If your bulky traditional water heater is on its last leg, don't just run out and purchase a new one without considering a tankless water heater. As the name implies, tankless water heaters don't require a storing tank, so they take up less room and may help you save money. If you're thinking about getting a new water heater, check out these four facts about tankless water heaters to determine if one is right for your home needs.
Water Is Only Heated When You Need It
With a normal water heater, water is stored in a tank. Cold water enters the bottom and is heated. As the water is heated, it naturally rises to the top of the tank. When warm water is used, it is pulled from the top of the tank, and more cold water enters the bottom, ready to get warmed. To keep the water hot, the system is always running.
A tankless water heater doesn't store water in a tank. When you turn on the hot water, cold water passes through the unit and is heated by heating elements. The heating element can be gas or electric. Because the water is quickly heated with the heating element, you don't have to worry about waiting for the tank to refill.
Tankless Water Heaters Are More Expensive
Tankless water heaters are a more expensive option for your water heating needs. If you choose a gas whole-house tankless water heater, expect to pay between $800 and $3000, and that doesn't include installation. In comparison, a standard gas water heater costs between $300 and $3500, but that includes the parts and labor.
Luckily, tankless water heaters last longer than traditional water tanks, so you'll save money in the long run because you won't need to replace it as soon as you would a traditional water heater. While an average water tank may only last about 7 years, a tankless water heater can last up to 20 years.
You Might Save Money Each Month
Another way you might save money in the long run is with the monthly savings. Because the system only heats water when you need hot water, it isn't constantly running. This prevents energy from being wasted, which is reflected in your monthly energy bill.
However, tankless water heaters use a lot more energy to actually heat the water than a standard water heater. Therefore, how much hot water you use has a big impact on how much you save. If you use 41 gallons of hot water or less, you can see savings of 24 to 34 percent, but if you use more hot water, the savings are only about 8 to 14 percent.
The Output Is Limited
Tankless water heaters can't heat water instantaneously, and since there is no reserve of hot water, there are some output limitations. You don't have to worry about a tank refilling, but you can only access a certain amount of hot water at time. This is especially a problem if more than one person is using hot water at the same time. You can help avoid this problem by getting a larger tankless water heater.
Another problem with tankless water heaters occur when you live in colder regions. The water coming out of the pipes is colder. Therefore, it takes more time to properly heat the water, which means the flow is slower.
A tankless water heater only heats water when you need it, which reduces your monthly energy bills. However, a tankless water heater may not be the best choice for every home. If you think a tankless water heater is a good idea, contact a water heater installation company in your area.