Do you enjoy long hot showers? Do you have a large family? If you answered yes to either question, then you probably go through a lot of hot water. By itself, this isn’t that big of a problem. But when you consider that heating water can make up to a whopping 30% of a home’s heating cost, you could be letting money slip down the drain.
What are your options? There are two main types of water heaters on the market. The first is a traditional heater that stores water in a tank. The water is constantly heated, whether there’s demand for it or not. The second type of heater is called a tankless water heater. The tankless heater works by heating your water only when you need it. The obvious benefit is that you’re not paying to heat water you’re not using.
Pros of a tankless water heater
First, let’s talk about the benefits of a tankless unit. Obviously one of the biggest draws of a tankless system is the energy savings. The heater only kicks on when you need hot water. You’ll start to see a difference in your utility bills right away.
Another large benefit is that you almost never run out of hot water. The water is heated as you use it, giving you a continuous flow. You can take a hot shower while someone is doing the dishes and never feel a fluctuation in the water temperature. Having a family reunion and everyone is staying at your house? Great! Everyone will get a hot shower in the morning – maybe just not at the same time.
Your water will also be much cleaner with a tankless heater. Because water isn’t being stored in a tank, it has no chance to get contaminated with rust, dirt and other junk. Further, you won’t have to worry about cleaning out the rust and calcium build-up that can clog traditional heating tanks. This will save you money on maintenance.
There are a few cons
While a tankless water heater seems like the perfect choice, there are still a few drawbacks to consider. First and foremost, the output of a tankless heater is somewhat limited in capacity. It can only heat and distribute so much water at a time.
Another drawback is cost. Tankless water heaters are expensive, as in you can easily pay $1,000 or more, depending on the unit you choose. If you want a gas-powered heater, be ready to pay more. And if you live in an older home, it might not be able to support a tankless unit because of the energy demands needed to heat so quickly. If this is the case, you’ll being paying even more for an electrician to upgrade your house’s electrical system.
Is a tankless water heater right for you?
Only you can answer that question. It’s best to figure out how much you’re paying to heat your home’s water with a traditional tank, and compare that to the potential savings a tankless heater can offer. Also, make sure to take into consideration your lifestyle and the amount of hot water you actually use.
If you’re still having trouble making a decision, drop us a line and a professional plumber can inspect your current water heater and make a recommendation. There’s no reason you should be without hot water.