One of the major factors to consider before buying a tankless water heater is the fueling option. Basically, the most popular choice is between a gas-powered unit and an electrically powered one. Since this single factor contributes to how good your experience with using a tankless water heater will be, it is important that you weigh both options carefully. We have carefully compared both types of water heaters based on various criteria. But first, let’s consider the differences in the operation of Gas vs electric tankless water heater.
What Are Electric Heaters?
An electric heater has powerful coils which help to heat up the water as it passes through the unit. A flow sensor detects the flow of water and activates the electric power. This heats up the heating element. Consequently, the water becomes heated up as it passes through.
What Are Gas Powered Tankless Heaters?
Tankless gas water heaters burn natural, gas, kerosene or propane to heat up water. A sensor detects the flow of water and triggers the gas burner to come on. This heats up the heat exchanger which in turn heats up the water to the desired temperature.
Gas Vs Electric Tankless Water Heater
Both types of tankless water heaters deliver instantaneous hot water on-demand. However, they each have their own demerits and merits. These include:
First, electric water heaters are cheaper to purchase compared to the gas-powered type. A basic medium grade electricity powered unit can cost as low as $500. To buy a gas powered unit of similar capacity, you might have to spend double that amount. Prices become even higher if you want a more sophisticated model. Also, the Installation cost of a gas-fueled unit is typically higher than an electric unit given the difficulty and special installation requirements of the unit.
Installing a gas-powered unit can be quite complicated. The unit releases potentially harmful gasses as it operates. This means there are special ventilation and venting considerations that must be in place before installation can take place. Some units, especially the non-condensing types will also require you to make extensive modifications to your gas lines and venting system if they must work effectively. An electric unit is a lot simpler to install. The only possible issue is compatibility with your home’s power configuration. Once this is settled, little or no modification is required to get the unit working. An electric unit is more suited for homes where adding a new vent will be too costly or impractical.
Efficiency and operating cost
Generally, an electric unit is more energy efficient compared to their gas-powered counterparts. But that doesn’t always make them cheaper to operate. In fact, in most cases, the operating cost of a gas powered unit is usually less than an electrically powered unit of similar capacity. This is mostly because gas is cheaper in most places compared to electricity. If you happen to live anywhere in the world where electricity is a cheaper fueling option then the situation is reversed and gas becomes the more expensive option. Thus the availability of your preferred fueling options is one of the most important factors to keep in mind.
The output capacity of tankless water heaters is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Generally, most gas-powered units have higher GPMs compared to electric powered heaters. If you use a lot of hot water in your home and you make use of multiple water outlets, then you are better off with a gas powered unit.
Gas powered units are high maintenance appliances. Their design and installation are a lot more complicated. This makes it harder to fix them in case of a fault. Electric heaters on the other hands are easier to install and will typically last longer than the gas-fueled types.
Although both units are generally safe, relative to each other an electrically powered unit is a safer alternative. It is important that your gas-powered unit is properly installed in order to ensure safety at all times.
Side-by-side, both gas and electricity powered units are excellent choices. At the end of the day, your final choice depends on your budget, the configuration of your home and the availability of the two fueling options where you live. We hope, you’re able to understands the Gas vs electric tankless water heater their ups and down and which you think is good for you.