Water heaters typically last 10 to 15 years, so you may wonder if it's worth it to switch to an electric tankless water heater when it’s time for an upgrade. 

The initial tankless water heater cost can be higher than a traditional version or heat pump, but it is more energy efficient in the long run, as the US Department of Energy claims. People who buy it find this an advantage in areas where the water bill is usually high.

However, if you’re still in doubt if you should make the switch, below I list the pros and cons so you can make an informed choice and decide if it’s the right investment for your home. 


Lower Energy Bills

The Circle of Blue Energy department estimates that the average family consumes 64 gallons of water a day, costing between $400-$600 a year. Even if you're conservative in your water usage, a tankless water heater can be up to 34% more energy efficient, saving about $80 to $100 a year.

An ordinary storage water heater has a reservoir of between 20 to 80 gallons of hot water that is heated all the time, but the water cools down if not used (no matter how well the tank is insulated), and this results in a loss of standby power. 

An electric tankless water heater can save you more money by only heating up water at the moment of usage and not having a start light on all the time.

Smaller Sizes

Anyone who has ever lived with the cylindrical tank of a normal water heater or heat pump in the house would be amazed at the size of these elegant boxes. A tankless water heater has a few models, like the Mini Tank, measuring around 14x14x11 feet, which can be placed even under a bench.

Immediate Hot Water Supply

Since they don't have a reservoir, tankless water heaters heat the water as soon as you turn on the sink or shower.

Special Financing and Tax Breaks

Tankless heaters qualify for federal tax credits, which help offset the high cost of installation. In 2016, the federal government offered a 10% tax credit on the overall cost of purchasing and installing a tankless water heater.

Tankless Heaters Offer Longer Warranties

As they have a long service life, tankless heaters usually have longer warranties. So if something goes wrong, the owner won't have to pay for the tankless water heater repair or cover the replacement. Warranties go up to 20 years, which is the average life of one of these heaters.


Inconsistent Temperatures

Some surveys cite inconsistent water temperatures as one of the biggest complaints from shoppers. This usually results from the heater's inability to deliver enough hot water to multiple outlets at the same time. Also, the heaters do not always turn on if the faucet is barely open.

Limited Hot Water Supply to Multiple Outlets at the Same Time

Tankless water heaters provide a constant flow of hot water, but this is not limitless. Standard models heat several liters of water at once (great for a single person taking a shower or washing up), but if multiple faucets are on while someone else is taking a shower a tankless heater is not equipped to heat multiple outlets at once. 

A traditional water heater will have no problems supplying hot water to multiple outlets at the same time.

Additional Equipment is Sometimes Necessary

A water softener is often needed to ensure that a tankless heater works well. Certainly, this extra equipment increases the starting price of installation. 

A fabric softener will also negate the benefit of more free space, as a bulky fabric softener (in addition to the necessary salt bags) takes up space next to the mounted heater. In fact, this may take up even more space than a traditional water heater.

Can Take Years to Make Up for the Higher Price Tag

While monthly costs are cheaper with a tankless unit, it can take years to offset the initial cost. Over time, the owner will likely gain, but tankless energy savings average $75 per year. So it can take a few years before the monthly savings cover the installation costs.

Higher Initial Cost

Their longer service life makes tankless units more expensive, with the average traditional model costing around $500, while cheaper tankless options starting at $1,000. These models are also more expensive, cost more to install, so labor fees must be factored into the overall price.

There are many pros and cons to having a tankless water heater, so if you are thinking of installing one, here are some reasons for you to consider for the best for your home and family.

Ready to make the switch? Contact a local contractor to install your tankless water heater and request a free quote!


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