An electric tankless water heater or gas tankless water heater isn’t just your average household appliance. Whether you’re thinking of switching from gas to electric or vice versa, there are a lot of factors to consider before making a final decision.
Gas Tankless Water Heater
- Avg 10 – 12 yr life expectancy
- Can be more energy efficient than electric
- Heats water efficiently at high or low flow rates
- Can reduce energy bill by $108/yr
- Avg cost of $1000
- Requires the use of natural gas, a non-renewable fossil fuel
- Vent ducts in gas lines in your home may not be compatible
- Home renovations may be required for proper installation (category III venting)
- Potential risk to your home and safety due to combustible gas line
- May impact home insurance costs
- Gas prices/rates can vary significantly depending on several factors
- Requires a professional for servicing and maintenancing
Gas tankless water heaters are powerful units capable of supplying hot water to a large 4 -5 bedroom home or busy household. For homes with higher than average water usage, a tankless gas water heater could be the answer, but you may need to make some adjustments.
On average, a quality or premium tankless gas heater costs $1000 or more. It’s a significant investment to make up front, but you’ll be relieved to know that the average life expectancy is 10 -12 years, provided it’s been properly maintained over the years.
You probably shouldn’t attempt to install a tankless gas water heater by yourself unless you happen to be a professional or have experience. Otherwise, it’s easier and much safer to hire a pro. A pro can make sure your unit is a safety compliant model, and that your ventilation is adequately installed according to municipal standards and safety codes.
Some renovations to your home may be necessary, but once your tankless gas heater is installed, you’ll rarely need to service it or tinker with it. SMART features, Wifi control, and high-efficiency burners make the top brands highly sophisticated and largely self-regulating units.
If your gas tankless heater begins leaking (which it eventually will) you’ll definitely need to have it serviced by a professional. The repair is a necessary and costly one, but a quality unit should give you years of hot water before it shows signs of wear and tear.
Electric Tankless Water Heaters
- Avg cost of $500 (See these electric tankless water heater reviews to find the best brands)
- Avg 20+ years life expectancy
- Can save between 27% – 57% on energy costs annually
- Can be installed by yourself (includes user instructions)
- Compact in size, can be wall mounted to save space in your home
- Highly efficient design with an avg efficiency rating of 98 – 99%
- Parts can be replaced and reinstalled if damaged or malfunctioning
- Low cost of maintenance and less labor intensive
- Flow rate can vary depending on climate, requiring greater energy use to heat your water
- Heats water less rapidly than gas
Many households are switching out their gas water heaters for electric tankless water heaters, and it’s not just to be trendy. At about half the price of a gas tankless water heater, electric versions are designed with a life expectancy of 15 – 20 years or more (less in northern climates) and include generous warranty coverage for damaged parts.
Electric tankless water heaters can be purchased off the shelf at most leading department stores or specialty household appliances stores. They include detailed user instructions for self installation and don’t require any remodelling to your home because of their compact design!
Of course, since it’s electric, no natural gas or any other potentially dangerous fossil fuel is burned in your home, reducing your carbon footprint even further. But being smaller also means that they are not quite as powerful as their gas counterparts.
Electric tankless water heaters tend to have a maximum flow rate of 8GPM, or 8 gallons per minute. GPM decreases with each faucet use in your home, so a quality electric tankless should have a high gpm to supply hot water to multiple rooms or machines simultaneously without any significant loss of water pressure.
Generally, a gas water heater will perform better than an electric tankless water heater at delivering a high flow rate, but the efficiency, compactness, durability and easy maintenance of an electric tankless water heater make it a much more economic choice.
If reducing your carbon footprint is a priority, electric is the way to go, but if you have the means and a large family or household, a gas tankless heater could be the better decision for the long term.