Tank type vs. Tankless Water Heaters
Know the Facts
Regardless of the type of water heater, it takes 1 BTU of heat to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree F.
The efficiency of each water heater unit determines savings.
Present-day Electric Tank type water heaters are 90% – 94% efficient.
Present-day Electric Tankless water heaters are 94% – 96% efficient.
Present-day Gas Tank type water heaters are 60% – 65% efficient.
Present-day Gas Tankless water heaters are 85% – 92% efficient.
The best savings one can expect when comparing both electric types is 6% on an average annual heating bill of $400.00 or $24.00 per year.
The best savings one can expect when comparing both gas types is 32% on an average annual heating bill of $400.00 or $128.00 per year.
An electric tankless water heater will always be more expensive to install. The units cost more, the installation is more involved, and two trades are required — a plumbing contractor and an electrician. Most gas-fired tankless water heaters have a special vent system. The units cannot connect to a type B vent.
There are benefits to both types of water heaters. Don’t select the water heater purely on the economics or energy savings of the water heater. Analyze the system installation, the application, the space required, the fuel costs, and the demand for the water heater. Using all of these parameters, decide what is best for the installation.
ABOUT THE AUTHORSean Hasle
Sean Hasle is a third-generation plumber and he and his family have been serving the South Florida area since 1957. He is a licensed plumbing, underground utility, and fire contractor. Sean is married with two young boys and he spends time giving back to the community through Rotary International and coaching his son's little league baseball.