Tankless Water Heaters: Are they worth it?

Home Repair

Tankless Water Heaters: Are they worth it?

Tired of running out of hot water, especially during colder weather? If so, the tankless water heater, also known as tank-free or non-tank, is an efficient solution. Tank-style water heaters, commonly referred to as storage tank water heaters are not as efficient. Among other things, tank-style heaters have limited storage capacity. However, since there is no storage container, the sky is the limit for heated water when you go tankless.

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

These units are categorized as a flash, on-demand continuous hot water supplier. A complete set of heating equipment resides inside. As water travels through the unit, it’s heated within seconds. These features eliminate the need for a tank where water is heated and stored.

Advantages

  • Instant Hot Water

    There is an unending stream of hot water almost instantly. Gone are the days of waiting for the water to get hot. Cold water will empty from the pipes of the faucet or shower, and be replaced with heated water. Warm and hot water can be supplied without the need for storing.
  • Longer Lifespan

    Another considerable advantage is longevity. A standard water heater with a storage tank lasts approximately a decade. On the other hand, a tankless model has a double lifespan. Moreover, in the long run there are cost savings compared to a traditional unit that must be replaced more frequently.
  • Space Saver

The design is small and compact compared to the traditional storage tank. As a result, there are more options of where they can be installed.

Traditional water heaters are bulky and take a considerable amount of space. Especially in smaller homes, space-saving is a benefit. No bulk and more space.

Since homeowners are always running out of storage room, having a modern non-tank proves to be more of a selling point.

  • Energy Efficient and Utility Bill Approved

Without a tank, there are energy cost savings since the water is heated only when needed.

Tank-style heaters repeatedly heat the water, even when they are not in use. When you opt for a heater with no tank, energy is only consumed when the faucet, shower, or bathtub is turned on. It’s estimated there is up to 25% energy cost savings as well.

  • Never Run Out of Hot Water

Do you live in a multiple member household? Do you have a tank heater? If so, the odds are in your favor of running out of heat in the middle of a hot shower. This is not the case with tankless technology. Be it hot or warm, the water temperature will be at your control, at any time of the day, no matter how many people you share the home with.

  • Energy Type, Model, Location: A Variety of Options

Selecting the best model will depend upon the energy supply available, and what’s most cost efficient. Prefer electric or gas? Both options are available.

The market offers a variety of non-tank heaters to choose from. After deciding the location the unit will be placed, start researching your options. Various models allow these modern tanks to be attached right under the sink of the bathroom, while others can be placed outdoors. Understanding your needs first is important prior to deciding on which tank-free heater to purchase.

Disadvantages

  • Higher Initial Cost

Before your purchase, consider the initial cost of the unit and energy bill. Although these water heaters come with a long lifespan, the upfront cost may be higher than traditional models. Tankless heaters range from $1,000-$4,500 compared to tanks which average $500-$800. The specialized tank-free technology is reflective in the purchase price.

If you are switching out a storage tank with a non-storage tank, replacement costs may be pricey. The installation time may be longer due to existing pipes that may need to be rerouted or relocated. If it turns out to be a complex process this in turn increases time to complete the job and overall cost.

  • Production Challenged

The heater may fail to produce the temperature you want when more than one source is competing for the water supply. This is especially true if the source consumes a lot of water. For example, when the shower, dishwasher and laundry are running simultaneously.

The pressure may not be as forceful as you’re used to. The water supply is slow and continuous but the pressure may be different compared to tanks.

  • Additional Maintenance

It’s strongly recommended to have annual checkups and servicing. High water heater temperature increases the chances of scale buildup. Since hotter water makes chemicals dissolver faster, minerals will accumulate around the heating element faster. Deliming and descaling keeps your system flushed and cleaned. Preventive maintenance can also extend the life of your unit.

by Great Value Handyman
May 20, 2021

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