Which One to Choose: Electric or Gas Tankless Water Heater?

hot-water-from-tankless-water-heaterThe availability of energy sources such as electrical power or natural gas, plays a huge role in choosing between electric and gas tankless water heater. The buying price, venting and installation costs, flow rates, operating costs, environmental impact and maintenance are other factors that can influence your choice.

The installation cost of a tankless water heaters varies with regards to the type of heater, the desired installation location, and the availability of an adequate energy supply. Electric tankless water heaters are high-power units that work on demand and heat up in just a few minutes. The demand for electric supply goes up in colder climate regions, which gives them a high peak electrical consumption.

On the other hand, the installation of a gas tankless water heater may require the enlargement of the gas supply pipe, venting and combustion air supply, which may increase the cost of installation. In this case, the installation of an electric tankless water heater is much more costs effective.

For most consumers, water usage does not play a huge role in the selection due to their modest water flow rate requirement. Gas heaters are capable of providing higher flow rates than electric heaters, but this capability comes at an extra cost during installation.

The consideration of the ongoing cost of operating your tankless water heater is important but the future operating costs should also be looked at. It is 10-15% cheaper per BTU of heating power to operate a natural gas tankless water heater than an electric tankless heater.

Electric heaters are 14 – 19% more efficient than the gas heaters. Their high efficiency, longer service life and long-term cost benefits can easily outweigh the small current operating cost difference owing that the working life of most tankless water heaters is about 20 years.

Using any of the tankless system is a good environmental choice. However, the use of a tankless electric heater is of a better choice especially in regions that generate electricity from green sources such as hydroelectric generators, solar, wind and among others.

The Maintenance of an electric tankless water heater is very straightforward since the only emphasis is on the inlet screen filter. On the other hand, gas tankless water heaters, require an annual inspection to ensure safe fuel combustion and operation.

Generally, your purchase should be driven by carefully weighing the pros and cons electric and gas tankless water heaters with respect to your needs and/or circumstances. In terms of installation, operation and maintenance costs, the electric tankless water heaters are the best options.

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