Many homeowners wonder if a newer tankless hot water heater is truly worth it. Unlike the energy-hogging large hot water tanks of the past, the innovative gas or electric tankless water heaters can heat up water instantly using high-tech electric coils or gas burners.
Since these appliances do not have to constantly heat up large quantities of water stored in a tank over-and-over as unused hot water cools down, these compact versions are more energy-efficient overall, and that’s one thing no one can tell otherwise. But still, is the upgrade worth the investment?
Before deciding whether a tankless water heater is right for your home and budget, review these important pros and cons first.
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." – Eleanor Roosevelt
Longer Lifespan Overall
An electric tankless water heater has a longer lifespan than traditional holding tanks. These units should last 20 years as opposed to the 10 year lifespan of the tank options.
Get Instantly Heated Water
You can enjoy instant hot water with a tankless hot water heater. There is no need to leave water running while waiting for the hot water to be pushed through the faucets.
Lower Monthly/Annually Energy Costs
Most homeowners report lower energy and water bills overall when switching to a tankless model. These units are about 22% more energy-efficient than the bulky tank models. However, these savings are seen more as a long term benefit that pays off annually over time.
Qualifies for Tax Rebates & Financial Assistance
Switching to a tankless water heater can help homeowners qualify for tax rebates and special financing options. Another big plus is that these energy-efficient units make a home more attractive to potential home buyers if the homeowner ever wants to sell their property down-the-road.
Requires Less Space
The smaller and compact design is terrific for smaller spaces. This added bonus makes it easy for small apartments and homes to take advantage of energy-savings without having an eyesore noticeable where the tank is installed.
Requires Less Cleanup if Unit Breaks-Down
One of the biggest advantages of using a tankless water heater is that if something does go wrong, there is less potential for extensive water damage. Older tank style hot water heaters can hold large amounts of water, so if those tanks rust out or burst, the water damage to the home can be substantial and quite expensive to repair.
Higher Initial Costs
These smaller units feature smart home related features that require more expensive elements and design technologies that can drive the costs up initially. In addition, there are usually higher installation costs as well.
More Users May Result in Inconsistent Temperatures
One of the most frustrating cons that users complain about is the inconsistent water temperatures that a tankless model can provide. This is noticed more often if there are multiple appliances or faucets needing hot water at the same time.
Hot Water Supply May be Limited
The available supply of hot water with a tankless water heater is less than the water supply that a traditional tank will hold. The drawback becomes apparent when someone is trying to shower and run water using appliances at the same time.
May Need Expensive Rerouting or Additional Setup Additions
There may be a need for a contractor to reroute gas or electric lines and/or water pipes in order to make it possible to install these smaller but higher tech water heaters that don't require a tank. This can significantly add to the initial installation costs.
May Require Additional Equipment
Although the compact design of these tankless units are great, this bonus feature may be counteracted with the need for additional equipment that could end up taking more room than expected.
As the tankless heaters are directly connected to smaller water flow pipes and system parts, they can build up hard water minerals that could shut-down the unit. Depending on the location, some homeowners will need to install a water softener to avoid this problem.
Additional Maintenance May be Necessary
A tankless system often needs frequent regular flushing and possibly the use of a water softening system to avoid dangerous mineral buildup inside the delicate elements that make this unit work. Tankless water heater repair may be more expensive also, as these units require advanced training and skills to master.
Taking some time to review all of the available options in hot water heaters can help homeowners determine if the installation of a tankless hot water heater makes sense in their particular situation. These energy-efficient units can pay off in energy savings over time, and special financing, longer warranties and impressive tax breaks may be available to cut costs further.
Ready to switch to a tankless water heater? Then contact a professional and request a free quote!