If it is time to get a new water heater, you might be considering going tankless. There are a variety of tankless water heaters for homes of all sizes. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of such a shift before jumping in. There are many advantages to such a change but there may be some drawbacks as well.
- Convenience: With a tankless water heater, you no longer have to compromise on hot water usage. Your family can take a hot shower one after the other. The joys of continuous hot water cannot be overstated. They also take up much less room than traditional units.
- Eco-friendly: These units tend to be more efficient than traditional hot water heaters, possibly as much as 30 percent more efficient than a 50-gallon tank heater. This leads to monthly energy bill savings. Because they don’t have to keep water hot constantly, they are much more efficient. This could save you as much as 20 percent from your water heating bill alone. Electric modes also don’t produce greenhouse gases.
- Durable and reliable: Tankless units tend to last between 15 and 20 years. Most hot water heaters that rely on a tank need to be replaced every ten years. This means you can rely on them to deliver hot water when you need it. You also don’t have to worry about leaky tanks.
- Clean: You get to enjoy clean, fresh water. With tankless, you don’t have to use water that may have been stored in an old tank that may have accumulated rust. A leaky or busted tank can also cause a lot of damage and lead to mold.
- Save space: Because most units are relatively small, they can be mounted under cabinets or in closets. They can even be installed on walls or outdoors. If you choose to mount a unit outside, make sure you have an anti-freeze kit.
- Up-front costs: One of the biggest disadvantages of tankless water heaters is the up-front costs. They can cost as much as twice that of conventional storage tanks. A traditional tank-style water heater usually starts around $800. Tankless models start around $1,600.
- Installation costs: These units need good venting which can be rather costly. There may be other installation costs associated as well. The necessary piping could add up. It all depends on your current situation. If you have hard water, you will need a water softener installed. Some units need to be retrofitted. This can add to the cost of the unit. A skilled plumber can provide the needed details. Gas units may need a larger natural gas line to provide enough fuel to the unit.
- Hot water output: The output is split among all your household fixtures. When choosing a model, this should definitely be taken into consideration. A unit that is too small might not be able to keep up with the output. You may need to run your water for a longer period of time while the heater heats up the water. A tank heater might feel like more instantaneous hot water.
- Energy requirements: Some models require a lot of energy.
- Other considerations: Gas units require annual servicing. Tankless heaters have minimum flow requirements to activate. Gas-powered units produce greenhouse gases that are not good for the environment.
In many cases, tankless water heaters are a good investment and offer many advantages. Take the time to compare the energy guide stickers on tank-style and tankless-style models. Weigh in any expenses associated with the switch. Consider the time necessary to regain costs. Your monthly savings may make the up-front costs worth it in the long run. Remember, most tankless models outlast traditional water heaters by five to ten years.