A big decision when it comes to purchasing a tankless water heater is whether you want an electric or propane one. Both have their pros and cons, but ultimately the decision may come down to cost if your budget is limited. We will go over the benefits of both types of tankless water heaters so that you can make an informed choice about which type suits your needs best!
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Tankless Propane Water Heater and How Does It Work?
A tankless propane water heater is a great choice for anyone who wants to use their outdoor space year-round. It does not need any electricity or power from the home, so it will work just as well in the winter months when you need hot water every day and most of your major appliances like washers and dryers are shut down. Propane water heaters are very popular in recreational vehicles and cabins, where having reliable hot water is important but there’s no access to electricity.
A tankless propane water heater works by heating the outside of a copper tube that runs through the unit with the flame from its powerful blue torch-like burner. The inside of this tube heats up and that heat is transferred to the water. Since propane is not a continuous flame, it will only burn when hot water flows through the unit and turns on an electronic ignition switch which ignites the flames using natural gas or LP (propane) from your tank. The size of these units ranges from less than 20k BTU for single sinks and showers to over 100k BTU for multiple bathrooms.
Pros and Cons of Tankless Propane Water Heaters
Tankless propane water heaters are great for many reasons, but they also have some drawbacks.
1. They are very efficient and only heat the water as it is used – saving you money
2. Since they do not use electricity, propane tanks will continue to give hot water during power outages and in remote areas where utilities cannot reach. This makes them a great choice for anyone who wants to be prepared for an emergency.
3. They usually have a longer lifespan than electric units
1. Some people do not like the blue flame and would prefer an aesthetically pleasing white glow from their heater. Modern models will give you this choice, but it must be ordered when buying.
2. Propane tanks are required to power these heaters which means periodically refilling them. This can be a hassle for some people, especially those who do not have access to propane refills easily.
3. Propane is more expensive than electricity so if your unit uses a lot of hot water or is in a remote location you may want to consider an electric tankless heater instead which draws power from the grid.
Tankless Electric Water Heater and How Does It Work?
A tankless electric water heater works in almost the same way as a propane one, but it does not require gas or flammable fuel of any kind – so there’s no risk of explosion! It heats up like other household appliances and uses an electric element to bring water up to the desired temperature. Electric tankless units do not require venting like propane ones, but they can use a lot of energy if you choose one that is too large for your needs.
Be sure to carefully read product descriptions online or on store tags when you’re shopping for these appliances because some small units for single bathrooms only use a few amps of energy, while larger ones may need as much power as your stove or dryer.
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Pros and Cons of Tankless Electric Water Heaters
tankless electric water heaters are a great alternative to gas or electric storage tank models. They offer many advantages, but they also have some disadvantages that you should be aware of before making the switch. Below we will list out the pros and cons of tankless electric water heater.
1. They are very efficient and only heat the water as it is used – saving you money
2. Since they do not use gas or propane, there's no risk of explosion. This makes them a great choice for anyone who wants to be prepared for an emergency.
3. Some units can be installed outdoors making these ideal if you want hot water for your pool or spa
1. Because they use so much power, these units can be expensive to operate. Make sure you get one that is the right size for what you need and compare prices online before buying. If possible, try to switch away from electric storage tank models first because they are cheaper to run and may be all you need.
2. Most electric tankless models require a dedicated circuit so they will not work with every home electrical system – check your breaker box first before buying to make sure it can handle the load. If you have any doubts about its capacity, consult an electrician or contractor for help before making your purchase.
3. Some people do not like the white glow from their hot water and would prefer an aesthetically pleasing blue flame instead. Modern models will give you this choice, but it must be ordered when buying.
Difference Between Propane VS Electric Tankless Water Heaters
Below we will list out the difference between tankless electric and propane water heaters:
– They work by heating water as it passes through a coil of tubing just like your standard electric hot water tank. However, instead of being stored in a large pressurized container these units heat up the coils only when needed saving you money and reducing energy use.
– Electric models are generally safer than propane ones because there’s no chance of an explosion.
– These units are more expensive to operate than propane ones because they use so much power, but some can be installed outdoors making them ideal for pool/spa applications if you want hot water around the clock.
– Electric storage tank models are cheaper to operate because they only require a small amount of power, but most will not work outside or with an inverter.
– Many electric water heaters have built in timers that allow you to set the exact time when hot water is needed – this can be helpful if your family has different schedules and it also helps save
– Electric units heat up water more quickly than propane models, but can be slower to reheat if you use an excessive amount of hot water at once (i.e., a family of five all taking showers at the same time).
– Propane tankless units tend to last longer and require less maintenance because there are no moving parts, but you will have to periodically check the propane levels.
– Propane powered units are more expensive up front because they require a tank and an external source of energy (a standard 20lb propane tank lasts about 12 months), but costs less in operation if you already use a large barbecue style grill that can be converted into a propane tankless water heater.
– Propane units are usually more powerful than electric ones, but this also means they cost a bit more to operate because of the high energy usage.
Tankless Electric or Propane Water Heater: which one is right for you?
The best water heater for your needs will depend on where you live, what type of home you have, and how much money is available to spend. Both propane and electric tankless units provide endless hot water at any temperature that you desire – just like having an unlimited supply of bottled spring water! They are also the most environmentally friendly choice since they do not use any fossil fuels.
Electric tankless units are the more common type but propane models may be a better choice if you live off grid or have unreliable electricity – electric tanks require an electrical circuit to run properly which can limit your options, while propane models will work with just about every gas appliance in your home.
Electric units are cheaper to run, but propane models may be better if you live in an area where electricity is extremely expensive or unreliable. Propane water heaters will also provide hot water instantly unlike electric tankless units which require several minutes of preheating before delivering warm (or even scalding) water like a normal faucet would.
Electric tankless units are more common all over the world, but propane models may be better suited if you live in an area where electricity is unreliable or extremely expensive (like off-the-grid cabins). Propane also offers the advantage of working like any other appliance – it will heat up water as soon as you turn it on, so there’s no need to wait for hot water.
What’s the Best Tankless Water Heater?
The best tankless water heater will depend on your home and family needs, not to mention where you live. If you can’t afford either one up front, be sure to do some cost-benefit analysis before buying or renting a unit for your house – it might make more sense to wait until you can afford the more expensive electric type. Also note that there are some tankless propane water heaters (not as common) that do not require venting and will only use a few amps of power like an electric one, so consider those if you want to save on energy costs every month!
We hope that you have got the clear view of propane vs electric tankless water heaters. Both propane and electric tankless water heaters are great choices if you want to save money on your energy bill while conserving the environment. However, in some areas one type of water heater might be more cost-effective or efficient than another – make sure to do your research!