In choosing the better option between electric and gas tankless water heaters, you should not only consider the cost of the unit or system itself; there are many factors that might affect the way by which you would want to get hot water on demand or on point of use.
Also, you should not choose an electric tankless water heater because it sounds more modern than a gas water heater. In addition, you should not choose a gas tankless water heater just because gas tends to be cheaper. So which is better?
Things Which You Should Consider In Choosing Between The Two Types Of Tankless Water Heaters
Cost of obtaining the unit
Electric tankless water heaters tend to cost less than gas tankless water heaters. Electric tankless water heaters, on the average cost about $650. Of course, the lesser the capacity the lower the price would be. The same goes with gas type heater. However, gas type tankless heaters, on the average cost about $1,100.
Cost of installation
Plumbing works are required for both system, but there is a big difference between them when it comes to other installation requirements. Electric tankless water heaters are much easier and cheaper to install.
Electric type heaters tend to be smaller, lighter and more compact. Even some whole-house electric tankless water heaters can fit in a bathroom or a cabinet, and most of them can fit under a kitchen sink.
Although they require wiring installation, their daily use does not involve smoke or exhaust gas so they do not require the installation of any ventilation or exhaust system.
The installation of these ventilation and exhaust systems can be very expensive, and that might make you choose the electric-type heater unless you already have an adequate ventilation system.
Electric tankless water heaters, because of their smaller compact size, are easier to maintain and repair. Other than filter cleaning there is not much you need to do to ensure a safe and good performance. Gas-type heaters, on the other hand, require, at least, an annual maintenance check to ensure safe fuel combustion.
The efficiency rating of electric tankless water heaters is around 90% to 95%, sometimes even higher depending on the brand. On the other hand, the efficiency rating of gas tankless water heaters is commonly below 90%.
Electricity and gas cost
Consideration of the costs incurred through years of use is also very important. Gas is generally cheaper than electricity. This advantage throughout the lifespan of the unit makes up for the fact that gas type heaters are less efficient and are more expensive to buy and to install. However, the cost of gas does fluctuate more as compared to the cost of electricity which tends to be stable.
The place of installation
If electricity is not available in your place or if your place often suffers from power outage or black-outs, then electric tankless water heaters might be out of the question. However, if the surrounding area of your home is cramped or does not have a good spot where the exhaust system can be installed, or if you simply do not want to risk inhaling all that exhaust, then gas tankless water heaters would not be a good choice for you or for your neighbors.
What you ultimately prefer
Sometimes it all comes down to what you feel like using. If you want none of the hassles of paying a lot for the installation and maintenance of your tankless water heater, then you would most likely choose the electric type, although installing an electric-type water heater also involves some costs as well.
If you do not want to add any more to your already excessive electric bill, then the gas type might appear to be a better choice. However, if you are one of those who likes to live greener and you want to contribute to lessening air pollution or greenhouse gases then you might want to choose the electric-type water heater.
So whatever type of water heater you choose, make sure that it fits your lifestyle, your resources, your preference and even the place where you want to install the water heater. But taking into account all the factors mentioned, there is a good chance that electric tankless water heaters are the way to go for most people who want hot water on demand.