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Comparing gas and electric tank type water heaters to tankless water heaters

When it comes to choosing a water heater, there are many factors to consider, including the size of your home, your hot water needs, and your budget. One key decision you'll need to make is whether to go with a tank type or tankless water heater.


Tank type water heaters, which include both gas and electric models, are the most common type of water heater found in homes. These heaters store hot water in a tank, which means they're always on and ready to go when you need hot water. They're also relatively inexpensive to purchase and install.


Alternatively, tankless water heaters don't have a storage tank. Instead, they heat water on demand, only when you need it. This means they're more energy efficient, as they don't waste energy keeping a tank of water hot. Tankless water heaters also have a longer lifespan, as they don't have to work as hard to heat water-providing they are cleaned and maintained as directed in the product manual.


So which type of water heater is right for you?

Gas Tank Type Water Heaters

Gas tank type water heaters are powered by natural gas or propane and are generally more efficient than electric models. They also tend to be less expensive to operate, as natural gas is often cheaper than electricity.
Gas Water Heater

Gas tank type water heaters are powered by natural gas or propane and are generally more efficient than electric models. They also tend to be less expensive to operate, as natural gas is often cheaper than electricity.

One potential drawback of gas tank water heaters is that they require a gas line, which can be costly to install if you don't already have these. They also produce carbon monoxide, which means they need to be vented properly to ensure the safety of your home.


Electric Tank Type Water Heaters

Electric Water heater
Picture by: InterNACHI

Electric tank type water heaters are powered by electricity and are generally less expensive to purchase and install than gas models. They're also easier to install, as they don't require a gas line.

However, electric tank water heaters are generally less efficient than gas models and can be more expensive to operate, especially if you have high electricity rates. They also have a longer recovery time, which means it may take longer for them to heat up a large tank of water.

A newer option for those needing an electric water heater is a Hybrid-Electric water heater that uses electric coils inside like a normal heater, plus a heat pump , which is sized and installed properly may be even more efficient than gas water heaters.


Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water
Picture By: Inspection Pros

Tankless water heaters are more expensive to purchase and install than tank type water heaters, but they have a number of benefits that may make them worth the investment.

As mentioned earlier, tankless water heaters are more energy efficient and have a longer lifespan than tank type water heaters. They also have a much smaller footprint, as they don't require a storage tank. This makes them a great option for small homes or for those who want to free up space in their utility room.

Tankless water heaters do have some limitations, however. They may not be able to keep up with the hot water demand of larger households or those with multiple bathrooms. They also have a higher initial cost, which can be a deterrent for some homeowners.


Electric whole house water heaters are relatively new to the housing market. They have been used for several years as a point of use type installation. A whole house system generally requires a high Amperage circuit to heat the water which can also mean adding an upgraded electric service to the home. These are becoming more common now in new construction and we expect to see them more in the future.


In conclusion

both gas and electric tank type water heaters and tankless water heaters have their pros and cons. It's important to carefully consider your hot water needs, budget, and other factors before making a decision demand of larger households can also help you determine the best water heater for your home.


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