When installing a water heater, we must consider getting more than just the job done. Today, most homeowners are going after tankless water heaters for the reliability, efficiency, and peace of mind they offer. However, even in these heaters, there are two main categories: electric and gas. Both these options have benefits and demerits, making selecting a little confusing for you. So, here we will outline all the differences so you know which option brings a better experience for you. For expert advice, contact us for Bixby plumbers. While electric and gas tankless water heaters do the same job with a similar experience, there are many technical differences between the two, and below is an overview of the top 10 differences.

1.      Energy Source

The first and most obvious difference between the two is in their energy source. As the same suggests, electric ones use electricity from the AC outlets in your home to heat water. Meanwhile, the gas heaters use gas for combustion, heating the water. There are not many variations in the electric ones, but when you go with gas, you may choose between propane and natural gas options.

So, the major difference between these two heater types is their energy source.

2.      Efficiency

The efficiency of the tankless water heater is what most people are concerned about. The more efficient your heater is, its operational cost will be. In this comparison, electric heaters are more efficient because of the lower chances of heat loss. Meanwhile, gas heaters are known for being slightly less efficient because they may lose heat with the exhaust gases and ventilation.

If the efficiency of your heater is among your major concerns, then you must pick electric heaters.

3.      Installation Cost

Every home has multiple AC outlets located across the building. So, when you install the electric tankless water heater, you will not need to manage the electric wiring. On the other hand, gas tankless water heaters need a gas line. Now, you may either attach that gas line to the natural gas outlet at your home or choose a propane tank for it.

In short, the gas tankless water heaters will have a higher cost due to a longer installation time, more parts, etc.

4.      Operational Cost

When you compare the operational cost of these two tankless water heaters, the answer will be subjective to the case. For example, grid electricity might be more expensive in some areas than gas. Similarly, you may have a solar power system installed at your home to power your heater. Another example is the gas prices for natural gas supply and propane cylinders.

Although the prices are different for gas and electricity in different areas, it is important to consider when selecting between them.

5.      Space Required

One of the reasons why people are abruptly switching to tankless water heaters is that these require less space for installation. However, you still need to check the space available according to the size of your heater. Electric heaters do not need anything but a heating element. On the other hand, gas heaters, especially when installed in small spaces in Bixby, may require extra considerations due to the need for venting systems and burners, which slightly increases their size.

For those with extremely tight spaces, considering the size of the tankless water heater beforehand is a must. If you encounter any challenges, reach out to expert Bixby plumbers for guidance.

6.      Ventilation Requirements

Ventilation is a key requirement for tankless water heaters running on gas. Because those work by burning cases and exhaust gases need to be removed, ventilation is essential. Even though it is essential for the heater, it decreases efficiency. Electric tankless water heaters do not need any ventilation because no consumption is involved.

It makes them compact due to no venting required, but their overall efficiency improves because there is no concept of exhaust.

7.      Durability and Lifespan

The gas tankless water heater uses the combustion process to work, and that process can shorten its life. After a few years of usage, these aren’t as durable as they used to be. On the other hand, electric tankless water heaters have fewer moving parts and no combustion requirements. So, if your place has soft water and there are no chances of scale buildup, electric tankless heaters will last longer.

8.      Performance Consistency

Performance consistency is not a huge difference between the two, but it can be a significant difference if your consumption is high. For example, both heaters provide consistent temperature, but if you increase the usage, you may feel a slight difference in water temperature from the gas heater.

However, there will be no difference in electric tankless heaters. It is because the smart electric system may adjust temperature according to the requirement.

9.      Environmental Impact

Environmental impact differs between the two types because the source of electricity is different in different areas. If electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, then it may be bad for the environment compared to the gas heater. However, using a cleaner source of electricity like hydropower or solar power will have a lesser impact on the environment.

10.  Maintenance Requirements

The last key difference between these two is maintenance. Electric heaters require less maintenance; even if something goes bad, users can fix or replace it themselves. On the other hand, gas heaters have more complex systems with increased maintenance requirements. These also need a professional to deal with burner cleaning, gas leaks, and venting issues.


The choice between a gas and electric tankless water heater depends on several things, including the price of installation, ongoing costs, efficiency, and environmental concerns. While tiny, low-maintenance electric models could be appealing, gas types can be more economical in areas with lower gas prices. Bixby plumbers can help you make the right choice based on your specific needs and preferences.

Homeowners can choose the alternative that most closely fits their requirements and values by being aware of the abovementioned contrasts. This way, they not only get the best price but also the best experience and quality.

Read more about our business by visiting About Us | Plumbing Tulsa | Acts of Service Plumbing today. Also, check out one of the many clients we have served around the Tulsa area: Navien Inc. If you’re in need of plumbing services in the Bixby area, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced Bixby plumbers.