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Gas Tankless vs. Electric Tankless

In some situations a gas tankless water heater is the best choice and in other situations an electric tankless water heater is best. The choice depends on personal preference, availability, ease of installation, and cost of operation. Historically gas has been the most popular because the cost of gas (natural or propane) is less in most parts of North America compared to electricity.

The main difference between gas and electric tankless water heaters is the capacity (amount of hot water it can make). Most gas units are considered whole house or commercial and will produce enough hot water to run 2-3 major functions simultaneously (i.e. average shower). Electric tankless water heaters are offered in whole house and point of use varieties. Whole house electric models will run 1-2 major function simultaneously while point of use units are design for hand washing. Gas units offer the ability to expand by linking multiple units together to create an ever larger tankless system. Currently this feature is not offered in an electric model.

Electric tankless waters heaters offer a smaller wall mounted footprint and do not require venting to the outside. Gas tankless water heaters are larger and require exhaust venting to the outside. Most gas and electric models have fully modulating heating coils which allow the heater to only use the necessary energy required at that moment. Gas units claim ~84% efficient while electric models claim ~99% efficient but the cost of energy will determine the operation cost.

The market for gas tankless water heaters is larger as it is recognized by the Federal Government and Energy Star for being a “green” choice. It is recommend to contact a reliable tankless seller who can educate the consumer on installation details of either type. Gas or Electric, either way the end user will come out ahead with reduced energy costs and a water heater that typically last ~20 years in a residential application.

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