So You're Thinking Of Getting A Tankless Water Heater
Tankless Water Heaters
Before diving into the pros and cons of tankless heaters, it’s important to understand how regular tank water heaters work.
A large tank, up to 60 gallons, is filled with water at all times, and heated using electricity or gas. The hot water naturally rises to the top of the tank, so when you start your shower or load of laundry, the hot water will be ready to dispense and the tank will begin to refill with cold water.
In addition to the obvious wastefulness of continuously heating water that isn’t needed yet, water heaters with a tank present a few additional risks. One downside is that they only last 8-13 years, and are expensive to replace. Also, they may spring a leak or start producing rusty water as they deteriorate.
The newest innovation is tankless water heaters, also called on-demand water heaters, which are bringing hot water into the 21st century. We have music, videos, and more on demand – so why not hot water? Just like with regular water heaters, tankless water heaters come in two types: Gas or Electric. Keep reading to learn all about the benefits of tankless water heaters.
Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters
- Energy Efficient: The main benefit of a tankless water heater is that it’s less wasteful. As you may have guessed by the name, there’s no tank involved, so water isn’t being kept hot at all times. Instead, the water is heated on the spot as needed, using electricity or a gas burner. This uses up to 50% less energy than a conventional water heater.
- Quantity of Hot Water: Unfortunately tankless heaters can take slightly longer (10-15 seconds) than tank heaters to get the hot water to you, since there isn’t hot water ready to go like with tanks. However, once the hot water starts, it never ends. A major advantage of tankless heaters is that they have an endless supply of hot water, not having to rely on a large tank to refill once it’s empty.
- Longevity: While it depends on the exact unit, tankless water heaters tend to last at least twice as long as regular water heaters – more than 20 years.
- Savings: Water bills tend to be around $50-100/year less with tankless heaters, depending on whether it’s electric of gas.
- No leaks or spills: Since there’s no tank of water with on-demand heaters, there’s no potential for a major leak.
- Size: Tankless heaters are smaller and easier to hide.
- Easy to Winterize: Since a large tank doesn’t have to be drained, it’s easier to prepare a vacation house for the winter when you have a tankless heater.
Things to Keep in Mind (Downsides)
- Cost: Tankless heaters can be more expensive up front, costing around $2,000 – $3,000 with installation.
- Low-Flow: If you have low-flow water in your house, you’ll need to make sure it’s compatible with the water heater you choose. Some tankless heaters have a minimum flow rate that they require to trigger hot water.
- Speed: As mentioned above, there is a short delay of around 10-15 seconds before the water is heated. This is slower than a conventional tank, which is always hot and ready to go (until it runs out).
Thinking of upgrading? No matter which direction you decide to go in for your next water heater replacement, contact DI Repairs for easy installation.