Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heater | Which is Best?

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Hot water is the necessity of every other household in the US. According to the U.S Department of energy, water heater systems are the second-most system in your home that utilizes the bigger energy portion. The best approach is to invest in an energy-efficient water heater like a tankless water heater.

Tankless water heaters are far more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters. Also, they are either powered by gas (propane or natural gas) or electricity. The aim of electric and gas tankless water heaters is the same that is to heat the water but have different designs. Each type of heater has its own set of pros and cons. We have discussed it here.

So if you are clueless about electric and gas tankless water, then you don’t sweat it. Here we have compiled a brief and concise comparison between tankless water heater electric vs gas.

Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heater:




Efficient  Up to 0.8 EF Factor Up to 0.98 EF Factor
Price range $1000-$1800 $500-$900
Flow rate 8GPM -20GPM Up to 10GPM
Maintenance Requires yearly maintenance No maintenance 
Venting Requires venting No venting is required
Installation Difficult to install Comparatively easier to install
Environmental impact Higher-Produces greenhouse gases Lower-No greenhouse gas emission
Life  Double of the electric tankless heater 6-10years

Which Tankless Water Heater Is Best- Electric or Gas?

Speaking candidly, the answer is both.

Both types of tankless water heaters are good at their position. But if you have to choose between gas and electric tankless water heater, then it would be a bit tricky to choose provided you have both gas and the electric source is available.

This detailed comparison will really help you in choosing a tankless type of water heater. We will discuss each factor and compare gas vs tankless water heaters with that.

So let’s start!

Price of Tankless Water Heater:

Price is the most important factor when you are deciding to buy a tankless water heart. Generally, tankless water heaters are a bit pricier than the conventional water heater.

In electric vs. gas tankless water heaters, electric heaters are the champion since their initial cost is around $500 to $900. In contrast to this, gas tankless water systems are expensive. Their initial cost is around $1000-$1800. The reason is gas tankless water heater features an electronic ignition system whose quality varies with the price.

Yearly cost gas vs electric tankless water heater:

The Yearly operating cost is $195 for a gas tankless and $535 for the electric water heater. Gas water heaters are less costly to operate, it’s due to the lower cost of natural gas and not because they’re necessarily more efficient.

Installation of Tankless Water Heater:

Installing a tankless water heater is the most crucial step. We would advise you to take any professional plumber’s help while installing a tankless heater. Whether it’s a gas-powered or electricity-powered heater, it’s a bit tricky to install.

When comparing electric vs. gas tankless water heaters in terms of installation, gas heaters are considered a bit complicated to install. Not only this, but the plumbers demand high installation fees for the gas tankless water heater. Complex venting and combustion air supply requirements are the reason behind this difficult process.

On the other hand, electric tankless water heaters are fairly easy to install. Since there is no gas combustion occurring inside an electric heater, so it won’t require any ventilation system. Not only it reduces the installation cost but you can install it literally anywhere in your home.

Electric tankless water systems are small and compact in size and this is the worth appreciating feature of the electric tankless water heater system. They can be installed anywhere, even in closets and under sinks that other traditional heaters cannot.

In short, the installation of an electric tankless water heater is less expensive unless you need to upgrade your electrical system.

The efficiency of Tankless Water Heater:

The efficiency of a tankless water heater means how much amount of hot water is produced by using a single unit of fuel.

The efficiency of the water heater is inversely proportional to fuel. The heater would be called highly efficient if it uses less fuel to produce hot water. In electric vs propane tankless water heaters, electric tankless water heaters are more efficient than the propane tankless heater. An electric heater can reach up to EF of 0.89 while a gas one can reach up to EF of 0.80.

Flow Rate of Tankless Water Heater:

Gallons per minute (GPM) is the unit to define flow rate. It means how many gallons of water are produced by the tankless water heater. Flow rate is highly affected by the weather. The heater produces a low flow rate in the colder region. The logic behind this is that water is too cold; a tankless water heater has to consume all its energy in heating the water. Therefore the water flow rate decreases in cold regions.

In comparison to gas vs electric tankless water heaters, gas-powered heaters produce hot water with a good flow rate of 8 GPM, which increases up to 20 GPM in warmer regions. Whereas the electric tankless water heater produces water with a flow rate of 8GPM, which may decrease during winters.

Maintenance of Tankless Water Heater:

Like every other device, a tankless water heater requires frequent maintenance sessions. Interestingly, a gas tankless water heater requires more and more maintenance than an electric-powered water heater. Usually, mineral scale build-up is the most common problem associated with gas tankless water heaters, that’s why regular flushing is required. It is advisable to hire a licensed technician for proper maintenance and service of a gas tankless heater.

In contrast to this, an electric tankless heater requires minimum maintenance. Mineral scales also build up in electric tankless heaters but it needs to be flushed and cleaned annually.

Environmental Impact of Tankless Water Heater:

Greenhouse gas and carbon footprints are the major contributors to global warming. Being responsible consumers, it’s our duty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprints, which will benefit the environment. Gas tankless heaters obtain energy from burning fossil fuel, so that’s means they emit greenhouse gases. Also, gas tankless heaters are more energy efficient when comparing them with traditional water heaters.

As far as electric tankless heater is concerned, it does not emit greenhouse gases as it does not burn fossil fuels. When it comes to energy efficiency, electric-powered heaters are extra efficient than gas-powered tankless heaters.


Electric tankless water heaters are best for:

  • Those households where there is no supply of natural gas or propane.
  • Those owners who are scared of natural gas disasters often prefer electric water heaters.
  • Households that have a limited budget
  • Those houses where there is limited space
  • People who want to go green and environmentally friendly

On the flip side, a gas tankless water heater is best for:

  • Those households who want to improve the energy utilization and have access to natural gas or propane gas.
  • Big families where high peak demand of hot water is required often.
  • Those families who live in a colder climate and want high water pressure every time.

Our Suggestion:

In electric tankless water heater vs Gas, both are good options in various aspects. Both are energy efficient and reducing the cost of utility bills. But the rising gas prices make gas-powered water heaters a bit reticent choice. Also, they emit a high amount of greenhouse gases which are dangerous for our environment. Not only this, the high installation cost and frequent maintenance sessions make it a bit expensive to own. Therefore, our suggestion would be to go towards electric tankless water heaters since they are environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and indeed a good investment.

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