Should Homeowners Opt for Tankless Water Heaters?
Homeowners never like running out of hot water, but with a traditional system or one that’s on the older side, that may be a common concern. And when a hot water heater breaks down it's time for a new one.
But should it be replaced with a similar model or should they consider a different type of hot water system? Keep reading to learn about the advantages of tankless water heaters and to determine if it's right for their situation.
How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?
Traditional water heaters are large tanks that heat and hold many gallons of hot water at once. Tankless water heaters work by heating cold water very quickly as the need arrises. Typically a tankless water heater will be located as close to the desired fixture as possible. There are two main types of tankless water heaters- gas and electric.
Gas and electric heaters both work by running the cold water over a heating unit which heats the water as it passes through. Oftentimes choosing a gas or electric heater just depends on the availability of power or gas, but there are a few differences worth considering. Gas heaters will typically be able to provide more hot water flow, servicing multiple fixtures, but electric heaters are frequently sufficient for most households.
Is a Tankless Heater Worth It?
One of the most practical reasons is simply space considerations. Traditional heaters are often located in laundry rooms or kitchens, eating up valuable floor space. Tankless heaters, on the other hand, are relatively compact and save space.
Tankless hot water heaters also provide nearly unlimited hot water. Since there isn’t a large tank to heat, tankless heaters will continue to supply hot water even after a bath and dishwasher run. The only potential problem that arises here is ensuring a good flow rate. Some homes may have enough fixtures that they can outpace the production that tankless heaters are capable of when multiple fixtures are in use. While this is uncommon, it can be easily fixed by installing another tankless heater.
Tankless water heaters are often chosen for their energy savings. Because they don’t keep large amounts of hot water at temperature, there can be significant savings when installed. It’s worth noting that modern water heaters have become more efficient, and while they are still less efficient than tankless units, it’s worth comparing the actual energy savings.
One of the most compelling reasons to consider a tankless heater is its longevity. Storage based heaters typically last 10-15 years depending on the water supply and usage. After this point, they must be scrapped and replaced as they are not easy to repair. Tankless heaters have a much longer life span. They frequently last more than twenty years when maintained properly and can often be repaired if something does go wrong.
Is a Tankless Water Heater a Good Choice?
Frequently, the choice of water heater is dictated by the space, needs, and budget of a situation. In smaller homes, the smaller size of a tankless water heater makes it a better choice. In large families, a storage heater can make more sense if multiple fixtures are likely to be used at once, but multiple or a larger tankless heater can achieve the same result.
One final consideration is money. Since they last longer and are more efficient, tankless heaters are more expensive than storage water heaters. Still, if money and space aren’t considerations, it still makes sense to install tankless since they last longer and provide endless hot water. It's always best to contact a professional when considering any of these options.
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