Thinking about getting a tankless water heater?
Tankless water heaters, or on demand water heaters, operate differently than traditional water heaters because they only heat water when the faucets are turned on. This means that water is only heated when it’s needed, and a tank is not necessary to hold heated water. Tankless water heaters come in small sizes that require the unit to be installed near the point of use, or larger sizes that are able to provide water to an entire house. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of using a tankless water heater instead of a hot water tank?
Reasons to Use a Tankless Water Heater
Save energy by using a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters use less energy than hot water tanks. Because they only heat water when the faucets are turned on, they do not waste energy by keeping gallons of water heated idly in a large tank. Using a tankless water heater can reduce your energy costs by up to 35% per year.
Replace your water heater less often. Tankless water heaters last longer than hot water tanks. Tankless water heaters can last as long as 20 years, whereas hot water tanks are expected to last 8-12 years.
Never worry about running out of hot water. Tankless water heaters are often more reliable. Water heated on demand can be continuously supplied so tankless water heaters never run out of water. They can supply hot water at up to 5-7 gallons per minute.
Eliminate water waste. When you use a tankless water heater, you will never have to let the water run while you wait for it to heat up. Tankless water heaters provide hot water immediately, meaning you will waste less water.
Drawbacks of Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless heaters are more expensive than hot water tanks. Tankless heaters often cost twice as much as water tanks. However, you may still consider that the energy savings and increased lifespan are worth the extra cost in the long run.
A small heater may not be enough to meet your needs. Smaller sized heaters are usually unable to supply enough hot water to be used in multiple rooms at one time. If you have a larger house or family you may need to purchase a large heater, which will experience some loss of heat through the piping.
Electric heaters require a large amount of electricity. Because tankless water heaters heat water very quickly, they require high electric power to reach the correct temperature.
All of the above factors are useful to consider when deciding on which type of water heater is right for you. If you do decide to choose a tankless water heater, it is important that you conduct yearly maintenance on your unit to ensure that it continues functioning properly. Lime scale can build up on the heat exchange elements and shorten your heater’s lifespan. If too much buildup occurs, the heater will lock up until buildup is flushed from the system.