Gas fuelled vs. Electric tankless water heaters Compared

What type of tankless water heater do I go for? This is a question that every buyer will face before hitting the market.

Today, most Americans are shifting from traditional water heaters to tankless models. No need to mention, like you, they also have faced the task of choosing between the 2 types. If you’ve ever bought an appliance only to regret the decision later, then this piece is more directed to you.

Both gas-fuelled and electric tankless water heaters have great efficiency compared to their counterparts. The difference between the 2 models (gas-fueled and electric) is quite a dead giveaway.

One uses gas to heat the water while the other one uses electricity. No gift for guessing which model uses what source of power.

Gas fuelled tankless water heaters

Digging deeper into the world of gas-fuelled heaters, you’ll find that they are of 2 types. One model uses natural gas while its brother uses propane gas. They are quite similar in design. Only the type of gas used makes the difference.

Today most manufacturers offer both the propane and natural gas-fuelled options. Hence, the decision between the two lies in the fuel available.

Electric tankless water heaters

An electric tankless water heater depends on electricity. As noted, this is the major difference between it and the gas-fuelled type.

Factors to consider when choosing between the electric and gas-fuelled tankless types

Power options

This is quite straightforward. The type of power available for you dictates what model to go with. In case you have both options, other factors discussed below will help you make a decision.

Worth noting, gas is cheaper than electricity in most areas across the US. Unfortunately, the price of gas relies on several factors, like politics.

Initial cost

Electric tankless water heaters are way cheaper than their gas-fuelled competitors. A good sized electric tankless water heater goes for around $500. For a good sized gas fuelled tankless heater costs between $1000 and $1200. This is almost 2 times the price of an electric tankless water heater.

Installation cost

Installation cost is dependent on a few factors. First, if you have a custom-built house, then this may cut these expenses. This is because all the vital connections are available. But that changes if you’re replacing a traditional heater with a new model.

Gas-fueled tankless water heaters are costlier to install than the electricity-powered models. You’ll have to factor in ventilation requirements, among other things.

This alone can be a real deal-breaker, especially in a rented apartment. Remember, in rentals, any renovations are subject to the owner’s approval.

Luckily, these costs will reduce if you plan to install the heater outdoors.

Speaking of electric tankless water heaters, they have a sleek design, which is a plus. The design makes it easy to install them almost anywhere including under sinks or in closets.

As stated before, installing an electric model can also be pricey. This is in case you’re upgrading an already established system.

Operating cost

Gas-fuelled tankless water heaters have a better when it comes to operating costs. This is because of the price of gas, which is quite lower compared to that of electricity. As such, you’ll be saving more with a gas-fuelled unit than an electricity-powered one.

Water supply and flow rate

The availability of an endless supply of hot water is the main reason you’re shifting to the new technology. From conventional heater to a tankless one, isn’t it? Gas-fuelled heaters also win here. The electric water heater supplies around 5 gallons of water per minute. This is quite enough to service a small family.

A gas-fuelled heater is the most efficient and appropriate for larger families. These models provide about 8 to 10 gallons of hot water per minute. This is enough water to support several applications including baths, laundry, dishwashing.

Worth noting, varying climatic conditions cause differences in flow rate. Cold regions, for instance, have a lower flow rate compared to warmer areas. These variations affect the 2 types of tankless water heaters. Solve this by using smaller fixtures.


Both electric and gas fuelled water heaters need minimal maintenance. This is when compared to the traditional water heaters. Electric-type is easy to maintain as they have fewer components to keep clean; the filter inlets. You can flush twice or thrice in a year.

Gas-fuelled tankless water heaters are also easy to maintain. Yet, they need more work than electric units. They also need thorough cleaning because they use fuel. Also, consider the ventilation system so that CO2 can leave.

Environmental impact

The Electric-type don’t emit poisonous gasses making them environmentally friendly. They help in saving both water and energy, which is a win-win situation, both for you and Mother Earth.

For the gas-fueled, they fail this test, as they are the opposite. This is because they emit carbon (iv) oxide among other gasses from the combustion process. Luckily, with proper ventilation, you will do away with these gasses.

Venting and Installation

Gas-fuelled tankless water heaters need a detailed venting and ventilation system. This is because of carbon (iv) oxide emission. If you opt for a condensing tankless water heater the case is different. You’ll need a condensate drainage system for the condensed water.

Quite obvious, an electric tankless water heater doesn’t need any ventilation requirements. But it still requires adequate aeration for best performance.


Warranty means a lot to you as the buyer, that is why you must consider it. While it is true that tankless water heaters rarely run into problems, you need the assurance. So that in a case of something you are on the safe side. Some manufacturing companies offer a longer warranty period than others. This can range from 4 to 5 years depending on the brand. Also, some manufacturers offer after-sale installation. This helps in covering some installation and repair costs.

This is a special advantage especially if you opt for the gas-fuelled tankless units. This is since they are cheaper to install and to maintain.


Tankless water heaters last longer than conventional models. A good one may serve you for over 2 decades. Bu this is reliant on the materials and how good you maintain your unit. Remember, the materials in a tankless tank are rust-resistant and non-corrosive materials. Again, don’t forget to adhere to the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines.

Homeowner preference

Every person’s dream is to have the best of everything in their home. The need for a posh lifestyle can be a significant influence in decision making.

The electric tankless water heater also wins because of aesthetics. They are sleeker and more compact compared to their gas-powered counterparts.

Wrapping it up;

That is it! Factors to consider when choosing between an electric and gas-powered tankless water heater. Though it isn’t easy to exhaust all the factors, we hold that these are the most crucial. Are you after greater efficiency and higher hot water output? A gas-powered unit will do. Do you want to save on installation and maintenance costs? An electric water heater is all you need.

Despite the differences, research shows that these 2 types of tankless perform well. As always go for reputable brands that have a record of quality products. In our reviews, we only focused on such brands.

Finally, always consult the professionals in your areas as they have a lot of insights. For example, how many people have this new tech already?

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