How Does a Propane Tankless Water Heater Work?

Written on: July 18, 2022

Benefits, Installation Costs, Potential Savings, and More

tankless water heaters maineHave you thought about upgrading your old storage tank water heater to a durable, highly efficient propane tankless water heater–but you’re not sure it’s the right solution for you?

First, you need to understand that a propane tankless water heater represents an option that needs less space in the home while providing an abundant supply of hot water on demand. Tankless water heaters are extremely energy efficient, and generally have a longer life than standard storage tank water heaters.

A tankless propane water heater eliminates standby energy losses that occur in storage tank systems because this innovative unit only heats water when a hot water faucet is turned on.

A tankless water heater is also so compact in size that it can easily be mounted on a wall. These units are about the size of a suitcase, which allows for installation in crawl spaces, attics, closets and other tight spaces.

When you turn on your hot water faucets or an appliance, a flow sensor will activate a propane gas burner to heat the water. The heating will continue until you turn off the faucet, which shuts off the gas burner.

By switching to a tankless model, your energy efficiency could improve up to 40% and you’ll have access to virtually unlimited amounts of hot water – because you won’t have to worry about the tank draining and having to refill and reheat.

Getting the Right Size Tankless Water Heater

To make sure a tankless water heater will be able to meet your household’s hot water needs, your service contractor will need to calculate:

You will also need a professional to figure out which fixtures you plan to operate simultaneously and how much hot water each will use.

So, depending on key factors like how many tubs and showers you have, how often you’re running appliances like a washing machine or dishwasher, and how many of these would be in use at once, you can customize the capacity of your tankless water heater to suit your needs.

How Much Does Propane Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost?

Prices range from about $170 for small gas-fired units to more than $2,000 for high-output heaters that can supply two showers at the same time; on average, the cost is about $1,000 per unit.

But keep in mind that propane gas-burning tankless water heaters should operate for 20 years or more. That’s two or three times longer than most storage tank water heaters as well as electric tankless water heaters.

If you experience an average energy savings of $150 per year, these savings should pay for your investment in a tankless water heater in about six or seven years. After that, you can pocket all of the savings on heating the water in your home!