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Water Heater Pros and Cons

Written by Neil Harrop | February 6, 2024

We’ve put together a list of pros and cons for gas water heaters, tankless water heaters, and electric water heaters: Hot water flowing from a shower head.

Gas Water Heater


  • Lower Operational Costs: Gas water heaters generally have lower operational costs than electric heaters. Natural gas is often less expensive than electricity, leading to potential savings over time.
  • Faster Heating Time: Gas water heaters typically heat water faster than their electric counterparts, providing quick access to hot water for various household needs.
  • Consistent Performance: Gas heaters maintain consistent performance regardless of the climate, making them reliable in colder temperatures.


  • Higher Upfront Costs: Gas water heaters tend to have higher upfront costs than electric models. The installation may require additional features like proper venting, adding to the initial investment.
  • Limited Location Flexibility: Gas water heaters need proper ventilation, limiting installation options. They may only be suitable for homes with adequate venting infrastructure.
  • Environmental Impact: While natural gas is a fossil fuel, burning it for water heating contributes to carbon emissions, making gas water heaters less environmentally friendly than some alternatives.

Tankless Water Heater


  • Energy Efficiency: Tankless water heaters provide heat on demand, reducing energy consumption and offering potential savings on utility bills.
  • Space Savings: Tankless models are compact and wall-mounted, freeing up valuable floor space compared to traditional tank-style heaters.
  • Longer Lifespan: Tankless water heaters often have a longer lifespan than traditional tank heaters, providing durability and potentially reducing long-term replacement costs.


  • Higher Initial Costs: Tankless water heaters typically incur higher upfront costs, including installation expenses. However, this cost may be offset by energy savings over time.
  • Installation Complexity: Proper installation may require upgrades to gas lines, electrical circuits, or venting systems, increasing complexity and installation costs.
  • Limited Simultaneous Usage: In larger households with high simultaneous hot water demands, a single tankless unit may need help to meet the needs of multiple appliances or fixtures.

Electric Water Heater

  • Pros:
    Lower Initial Costs: Electric water heaters generally have lower upfront costs than gas or tankless models, making them an affordable option for budget-conscious consumers.
  • Simple Installation: Electric water heaters are easier to install, as they don’t require gas lines or ventilation systems. This simplicity can contribute to lower installation costs.
  • No Combustion Byproducts: Electric heaters do not produce combustion byproducts, leading to improved indoor air quality.


  • Higher Operational Costs: Electric water heaters often have higher operational costs than gas models, as electricity is generally more expensive.
  • Slower Heating Time: Electric water heaters may take longer to heat water compared to gas or tankless options, potentially leading to delays in accessing hot water.
  • Environmental Impact: The environmental impact depends on the electricity source. If the electricity comes from fossil fuels, the overall ecological friendliness may be lower than other options.

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