Best Propane Tankless Water Heaters

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Why Propane Tankless Water Heater

Many people prefer natural gas over propane for their appliances. Gas powered tankless water heaters are generally more efficient than electric types. However, natural gas is not available in all areas. In this case, if you still prefer gas to electric, you would have to use propane.

Propane and natural gas are basically the same when it comes to performance. Both heat water more efficiently than electric types. If you’re looking for a propane powered tankless water heater, here are some of the important things you need to know before you buy.

Best Propane Tankless Water Heaters Comparison Table 2017

NAmeRatingPriceGPMInstallationVenting
EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater$4.51.6PortableOutdoor
Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP$$56.6PermanentStainless steel
Eccotemp FVI-12-LP$43.4PermanentStainless
Rinnai RL75iP$$$47.5PermanentDirect
Rinnai RC98iP$$$$59.8PermanentCondensing

How to Choose the Best Propane Tankless Water Heater

So how do you choose the best propane tankless water heater for your home? Consider the factors below.

  • Point of Installation

    You have to make sure that there is a gas line in the part of the house where you want to place your heater. If you’re replacing an old gas-powered tank heater, this won’t be a problem.

    You can just use the same location. You might also want to think about the area of the house that uses the most water and installs it near that location. This could be your primary bathroom or near the bedrooms that have private baths; most likely the ones with showers since those consume the most water.

  • Venting

    The proper vent system is required when installing a gas powered tankless water heater. Make sure to check the venting requirements of the unit you’re looking at and the cost of the vent installation. Some can only be used with direct vent installation.

  • Hot Water Demand

    One of the first things you need to consider is how much hot water you need on a daily basis; How many people are going to use it and how big your home is. If you’re looking to install an electric tankless water heater for an office or an establishment like a spa, of course, you would need one that is intended for commercial use.

  • Gallons Per Minute (GPM)

    Once you’ve determined how much hot water you’re going to use regularly, check how many gallons of hot water the heater can provide per minute. This is also known as the flow rate. If you want ample hot water for the whole house or an average sized family, 2-4 gallons per minute is ideal.

  • Installation

    Unlike electric water heaters, gas-fired units can be very risky. If there is no one in your home who has enough knowledge or proper training for this, you might want to let the manufacturer provide the installation service. Some brands would void the warranty if the installation was not done by a professional.

  • Electricity

    In some cases, your gas tankless water heater might still need electricity to function. Check if the power cord is included and how much voltage it requires.

  • Storage Space

    One of the big advantages of tankless water heaters from tank heaters is they take up less space. Still, you might want to check how much storage space it will take especially if you have a small bathroom.

  • Warranty

    Make sure that the unit comes with a good warranty and what is included in it. Usually, labor is not included.

Other Considerations

  • Indoor / Outdoor – Unlike electric heaters, gas powered tankless water heaters can be installed outdoors. This is advisable if you live in a warm climate. An advantage of outdoor installation is you wouldn’t need a venting system. But if you live in an area where the temperature reaches below freezing, this is not such a good option.
  • Freeze Protection – For units designed for outdoor installation, some models offer a special feature called freeze protection. This is so the heater can still perform during the colder seasons. This is useful because the warranty doesn’t normally cover damages due to freezing. However, it is still not enough to protect your heater if you have a very cold climate. In that case, it is better to install it indoors.
  • Portable / Permanent – The good news about propane tankless water heaters is there are portable ones. They are great for camping and could also be used for RVs. Others are intended for semi-permanent installation for long-term outdoor trips and workshops. An example of this is the EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater – Propane LPG – Portable – Battery Powered Ignition – Camping – RV. Check the battery requirements and how easily available they are.

Conclusion

Propane tankless water heaters are very efficient but they require some extra caution and attention. If you choose propane over an electric heater, make sure that your home meets the requirements for it. Visit the manufacturer’s website to see the specifications and read customer reviews online to know any issue that you might need to watch out for.

Further Reading on Tankless Water Heaters

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