Many homeowners are choosing to switch to tankless water heaters. Not only do they take up less room, but they are also more energy efficient, allowing you to use less power (and money) to heat your water. If you're considering replacing your old water heater with a tankless system, check out these five important facts to determine if one is the right solution for your water-heating needs.
Tankless Water Heaters Require a Heating Element
Traditional water heaters have tanks that heat the water until it's ready to be used. Tankless water heaters, however, heat the water as you need it. This means they require a heating element. As the water passes through this heating element, it is heated to the desired temperature. You can choose between an electric or gas heating element. Electric tankless water heaters cost less than gas ones, but gas systems cost less to run because gas is less expensive than electricity per BTU.
Tankless Water Heaters Are an Energy-Efficient Option
With a standard water heater tank, the system is constantly running to keep your water hot. Even if you only need a little bit of hot water to take your daily shower, the water heater is constantly keeping water hot for you. This is an energy drain, which increases your carbon footprint and your monthly energy bills. A tankless water heater doesn't use as much energy as a traditional one. As a result, you can actually use 24 to 34 percent less energy if you use 41 gallons of water or less each day. Even if you use a whopping 86 gallons of hot water per day, you can use 8 to 14 percent less energy.
It May Take Time for the Water to Heat
The great thing about having a traditional water heater tank is you don't usually have to wait for hot water because it's always ready to go. With a tankless water heater, however, because the heating element only heats the water when you need it, sometimes you have to wait for the hot water. It doesn't just start pouring out of the faucet. On the other hand, tank water heaters don't have an endless supply of hot water. They can run out, which means you will have to wait for it to refill and reheat before you can use hot water. That isn't the case with a tankless system. You may have to wait a little, but you'll never use up all the hot water.
They Are Expensive but Last a Long Time
Installing a tankless water heater is more expensive than installing a standard tank water heater. A gas tankless water heater that heats water for the entire home costs $800 to $3000 plus the cost of installation. A tank gas water heater costs about the same for the tank and installation. On the plus side, however, tankless water heaters tend to last longer than traditional water heaters. Tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years. Plus, with all the money you save each month, you can actually earn back your investment in just a few short years.
You May Not Be Able to Use Lots of Hot Water at One Time
Another drawback of tankless water heaters is that you can't always use a ton of hot water at one time. Since there is no reserve of hot water, you may not be able to have people in your house taking a hot shower, washing clothes in hot water and washing your dishes all at once. On the other hand, running a lot of different appliances that use hot water at once isn't always a good idea, even when you have a tank water heater, because you end up with no water pressure.
If you're looking to reduce your monthly bills and save energy, a tankless water heater is a great option. They are expensive, but the monthly savings are worth the initial cost. For more information or to get a quote, contact a contractor in your area today. You can also visit http://www.aabsoluteplumbing.com for more information on plumbing and heating options in your area.