A propane tankless water heater is simply a tankless gas on-demand system that uses liquid propane for fuel as opposed to natural gas.
Both a natural gas and tankless propane water heater work the same way and most manufacturers will offer gas models in both fuel types. Because the unit installed should always correspond to your specific gas source, they cannot be converted from one to the other. So if you’re home uses liquid propane you need to specifically look for a propane tankless water heater and not simply a gas system.
A senior executive with the National Propane Gas Association, states “that while (tankless water heater systems) may be expensive, an Energy-Star qualified propane tankless heater with an Energy Factor (EF) of 82% can save a homeowner up to 60% on energy bills compared with a standard electric model.”
Installation and Other Considerations
All tankless water heater installations, whether propane, natural gas, or electric are easier and much less expensive in new construction. A retrofit from a conventional tank system can be costly depending on your existing utilities and fuel set-up.
While a propane tankless heater does provide the flexibility of both indoor and outdoor installation, there are specific considerations that must be adhered to, based on the model you choose, in terms of venting, gas line sizing and combustion air requirements (for indoor installations).
Always consult with your utility company to ensure that your home’s fuel set-up is compatible with the model you’d like to install, that it can be installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and that the installation will meet all local building codes.
The Whole House Propane Tankless Water Heater
Whole-house on-demand propane tankless heaters are ideal for those looking to maximize savings and be ‘greener’ by minimizing environmental impact. Although the cost of the unit itself can be up to 2X that of a traditional tank system, it can pay for itself in a very short period of time depending on hot water demand. The higher the demand, the quicker the payback.
As with all gas fueled tankless systems, when properly installed and working within their capacity, a tankless propane system can provide an endless supply of hot water, and save space, energy and money—they also last longer than conventional tank systems with a life expectance of 20+ years.