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Tankless Water Heaters……Electric Or Gas?

by Harry Webb
(Tennessee, USA)

Today, more and more people are turning to the use of tankless water heaters for all their household hot water needs – baths, dishwashing and laundry, etc. Whereas in the past the question is choosing betweentankless water heaters and traditional tank-types, today the question is choosing energy sources for tankless water heaters.

Should it be gas or electric power?

Electric or gas?

There is no clear-cut answer for this question. What is best for one person may not apply to another. The decision, then, to select electricity or gas depends more on circumstances rather than personal preferences.

Several factors, outside and within, play important considerations in the choice of what type of tankless water heater is best for your needs.


The availability of adequate energy sources is a primary consideration. Electric tankless water heaters are very high-powered appliances, and sometimes this is what is needed in your business (if it is a business you are planning to install a water heater with.)

However, such electrical services may not be available and upgrades may sometimes be expensive. On the other hand, installing a gas tankless water heater would be uneconomical if the building does not have an existing gas or propane service.

Sometimes, too, gas tankless water heaters might be available in remote cabins where electrical power is generally limited.

Operating Costs

Operating costs plays a big consideration, too. Generally, gas tankless water heaters are generally 10 to 20% less than an electric version. Again, there are also many regions where gas costs are sky high due to lack of supply or some other reasons.

In this instance, owners might opt for electricity as energy source and will buy an electric-powered tankless water heater. The bonus is the fact that electricity costs lesser than gas.


Unless there is a need to upgrade, the installation of an electric tankless water heater is cheaper than that of a gas tankless water heater. The reason is that gas tankless water heaters require ventilation like all the other gas-burning appliances.

Location for electric powered tankless heaters are easier to find because the unit is very small (about 1/3 the size of a gas tankless) and the fact that that it does not require ventilation. Often, electric tankless are located closer to the actual point-of-use.

Other reasons

Some homeowners want gas tankless because of their heavy water usage (higher flow). Still others are not comfortable with gas in their homes (piece of mind against accidents).

Still others want the energy efficient electric power. Some wants it for environmental reasons. (Gas-burning contributes to greenhouse effect.)

Click here to read more about energy efficient water heaters

Updated: July 23, 2013 — 1:08 am

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