vs. electric tankless water heater for sure to make an economically correct decision.

Now, let’s give heed to the energy factor. Commonly, gas-fueled units have an energy factor of 0.8. So, its condensing variant gives you a 0.9 energy factor. In the meanwhile, an electric unit offers a 0.98 energy factor. Even though electric units offer higher energy and energy efficiency, they are more expensive to operate because gas is cheaper in most regions of the USA.

As you can see, you need to check all variables attentively. A gas unit may be beneficial under certain conditions, as well as less profitable if the conditions are changed. Study all the variables before you make the final choice.

Hot Water Requirements

When we contrast electric tankless water heater vs. gas, we need to mention hot water requirements as well. The water output is measured by the amounts of gallons that can be produced by this or that unit. GMP means gallons per minute. 

Gas Options:

  • These units deliver more hot water (over eight GPM) compared to electrical analogs.
  • They are more suitable for large households if they demand more hot water.

Electric Options:

  • Electric units can deliver about eight GPM.

Maintenance Issues

Our tankless water heater gas vs. electric comparison wouldn’t be complete without checking maintenance peculiarities. Both units must be maintained regularly to be sure they function properly and will not spoil all of a sudden. Regal maintenance helps to prolong the lifespan of any device. Water heaters are no exception. Let’s check how much each type will cost.

Gas Options:

  • These units require more regular maintenance compared to electric analogs;
  • It’s always necessary to hire a professional to inspect the whole system and thus be sure that there are no leaks of gas.
  • They frequently gain mineral scale build-up and so require flushing pretty often.

Electric Options:

  • Electric units require little maintenance compared to their gas analogs.
  • The flushing of the entire system must be done once per year. It may be 2 per year on rare occasions.
  • You need to clean filters when it’s needed.
  • The system must be flushed every year to avoid damaging build-up.

The Bottom Line

The battle of tankless hot water heater electric vs. gas is a common issue for many householders. Which one to choose? It’s not the task we have appointed. We simply tried to be helpful to our readers and offered genuine facts about both types. Check all the details to define which one is more beneficial for your household.

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