A common dilemma among people who are planning to buy any tankless water heater is what type to go for. In recent times, people have become more accustomed to tankless models of water heaters in contrast to the traditional ones that used to be so popular, but, even they had to face the same dilemma of choosing what type. Both tankless gas heaters and electric tankless heaters have their respective advantages and disadvantage. However, this would mean nothing to you if you do not have any firsthand information about them. The purpose of this article is to compare gas and electric water heaters, focusing on their features, and taking you through things that will help you pick the type that will suit you well.
Gas tankless water heaters
It is common knowledge that most equipment that is fuelled by gas are generally of two types; the ones that use propane gas, and the ones that use natural gas. This is also the case with gas tankless water heaters. However, they mostly have the same design, and the only difference is usually the type of fuel they use, so if you end up choosing to go for a tankless gas heater. You won’t have to worry about stressing over which type to choose as most manufacturers today provide two different fuelling options for any model they make.
Typically, these last longer than electric ones and they can heat a larger quantity of water more efficiently. With tankless gas heaters, you have to make sure that installation pipes are properly installed to ensure efficient heating and safety.
Electric tankless water heaters
These are powered by electricity, and usually, they are a bit smaller than gas tankless heaters. They operate using a heating element that is powered by electricity, and it is safer to install them closer to the point of use. Electric tankless heaters may not be able to heat as much volume of water as a gas-powered heater will, but they can continuously provide hot water for you and your family. Also, they are relatively cheaper and easier to install than gas tankless water heaters.
Things to consider before choosing between gas or electric tankless water heater
Type of power available
This is like the most fundamental factor to consider before you go ahead to buy any tankless water heater. Consider the availability of electricity, propane gas, or natural gas; if you only have access to electricity, then you know you have to buy an electric heater, and if you only have access to propane gas or natural gas, then you have to get a gas-powered heater. It may happen in some cases that you have access to both power options when this happens; you have to consider some other factors like the price of both power options before making your choice.
This has to do with what you can afford to spend a tankless water heater initially. Typically, it costs far more to buy a gas tankless water heater than to buy an electric tankless water heater. If you bought an average electric heater, you would spend around $500, while you would pay double of that or more if you go for a gas heater. You have to be careful; however, because different costs come with buying and using tankless heaters; the other expenses such as installation cost and running cost.
There are a couple of things you should consider as regards installation before you go out to get either a tankless gas heater or an electric one. One of the things is the kind of apartment you live in; if you live in a house you built by yourself, or in one that you own, you may find it easier to install, however, if you live in a rented house, you will need the owner’s approval before you can install anything of such. Gas tankless water heaters are more expensive to install, and they can take more space because you’ll have to think about ventilation and other things. On the other hand, electric tankless heaters are cheaper, smaller, and their design makes them easier to install.
This is one of the more tricky factors that you have to consider carefully. Generally, the price of gas is lower when it is compared to that of electricity, and when you look at this, you may feel it will cost less to operate a gas tankless water heater, this is true. However, you have to consider some other things that relate to maintaining your tankless water heating system. Under normal circumstances, gas tankless water heaters require regular inspection to ensure safety. Maintaining an electric tankless heater is cheaper, and even if something gets damaged in this system, it is easier to fix.
Impact on the environment
In this age, people are being advised to do more things with consideration for the environment. Thus, you should try to consider the impact of each option on the environment. Greenhouse gas emissions are harming the environment, and the burning of fossil fuels like natural gas and propane gas contributes significantly to this. Switching from the traditional water heater to the tankless system is more environmentally friendly, but there are other things you can also consider to contribute to environmental safety. Electric tankless water heaters are more environmentally friendly, especially if the electricity is generated from sources that do not increase greenhouse emissions.
While tankless water heaters are more functional and more sustainable than traditional water heaters, they are both durable, depending on how well they are maintained and how well they are installed. They are generally made with rust-resistant and non-corrosive materials, but when it comes to maintenance, it may be easier and cheaper to maintain an electric tankless water heater than a gas-powered one. With adequate maintenance, though it may cost more, a gas tankless heater should last longer than an electric one.
Water supply and flow rate
This factor really has to do with the size of your family or the number of people that the tankless water heater will serve. If you have a large family, it might be better for you to install a gas tankless water heater; they can provide between 8-10 gallons of water per minute. If your family is a small one, or if the number of people that the water heater will serve is low, then the electric tankless water heater can serve you well; it supplies about 5 gallons of water per minute. You should know that climate can affect the flow rate; in colder weather, the flow rate can be lower than it will be in warmer climates.
Which one should you choose?
Ultimately, the decision depends totally on you. Some of the factors that have been discussed above should help you out in making your decision. What you should know is that choosing between a gas tankless water heater and an electric one is not a matter of just choosing which one you like best, it has to do with what you need.
Gas tankless water heaters are the more efficient type, and they are greatly recommended, but if you have just a small family or if you cannot afford a gas-powered heater, you should go for the electric tankless water heater. Plus, they are more environmentally friendly.