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Should I Really Go Tankless?

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tankless water heater vs tank water heater

Should I Get a Tankless Water Heater?

There are pros and cons to tankless water heaters, and it's always our goal to provide you with valuable information so you can determine whether going tankless is the right option for you.

Benefits of Tankless

  1. Endless Hot Water - Are you tired of running out of hot water with your traditional tank? Well, with tankless, you won't have to worry because you won't be limited to a set number of gallons. Tankless water heaters are designed to produce an endless amount of hot water.
  2. Eco-Friendly - Most households only use 1 to 3 hours of hot water per day. With a tank water heater, the burner turns on and off all day to keep the water hot and ready for you. In comparison, tankless water heaters are an on-demand system. It will only turn on and use gas when you are running hot water. Once you turn the water off, the tankless system stops heating the water. Your tankless will likely be off for 21 to 23 hours per day, resulting in less gas usage, which is better for the environment. Additionally, installing a tankless water heater can save the average household up to $100 of gas per year.
  3. Longevity - The average life of a tank water heater is 8 to 12 years, depending on the brand. Most new tankless water heaters come with a warranty that ranges from 12 to 25 years! When it's time for a tankless replacement, you won't have to worry about dumping a large tank in the landfills.
  4. Space Savings - Tankless water heaters are much smaller than tank water heaters, so you will likely free up some space when you make the switch. In most cases, tankless water heaters are installed in the exact location as the existing tank, but in some cases, the new tankless system can be relocated to a different area, even outside, freeing up additional space inside your home.

Common Misconceptions

  1. Instant Hot Water - One misconception we hear frequently is that a tankless water heater will provide "instant" hot water, which is false. Hot water must travel from the water heater to the fixtures, so it takes 1 to 2 minutes to get hot water. This is the case for both tank and tankless water heaters. Suppose you want to conserve water and significantly reduce the wait time for hot water. In that case, you will need a recirculation pump. These pumps can work with both tank and tankless systems. For more information about hot water recirculating systems, give us a call at (877) 274-1485.
  2. Significant Savings - The upfront cost to purchase a tankless system is higher than a traditional tank, and the annual maintenance needed to upkeep a tankless water heater is more extensive. While it is true that tankless water heaters will save you money on your gas bill, it will take about 10 to 15 years to recover the cost difference from tank to tankless.

Things to Consider Before Making the Switch

  1. Compatibility - Tankless water heaters are not suitable for every home. You must have a qualified tankless water heater professional visit your home for an on-site assessment to see if tankless is a good fit for your home.
  2. Cost - Tankless systems can easily cost 2 to 3 times the price of a regular tank. Also, there's a bit of necessary retrofitting. This may include replacement of exhaust piping, possible installation of a new gas line, and installation of a discharge line.
  3. Timing - Tankless water heaters require more manpower and longer installation times. For a proper installation, you can expect 1 to 2 technicians to be at your property for about 5 to 10 hours, meaning extended prep time. If you have an emergency and need your water heater replaced the same day, tankless may not be a good fit. However, we can typically install a tankless system with 24 to 48 hours' notice.
  4. Rebates - Many local utility providers offer rebates for switching to environmentally friendly tankless water heaters.

Why Wouldn't I Want A Tankless?

  1. Upfront Cost - Tankless systems will cost you more money upfront. If you're looking for a cost-effective option, traditional tanks have been around for hundreds of years and are still a solid option.
  2. Timing - If you need emergency service, tankless is likely not for you. It can take up to two days to assess the location, gather the necessary equipment, and complete the installation. We carry standard-sized tank water heaters on our service vans, so the turnaround time for a tank water heater is much faster, typically the same day!
  3. Moving Soon - If you don't plan on staying in the same home for a while, it may not be worth spending the up-front cash for a tankless. If you're putting your home on the market soon, we'd likely recommend sticking with a regular tank.
  4. Maintenance - Tankless water heaters require annual maintenance, especially in areas with hard water. Scale buildup must be removed annually to avoid a breakdown. You can remove the scale yourself or reach out to our experts for premium maintenance services. Should you purchase a tankless water heater from us, we will be sure to remind you when the maintenance is due.

Your Local Water Heater Experts

We hope this article helps answer some of the common questions we hear from our clients. For quality work at the right price, contact The Water Heater Company today to take care of your next water heater project.Water Heater Comparison Info