Tankless water heaters are gaining in popularity because of their energy efficiency–and that’s a great thing. But before you commit to installing one, here are a few things you should think about.
What You Need to Know about Tankless Water Heaters
While we are big fans of tankless water heaters, they are not for everyone. Take a look at the pros and cons below to see if they are a good fit for your family. And check out the suggestions at the end of the post for how to mitigate inconveniences associated with these systems.
- The big pro is obviously the energy savings you will see with a tankless system. Because tankless water heaters only heat water on demand, there is not the energy loss associated with keeping water hot all day, every day.
- Energy Star estimates that qualifying gas tankless water heaters will save a family of four about $95/year. That’s a savings of $1800 over the course of the heater’s lifetime.
- Tankless heaters also take up less space in your home since they are only heating water as it flows through, not storing large quantities of hot water.
- Tankless water heaters have a long life expectancy–up to 20 years. And they are much less prone to maintenance problems like leaks and water damage.
- Tankless water heaters never run out of hot water.
- Since water is heated on demand, that means you don’t have hot water at the ready at every moment. Some people dislike the fact that they no longer have hot water immediately flowing from the tap when they want to wash their hands. See Considerations below for some workarounds to this problem.
- Tankless water heaters can only provide approximately 5gpm of hot water at any given time and can be overrun (example: running the dishwasher, running a washing machine, and taking two showers at the same time). The water use must be averaged.
- Tankless water heaters are more expensive than conventional heaters, though rebates can help offset this initial cost.
- If you think that the lack of immediate hot water will be a problem, we can also install a small holding tank (5 gallons). This will give you initial hot water a few seconds quicker. (If immediate hot water is needed, we can install a small circulator pump to work in conjunction with the holding tank).
- You can also purchase an electronic device that will allow you to schedule the circulator to come on at certain peak times. So, for example, you can program the circulator to start cranking at 6:00 am every morning in anticipation of family showers. Or even at 10:00 pm every night so that you can wash your face and get ready for bed.