Compared to traditional propane water heaters which stores hot water on a storage tank, tankless propane heaters do not hold any water. The water is only heated when the person turns on a faucet, with the water flowing through various pipes and going into the tankless heater. Hot water flows from the tap in 5-20 seconds.
The good thing about them is that they can save a lot of energy. It is estimated that using a propane tankless water heater can save up to 30% in energy consumption compared to using a traditional water heater. Thus it is not surprising that many budget-conscious households are opting to use tankless heaters in their residences.
But there are also some disadvantages of using a tankless propane heater. The first and perhaps foremost downside is the price of a typical tankless heater, which is at least 3 times more expensive than a traditional water heater. A tankless propane heater can also produce about five gallons of water for every minute, so there’s a good chance that hot water produced will not be enough especially if there are multiple appliances operating all at the same time. Thus users may have to schedule their laundry at a time when no one is using the shower.
However, with the continued rise of energy costs, it is expected that propane tankless water heaters will soon outnumber traditional water heaters. Most new models have also been manufactured to last longer, giving households and businesses a more practical solution to water heating.