Tale of the Tank: Why Propane Tankless Water Heaters Beat Electric to the Punch

- 11:54 am - August 4th, 2021


For years, the primary option for providing hot water in a home or small business involved a large, electric water heater with a tank. But technology has come a long way, and more people are discovering just how far superior propane-powered tankless water heaters are over their electric counterparts.

To be sure, electric water heaters have their limitations. These units take up a lot of space. The more hot water you think you need, the bigger the tank and the more space it will occupy. Buying one with a tank that is too small will mean cold showers or baths for someone in the family.

Electric water heaters are also inefficient. To get you hot water whenever you want it, an electric hot water heater must repeatedly turn on its heating element – even if you go hours or days without using it.

And what happens when a metal electric hot water heater rusts and develops a leak? You guessed it. That situation is particularly painful for folks who have their water heater in a second floor attic or closet.

Propane Tankless Water Heaters Come Out on Top

Fortunately, tankless water heaters powered by clean-burning, domestically produced propane overcome nearly all of the challenges associated with electric water heaters.

Consider the fuel itself. Propane is a nontoxic, low-carbon alternative fuel that produces significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than diesel or gasoline. Highly abundant, propane is mainly a byproduct of natural gas processing that takes place right here in the U.S. Some 98% of propane is manufactured domestically. 

Many people who are unfamiliar with propane tend to think of it as just something you use for a gas grill, but the reality is that propane can do everything that natural gas can – including cooking, home heating and yes, water heating. Plus, propane is available in many areas where natural gas isn’t. 

Propane is perfect for water heating, starting with efficiency. A propane tankless system heats water on-demand and goes into a standby mode when the water is not in use, making them much more economical to operate than an electric unit. Research indicates that tankless propane water heaters save customers around $150 per year in energy costs.

Propane tankless water heaters are also smaller and typically mounted on walls, saving up to 16 square feet of floor space. They can even be installed outdoors with an anti-freeze kit.

Besides installation space savings and flexibility, tankless propane water heaters provide an endless supply of hot water, averaging more than 200 gallons per hour. Even the largest of families can rest easy knowing that next shower will be warm. 

And because there is no tank, there possibility of flooding due to a tank rupture is eliminated with a propane tankless unit. In fact, tankless heaters last five to 10 years longer than tank heaters.

Save Money on Propane Water Heater Installation with $300 Industry Rebates

Thinking of making the switch from an electric to a propane water heater? Thanks to The Virginia Propane Research and Education Foundation’s rebate program, $300 rebates are currently available while supplies last for propane water heaters and other appliances:

  • Propane cooktop ranges
  • Propane clothes dryers
  • Vented propane heaters and wall furnaces
  • Gas pack whole-house heating systems. Units must be at least 40,000 BTU and 90 percent or more efficient. Hybrid (dual fuel) heating systems that include propane are also eligible.

Click here to learn more about the rebate program guidelines, terms and conditions. Appliances must be installed and inspected before December 31, 2021.

Want to save even more? Phillips Energy is celebrating its 75th anniversary by offering customers $75 off appliances and $75 off labor. Refer a friend and earn another $75 through the Phillips Energy referral program.

Contact the Phillips Energy showroom nearest you to get an estimate and consultation today!

GLOUCESTER: 804-642-2166

MATHEWS: 804-725-9020

NEW KENT: 804-966-2317