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

The electric vs gas tankless water heater debate has always been one of the most complicated ones. This is because of the many factors to consider. Most homeowners are also struggling to determine whether their homes are ready for a water heater switch.

If opt for the gas water heater, their homes might not be the perfect ground for installation. An electric tankless heating unit on the other hand could make your electricity bill surge, giving you more headaches in terms of financial in the future.

Of course, both options have their pros and cons, but sometimes a quick comparison is not enough to reach a decision. Therefore, we have decided to offer you a detailed guide to both options that will hopefully help you make the right choice.

Which One Will Cost You More?

The first thing you should consider is the cost of the water heaters. Nowadays, electric water heaters are quite affordable compared to the past. You can get a decent one for $500, and it will serve you well for many years to come.

Gas water heaters on the other hand are generally expensive, and they can easily cost you more than a thousand dollars.

electric vs gas tankless water heater

Nevertheless, the decision is more complex than that. You also have to bear in mind that these water heaters requires different types of installations. That could also directly 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, there is a bigger possibility that you will have to go for an electric tankless heating unit.

This is because the gas type requires you to meet all the essential air supply requirements and 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. A storage space is needed. Unlike electric ones, you cannot install them wherever you want. 

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

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

Nevertheless, both of these water heaters have to be installed properly for proper operation. 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 for safety. It is always recommended to hire a professional to do all these jobs. 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 water heaters require little maintenance. However, this 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 can perform 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, the gas type 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. Well, good for the long runs.

Electric water heaters provide less hot water, but the supply is enough for an average sized family. Still, you have to think about situations when you may need more hot water especially during those cold days.

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 water heaters.

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

Meanwhile, electric tankless gas water 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 type are highly efficient, but even the best units peak at about 85%.

In contrast, electric water heaters 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 options are an investment. That's a reason why it is crucial to determine which option will last you longer.

When installed properly, both types of 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 be able to fix it quickly and the repair and maintenance costs won't be high either.

However, it is more complex with gas water heaters. Their heat exchangers are complicated and more 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, go for the electric water heater. It doesn’t release any gases which are harmful to the environment, and its simplistic design means that lesser energy was used during manufacturing.

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

Final Verdict - Who Wins?

Your electricity bill is going to increase if you purchase an electric tankless water heater. However, unlike gas prices, the rates will probably stay stable for the next decade.

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

Therefore, the decision depends on your needs, preferences and your budget. If you don’t mind the installation and maintenance costs, go for the gas.

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 electric tankless water heaters will be a better investment overall.

    Verner Ellen

    Hi, my name is Verner Ellen. I am a homebody whose interest is in getting the best home tools and equipments to help with the the everyday house chores. I also love fitness, cooking and grilling. Maintaining a clean and comfortable home is my lifelong passion.