Your water heater has finally bit the dust, and now you have to replace it. You could go with the same type of tank-heater you had before (it’s what you know, it’s what you’re comfortable with), or you could try to keep up with the Joneses and spring for a tankless water heater. There are some pros and cons to these newer style of heaters, so what do you need to consider before settling on your final choice?
The Pros of Tankless Water Heaters:
- They’re an energy saver. Tankless systems heat water on demand rather than heat up a tankful, let it cool, heat it up again, let it cool again – on endless repeat. If your household uses 41 gallons or less each day, a tankless unit can be 24%-34% more efficient than standard models. And tankless water heaters maintain their efficiency rather than reduce over time since there’s no tank for sediment build-up.
- You’ll never run out of hot water. As long as you select the unit with the flow rate appropriate for your home, that is. Because tankless heaters heat water at the moment of need, there’s no need to worry about Johnny using up all the hot water in the shower when you have to run the dishwasher and little Susie needs a bath next. If your heater has a high enough gpm (gallons per minute) to handle the shower and the dishwasher at the same time, no one has to worry about cold bathwater.
- It lasts longer. While standard heaters last about 8-12 years, a tankless system can withstand 20-30 years of use.
The Cons of Tankless Water Heaters:
- They cost more. Up to three times more than standard tank heaters. And installation can take much longer – depending on the brand you choose and whether it’s gas or electric – generally ranging from two hours to 10 hours.
- It’s not instant. Contrary to popular belief, water does not arrive at the faucet instantly hot – it still has to work its way through the pipes, and depending on where the heater is installed, it can still take the same amount of time for hot water to reach you as if it were to come from a water tank.
- It is an energy saver, but… It can actually take the entire life of the system to gather savings that make it worth it – especially if you purchase a gas powered system since the pilot light stays lit and consumes energy.
If you’ve done the research and decided a tankless system is the right choice for your home, don’t try to install the system by yourself; make sure you find a professional who is well versed in tankless installations like Stack.