Yes, you can get plenty of hot water from a water heater that doesn’t have a tank
It doesn’t seem possible. You want to take a long hot shower while you’re running your dishwasher and washing a load of clothes too. How can you possibly get all the hot water you need if it’s not already stored away in a storage tank?
The secret is propane! A propane tankless water heater uses a flame so hot you don’t need to keep your water heated in a tank. You just turn on a hot water faucet. A flow sensor will activate a propane gas burner to heat the water. The heating will continue until you turn off the faucet, at which point the gas burner shuts off.
Take a closer look at how a tankless water heater works:
Leading water heater manufacturer Navien has provided this illustration of how a tankless water heater works.
Why a propane tankless water heater?
Tankless water heaters can deliver an endless supply of water.
Their compact size saves about 12 square feet of floor space.
These systems are on-demand—they heat water only when it’s needed. This feature eliminates standby losses that occur in systems that have hot water storage tanks — like the typical electric water heater.
They save more than $150 per year in energy costs when compared with typical electric storage water heaters.
They have 50 to 60 percent lower CO2 emissions when compared with electric storage tank systems.
Propane tankless systems also qualify for rebates, which could make them even more cost-effective.
Compare your water heating options
Type of Water Heater
EF (Energy Factor)
Annual Operating Costs*
Propane Condensing Tankless
*For comparison purposes only; costs may vary depending on region and household; based on national averages as complied by the Dept. of Energy, U.S. Energy Information, 2013.
Two great options for propane tankless water heaters
Non-Condensing Tankless System
Uses a single heat exchanger to heat water on-demand.
Efficiency rating is usually in the mid-80% range (compared to an old 40-gallon tank that is about 60% efficient).
Condensing Tankless System
Uses two heat exchangers.
Secondary heat exchanger captures extra heat before it escapes into the vent system.
Extra heat is transferred to heat incoming water that flows through primary heat exchanger.
Efficiency rating is usually in the mid-90% range—about 10-15% higher than a non-condensing tankless unit.
EnergyUnited serves more than 124,000 electric customers in central and western North Carolina, making it the second largest supplier of residential electricity in North Carolina. EnergyUnited Propane provides propane service to residential, commercial
and industrial customers in 63 North Carolina counties and 11 South Carolina counties. LOCATIONS >>