Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heater: Picking The Right One

electric vs gas tankless water heater

When choosing a water heater for your home, make sure you’re taking the time to research all your options. There are 2 types of water heaters: electric vs gas tankless water heater. Both types have advantages and disadvantages, and it’s essential to understand their differences before deciding.

Electric tankless heaters are more energy efficient than gas models but can be expensive to install and operate. Gas tankless water heaters are more affordable upfront but require more maintenance and may not be as energy efficient. So which type of water heater is best for you? It all depends on your specific needs and budget.

Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater: Which Is The Better Choice

It is impossible to determine which type of water heater is superior because both gas and electric models have pros and cons.

Every family has a set of diverse conditions that are specific to them. To put it differently, what is suitable for your neighbor may not be ideal for you.

Seek advice from a professional to help you choose the most appropriate option for your circumstances.

Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater Buyers Guide

electric vs gas tankless water heater

A gas-powered tankless water heater differs significantly from its electric counterpart. They have only one thing in common they both produce hot water!

When selecting a tankless water heater, there are numerous factors to contemplate to purchase the best model for your household needs.

This article examines the similarities & differences between gas & electric tankless water heaters so you can make a well-informed decision. Let’s get started!


Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Gas Tankless Water Heaters
Cost EfficiencyLess cost-efficientMore cost-efficient
Unit Cost$500 – $900$1,000 – $2,200
MaintenanceLower maintenance levelsHigher maintenance levels
Environmental ImpactLowerHigher
Energy EfficiencyUp to 0.89 EF factorUp to 0.80 EF factor
Installation Cost$450 – $1,000$500 – $1,000
Flow Rate CapacityUp to 10 GPM8 GPM – 20 GPM

Hot Water Needs: Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are determined by their output rate, measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Generally, 8 GPM is sufficient for the typical family, yet it is essential to assess the hot water requirements of your particular household. There is no greater displeasure than not having enough hot water during a morning shower!

In colder climates, the GPM flow rate will be lower than in hotter locations. This is because the incoming water temperature is lower, so the tankless water heater must work harder to reach the desired output temperature. When choosing between gas and electric, the gas option is typically more efficient, especially when a larger quantity of water is required.

Electric Tankless Water Heater

  • An electric tankless water heater can provide up to 8 gallons per minute of hot water.
  • The performance of both electric and gas tankless systems is contingent on the incoming water’s temperature. Put differently, the lower the temperature, the less GPM it will produce.

Gas Tankless Water Heater

  • Gas-powered tankless water heaters can provide a higher flow rate of hot water than electric ones, surpassing 8 gallons per minute.
  • A gas-powered tankless water heater may be a more practical option for a family with many members who need a lot of hot water.

Fuel Source Options: Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

Investing in a tankless water heater is a decision that requires consideration of financial and long-term implications. When maintained properly, these water heating systems can last for two decades or more.

Electric models are beneficial because of how rising and falling fuel prices will affect gas. Even though fuel costs are currently steady, this might not remain so in the future.

Electric Tankless Water Heater

  • Electricity cost is more stable than gas.
  • Electric tankless water heaters need a great deal of electricity to operate. They are powerful machines, and many older homes do not have the necessary electrical capacity to support them.
  • If the electricity in your residence isn’t enough to support an electric tankless system, you can hire an electrician to upgrade the power. It is important to note that this will cause a considerable boost in the installation costs.

Gas Tankless Water Heater

  • Presently, gas is more affordable than electricity. Nevertheless, the cost of fuel can vary from place to place.
  • It is not sure that the cost of gasoline will remain below that of electricity. Most economists predict that the price of gas will climb in the future.

Homeowner’s Preference: Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

Although gas and electric tankless water heaters provide hot water, they have a variety of dissimilarities.

Ultimately, it will depend on your likes and dislikes. Here are a few things to remember when making your choice.

Electric Tankless Water Heater

  • Many homeowners feel uneasy when relying on natural gas or propane for household items in the event of a calamity.
  • Homeowners often consider an electric tankless water heater because of its eco-friendly benefits. These systems are incredibly efficient regarding energy and don’t utilize any fossil fuels or produce emissions that contribute to global warming.
electric vs gas tankless water heater

Gas Tankless Water Heater

  • Homeowners looking to upgrade their older tank-style water heater can consider getting a gas-powered tankless water heater to increase energy efficiency.
  • If you have a big family that requires a lot of hot water at one time, then a gas-fuelled tankless system could be the best option for you. Some models can provide a higher GPM (gallons per minute) of hot water compared to electric systems.

Initial Price: Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

When assessing the cost, two components must be considered: the tankless water heater apparatus and the installation fees.

Without any doubt, electric tankless water heaters are the superior option. Let’s take a look.

Electric Tankless Water Heater

Electric tankless water heaters are a much more cost-effective alternative to gas systems. If you are looking for a high-quality electric heater, you can usually get one for between $500-$600.

Gas Tankless Water Heater

  • Although purchasing a non-condensing tankless system is cheaper, the installation charges are higher because of the necessary venting.
  • Tankless systems that are compact remove the requirement of venting completely. These models have a more intricate design and are, therefore, pricey.

Installation: Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

I highly recommend hiring a qualified professional to install your new water heater. Tankless heating systems must be installed properly from a safety and results standpoint.

A tankless water heater is a significant investment, & spending the money to have it properly installed is a worthwhile expense.

Electric Tankless Water Heater

  • Installation of electric tankless water heaters is much simpler, leading to lower setup expenses.
  • Since no fuel is burning, an electric system does not need airflow. This decreases the expenses of setting it up and offers more choices on where it can be located.
  • Electric tankless systems are less intricate than gas models, and their small size allows them to be fitted in cupboards and other hidden spots. This can be especially beneficial in new buildings, as the tankless system’s electrical needs can be considered.
  • You can quickly and affordably set up an electric unit if your home requires no electrical improvements. However, if you need to upgrade your home’s electrical power, it will be quite costly. Electric tankless systems are not ideal for older houses where the electrical setup cannot handle the high power requirements.

Gas Tankless Water Heater

  • Installing a gas tankless water heater is much more complex and costly than setting up an electric model.
  • Gas tankless water heaters that do not condense need a complicated venting system that provides the necessary ventilation for combustion and costly category III venting material constructed from stainless steel.
  • An existing ventilation duct system and a residence’s gas piping are usually unsuitable for use with a gas-powered tankless water heater.
  • It is often expensive to make changes in the home to satisfy the ventilation and gas necessities.

Operating Costs: Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater’s total expenditure consists of two main factors: the cost of the fuel and the efficiency with which the unit utilizes this fuel. Let us analyze each of these components more closely.

Fuel Cost – At the moment, the cost of gas is generally more affordable than electricity in the majority of regions. This makes the operating costs of a gas tankless water heater more economical. It is important to remember that the fuel cost differs in different locations. In certain places, the price of gasoline is significantly more than that of electricity.

The cost of gas is more unpredictable and liable to more extreme fluctuations than electricity prices, yet it is anticipated that it will go up in the coming days. Many economists concur that electricity costs should remain steady, whereas gas prices are predicted to increase drastically.

Efficiency – The effectiveness of a water heater is determined by the quantity of hot water generated from a single unit of fuel.

Tankless water heaters’ increased efficiency reduces fuel consumption while producing hot water. Electric tankless water heaters are much more effective than gas-powered ones, although they come at a higher cost.

Electric Tankless Water Heater

  • In lots of locations, the cost of gas is incredibly high, which makes electric tankless systems much more cost-effective to use than those that run on gas.
  • Even though electricity is more expensive, the electricity system’s effectiveness will make up for the more costly fuel.

Gas Tankless Water Heater

  • Efficiency levels of gas tankless water heaters usually reach 80-85%.
  • Right now, the cost of gas is lower than electricity, which makes running a gas tankless water heater cheaper. But this may not be the case in the future due to alterations in fuel prices and the increased efficiency of electric tankless systems.

Environmental Impact: Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

Suppose you are concerned about the greenhouse effect or the amount of carbon dioxide you produce. In that case, you can assume that improving energy efficiency will save you money and benefit the environment.

Electric Tankless Water Heater

  • Electric tankless water heaters are incredibly economical in energy consumption, typically attaining efficiency ratings of up to 99%.
  • Electric tankless systems do not consume fossil fuels and do not generate greenhouse gases that are hazardous to the environment.

Gas Tankless Water Heater

  • Tankless water heaters powered by gas use less energy than regular tank-style heaters.
  • Gas-powered tankless water heaters usually attain an energy efficiency of up to 80%.
  • Gas tankless systems release carbon dioxide and other gases into the environment.

Maintenance: Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

To ensure maximum performance and longevity, it is necessary to carry out regular maintenance on all water heaters.

Electric Tankless Water Heater

  • Electric tankless water heaters necessitate only minimal upkeep.

Gas Tankless Water Heater

  • Gas-powered tankless water heaters require higher upkeep than electric heating systems.
  • A certified technician should conduct a yearly check-up of a gas tankless heater to ensure the fuel is burning securely and the device is operating effectively.
  • Gas-powered tankless systems tend to accumulate mineral deposits more quickly, necessitating more frequent flushing.
  • Homeowners can usually manage general upkeep on their own. However, many will prefer to hire an expert to take care of it for them.

Warranty & Service Life: Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

A typical tankless heater service life is 20 years regardless of its gas vs electric.

Electric Tankless Water Heater

  • A tank-style water heater is prone to leakage and will need to be replaced over time, while a tankless system is more resilient and has more longevity. This is because it can be mended, and individual parts can be replaced.
  • The long life of electric tankless water heaters is typically attributed to their uncomplicated engineering.
  • The length of warranties can differ, but the parts are usually protected for 5 years, and the labor for 1 year.
  • If any issues arise, it is simpler to identify, assess, and fix a tankless electric system.

Gas Tankless Water Heater

  • Gas tankless water heaters last up to 20 years.
  • Maintaining and repairing gas heaters is more intricate than electric heaters due to their more intricate design.
  • Guarantees can differ, but it is normal to spot a 10-year assurance on a heat exchanger, 5 years for other components, and 1 year for labor.
  • The duration for which the gas tankless appliance operates can be shortened if it is not maintained regularly.

I hope you understand the difference between electric vs gas tankless water heater.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) On Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

1. What is the downside of an electric tankless water heater?

A tankless water heater is limited in the amount of hot water it can produce in a single instance. Since the heater attempts to regulate the temperature for all three areas simultaneously, the water will not remain constant.

2. Which one is better gas or electric tankless water heater?

Gas tankless water heaters are more economical than their tank counterparts, generally reaching a peak efficiency of 80-85%. Whereas, electric tankless water heaters are typically more than 98% efficient.

3. Is it cheaper to heat water with gas or electric?

Gas-powered water heaters are more economical than electric models because gas is generally cheaper than electricity. You will pay more for an electric water heater than a gas one. Additionally, gas water heaters can heat water more quickly than electric units, which is helpful in a power outage.

4. Is it worth getting an electric tankless water heater?

The U.S. Department of Energy has stated that a tankless one is more efficient and uses less energy than a conventional water heater, leading to a yearly monetary benefit ranging between $25 and $107. For households that use less than 41 gallons of hot water daily, tankless water heaters are more efficient than traditional models, providing up to 34% savings.

Summary: Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heater


Ultimately, there is no single solution to the dispute between gas and electric water heaters. Every homeowner has distinct requirements, so they must decide for themselves. Numerous qualified technicians believe electric tankless water heaters are an excellent option.

These products are much cheaper, simple to set up, and require almost no upkeep. Furthermore, their straightforward layout means there is no need for an annual evaluation by a certified expert. This helps you save money and extends the product’s life!

Tankless gas water heaters are an excellent option, mainly if your residence requires more hot water than the average. Although, they can be challenging to repair and maintain due to their intricate heat exchanger.

I do not suggest changing to another type of energy source. If your residence uses an electric water heater, modifying your house for a gas-powered tankless system could be too expensive. It is essential to consider that even if you remain with your current energy source, your property might necessitate costly improvements and alterations.

Tankless water heaters are becoming increasingly popular due to their long-term reliability and performance, making them an excellent option for homes. Moving to a tankless system can be expensive, so it is advisable to consult a specialist to determine the best choice for your particular circumstances.

I hope this article on electric vs gas tankless water heater sounds helpful!

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