Is a Tankless Water Heater Right For Your Home?
You’re probably familiar with the typical water heating method, which uses a storage tank to retain hot water until you’re ready to use it. A tankless water heater, on the other hand, is essentially the opposite. Here are things you should know about tankless water heaters to decide if it’s right for your home.
Pro: Tankless Water Heaters Are Space Savers
One of the signature features of a tank water heater is its size. The giant tank can hold a few dozen gallons of water at a time, taking up a sizable amount of room in your home.
However, a tankless water heater is small and is usually mounted on a wall. It has a small number of pipes running out the side that will go into the wall and connect to the rest of your plumbing infrastructure.
Con: Tankless Water Heaters Have a Limited Flow Rate
Since it has no reserve of water waiting to be used, it can only supply hot water at the rate at which it can heat the water. This varies by model and setup but can become a challenge when covering a large home or frequent usage.
If you use a lot of hot water to do laundry or wash dishes, it will take up a lot of bandwidth for your water heater. Plumbing experts suggest getting a system that matches your home’s needs. For some, this may be installing multiple tankless heaters.
Pro: Tankless Water Heaters Are More Energy Efficient
Through their structure and operation, tankless water heaters end up being much more energy-efficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, they can be between 8 and 34 percent more efficient than standard tank heaters. This efficiency not only reduces energy waste but can have a positive effect on your monthly energy bills.
Since tank heaters continuously need to have hot water ready, they tend to waste more energy just trying to maintain temperature, especially when the water isn’t used.
Have you ever turned on the faucet and waited for the hot water to arrive? That won’t be the case with a tankless water heater, which heats water immediately. This reduces water waste and cuts down on the running water spent while waiting for the right temperature.
Con: Tankless Water Heaters Have a Higher Upfront Cost
You’ll likely be paying more upfront for a tankless water heater than you would for a standard storage tank. The pricing also depends on the model and type of fuel you choose. But you should analyze on your own to see if the higher upfront cost outweighs the convenience and energy savings that come throughout the heater’s life.
You may be in a pinch and need to go with the cheapest option. If this is the case, try and take a step back and think about your options. Work with your local water heater expert to see if they offer any kind of financing to help alleviate the upfront burden.
Pro: Tankless Water Heaters Have a Longer Life Expectancy
A reason to take the upfront investment of a tankless heater with a grain of salt is these units’ life expectancy. The U.S. DOE estimates that tankless units can last over 20 years, while storage units tend to last around 10 to 12 years. This is an obvious advantage to having this system, as water heaters can be a significant investment in your home’s future.
If you just bought a home and are thinking about the type of system to invest in, consider how long you plan to live in that home.