Do Tankless Water Heaters Use a Lot of Propane
Comparing Usage with Other Propane Appliances
If you’re looking to replace your home’s water heater, the best time to do it is before your water heater fails, which will force you into “panic-buying” a replacement system quickly.
When you have the time to shop around, you’ll discover the great value and convenience of propane tankless water heaters. These types of units offer many advantages over electric water heaters as well as conventional storage tank water heaters.
Hands down, using propane for water heating is a better choice than electricity. That’s because propane gets water hot faster than electricity for about 30% less cost!
How Much Propane Does a Tankless Water Heater Use?
One question that consumers commonly ask is: how much propane does a propane tankless water heater use? The short answer to that question is that a typical propane tankless water heater producing 40,000 BTU/hour will consume about 1.5 gallons of propane per day. Here’s the explanation behind this calculation.
Because a British thermal unit (BTU) tells us how much heat energy is in a gallon of propane– one gallon of propane equals 91,452 Btus–we can make estimates about how much the average homeowner will use.
However, the amount of propane your own appliances will use—including your propane tankless water heater– depends on factors ranging from the size and efficiency of each appliance to how well it was matched to your space, as well as the quality of the installation and the frequency of maintenance.
How Much Does a Propane Tankless Water Heater 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.
How Much Propane Do My Other Gas Appliances Use?
Now that you know tankless water heaters on average use 1.5 gallons of propane per day, you may be wondering how your other propane appliances compare. The following estimates below should give you some idea of how much each propane appliance typically uses to do its job.
Please note that these appliance measurements are expressed as BTU per hour. This is a way to represent a measurement of deliverable power applicable to each propane gas appliance. (Think of it like the horsepower rating of a car). As an example, a typical furnace is about 100,000 BTU per hour. You can go here to read more about BTU per hour.
- Furnace – 100,000 to 200,000 BTU/hour: about 1 to 2 gallons/hour
- Fireplace with ceramic logs – 26,000 BTU/hour: 1 gallon / 3 hours
- Gas cooktop/range – 65,000 BTU/hour: 5 to 10 gallons / month)
- Gas clothes dryer – 35,000 BTU/hour: less than 1 gallon/ day)