Hot Water Made Easy – Tankless Water Heaters
For decades, we’ve all had giant tanks that have created and stored hot water for us. The bigger the better, so we never run out. Of course, bigger works to your disadvantage if that tank springs a leak and floods your house or basement. How can you avoid this and still get all the hot water you need when you need it? Why a tankless water heater, of course.
I see more and more properties with tankless water heaters, so thought I’d dig in a bit to what they are, how they work and what the pros and cons are of having one in your home.
What Is A Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless water heater provides on-demand hot water, without the storage element (hence the “tankless” part). These systems can run on propane, natural gas or electricity. They provide heat as needed, when the faucet is turned on, versus trying to keep 50 gallons of water hot all the time.
Tankless Water Heater Pros
There are a lot of advantages to this type of heater. For starters, they take up much less space than traditional tanks. They also use 30-50% less energy (as they are only heating as needed,) allowing homeowners to save money. Tankless heaters offer a continuous supply of hot water, so you never have to worry about running out when your teenager takes a 30 minute shower.
Unlike tank heaters, tankless units prevent major leaks and flooding and won’t tip over in an earthquake. Without the tank, you don’t have bacteria being harbored and causing health issues.
Gas heaters can operate up to 20 years (7-10 years for electric,) which is significantly longer than the lifespan of a tank heater, saving the owner additional money.
Finally, tankless water heaters can work with your smartphone to help you monitor the system. They can identify problems, and allow the owner to monitor temperature, as well as keep track of gas and water usage.
Tankless Water Heater Cons
Tankless heaters tend to be more expensive upfront. While a tank runs about $400, an electric tankless heater can run up to $900. A large gas tankless heater that can run 2 showers at the same time could run up to $2,000.
Tankless heaters also have special venting requirements, that can result in increased labor costs upon installation. Additionally, annual servicing is required for a tankless water heater to remain in tip top efficiency shape.
If your water heater tank is reaching the end of its lifespan, or if you’re undertaking some construction on your home, it’s definitely worth exploring the installation of a tankless hot water heater. Everyone’s situation is different, but a tankless heater may just be the right next move for your home!
by Sally Slate Lee
IMPORTANT NOTE: I have not and will not verify or investigate the information supplied by third parties.