Does Propane Heat on Demand?

Propane is a popular fuel choice for on-demand water heating systems, offering a range of benefits over traditional storage tank water heaters. These tankless or “on-demand” water heaters heat water only when it’s needed, providing a continuous supply of hot water while reducing energy costs and environmental impact.

Propane Tankless Water Heaters: Efficiency and Cost Savings

Propane tankless water heaters are designed to heat water efficiently, with Energy Factor (EF) ratings that indicate their level of efficiency. The higher the EF rating, the more efficient the water heater, translating to lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint.

Compared to traditional storage tank water heaters, propane tankless systems can offer energy savings of up to 50%. This is because they eliminate standby losses, which occur when a storage tank maintains the water temperature even when no hot water is being used. Tankless heaters only consume energy when hot water is needed, providing on-demand heating and reducing overall energy consumption.

Propane Tankless Water Heater Efficiency Ratings

The Energy Factor (EF) rating is a standardized measure of a water heater’s efficiency, with higher ratings indicating greater efficiency. Typical EF ratings for propane tankless water heaters range from 0.82 to 0.97, with the most efficient models achieving the highest ratings.

Propane Tankless Water Heater EF Rating Efficiency Level
0.82 – 0.87 Standard Efficiency
0.88 – 0.92 High Efficiency
0.93 – 0.97 Ultra-High Efficiency

By choosing a high-efficiency propane tankless water heater, homeowners can maximize their energy savings and reduce their environmental impact.

Propane Tankless Water Heater Fuel Consumption

does propane.heat on semand

Propane tankless water heaters typically consume around 1.5 gallons of propane per day for a 40,000 BTU/hour unit. This can vary depending on factors such as:

  • Hot water demand
  • Household size
  • Climate and ambient temperature
  • Insulation and energy efficiency of the home

To estimate the daily propane consumption for your specific needs, consider the BTU rating of the tankless water heater and the average hot water usage in your household. Consulting with a professional installer can also provide more accurate estimates based on your home’s unique characteristics.

Propane Tankless Water Heater Installation and Maintenance

When choosing a gas type for a tankless water heater, it’s important to consider your home’s existing infrastructure and the availability of natural gas. Propane tanks can be installed on-site for homes without access to natural gas lines, offering greater flexibility in fuel source options.

Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring the optimal performance and longevity of a propane tankless water heater. This includes:

  • Descaling the heat exchanger to remove mineral buildup
  • Inspecting and cleaning the burner assembly
  • Checking the venting system for any blockages or damage
  • Replacing the anode rod to prevent corrosion
  • Verifying the proper operation of safety controls

By following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and addressing any issues promptly, homeowners can extend the lifespan of their propane tankless water heater and avoid costly repairs.

Advantages of Propane Tankless Water Heaters

Propane tankless water heaters offer several key advantages over traditional storage tank water heaters:

  1. Energy Efficiency: Tankless systems heat water on-demand, eliminating standby losses and reducing energy consumption by up to 50%.
  2. Continuous Hot Water Supply: Propane tankless water heaters provide a continuous flow of hot water, eliminating the need to wait for a storage tank to refill.
  3. Compact Size: Tankless water heaters are much smaller than traditional storage tanks, freeing up valuable space in the home.
  4. Flexible Fuel Source: Propane can be stored on-site, making it a viable option for homes without access to natural gas lines.
  5. Longer Lifespan: Properly maintained propane tankless water heaters can last 20 years or more, significantly longer than storage tank models.


Propane tankless water heaters offer a highly efficient and cost-effective solution for on-demand hot water needs. By heating water only when it’s required, these systems can provide significant energy savings and a reduced environmental impact compared to traditional storage tank water heaters.

When choosing a propane tankless water heater, consider the Energy Factor (EF) rating, fuel consumption, and the specific installation and maintenance requirements for your home. With proper care and regular maintenance, a propane tankless water heater can deliver reliable hot water for years to come.