The Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater
Your alarm went off at an inconvenient time. Your husband and children have gotten out of bed and are already showering. You’re the last one standing. You turn on the faucet and wait for the water to warm up before using it. And then there’s waiting. And then some more waiting. There is no hot water in the house. Your morning hasn’t gotten off to a very good start. You have just purchased a new water heater, and you are confident that there is nothing wrong with it. If only there was an unending supply of hot water available to you!
Yes, you can.
What is a Tankless Water Heater?
Using a tankless water heater, you won’t have to use the words “out of hot water” ever again. Tankless water heaters do not require the use of storage tanks, as do traditional water heaters. As an alternative, they provide hot water on demand. When you turn on your shower with a typical water heater, the water is drawn from the tank, and that water has already been heated. A tankless water heater, on the other hand, would allow your shower to draw water through it, allowing the water to be drawn directly from the source and heated swiftly as it travels through the pipes and through the heating elements on its way to your shower.
Once you’ve gone tankless, you’ll never want to go back!
Endless Supply of Hot Water
The tankless water heater is exactly what it sounds like: tankless! Because there is no tank, it does not operate on the basis of capacity; instead, it operates on the basis of demand. It never runs out of hot water because a tankless water heater warms only what you need when you need it. It also delivers hot water to your appliances swiftly and efficiently.
Energy savings are achieved by using a tankless hot water heater that only warms water when you need it. Tank water heaters keep their stored capacity of water warm at all times, whether or not you require it. It has to work really hard to keep the temperature up, which consumes a lot of energy. If you don’t require hot water all day, a tankless water heater won’t waste energy heating the water all day. When you use a tankless water heater, around 82 cents of every dollar you spend on heating your water is really spent on heating your water.
In the case of a tank water heater, only 60 cents of every dollar spent on energy is used on heating water.
Have you ever fantasized about what you might do if you had more room in your garage or house? Water heaters are typically two feet broad and five feet tall, with the width being greater than the height. Compared to conventional water heaters, tankless water heaters are just 16 inches broad, 26 inches long, and 6 inches deep. It’s significantly smaller than a tank! Goodbye, massive tank, and hello, spacious laundry room!
Longer Product Life
Some consumers are hesitant to choose a tankless water heater because they can be slightly more expensive; nevertheless, they have a substantially longer lifespan than traditional water heaters.
A conventional water heater tank has a lifespan of around 8-12 years. A tankless water heater has a life expectancy of up to 25 years! The next article is related: “7 Common Plumbing Myths”
Peace of Mind
Known as demand-type water heaters or instantaneous water heaters, tankless water heaters supply hot water only when it is required. They do not generate the standby energy losses typical with storage water heaters, which can result in significant savings in energy costs. You’ll learn the fundamentals of how they function, if a tankless water heater is a good choice for your house, and what factors to consider when choosing the best model for your needs. Take a look at theEnergy Saver 101: Water Heating infographic to determine whether a tankless water heater is the best option for you, and our AskEnergySaver conversation on water heating for additional information on energy-efficient water heating.
How They Work
Tankless water heaters provide fast heating of water without the need for a storage tank. When a hot water faucet is switched on, cold water is sent through a heat exchanger in the unit, where it is heated by either a natural gas burner or an electric element, depending on the device. Consequently, tankless water heaters are able to provide a continuous supply of hot water. The need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with adequate hot water is no longer an issue. The output of a tankless water heater, on the other hand, is limited in terms of flow rate.
- Tankless water heaters that run on natural gas have higher flow rates than those that run on electricity.
- For example, having a shower while also running the dishwasher at the same time might cause a tankless water heater to reach its maximum capacity quickly.
- You may also install separate tankless water heaters for equipment in your house that need a lot of hot water, such as a clothes washer or dishwater.
- Demand water heaters are also used in the following other situations:
- Bathrooms or hot tubs in a remote location
- Increases the efficiency of household appliances such as dishwashers and laundry washers. Thermoelectric booster for a solar water heating system
Advantages and Disadvantages
Demand water heaters can be 24–34 percent more energy efficient than typical storage tank water heaters in residences that utilize 41 gallons or less of hot water per day on average. For houses that utilize a lot of hot water – around 86 gallons per day – they can be 8 percent to 14 percent more energy efficient than standard models. If you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet, you may be able to achieve even larger energy savings in some circumstances. A tankless water heater will cost more up front than a normal storage water heater, but they will often live longer and have lower operating and energy expenses, which may more than compensate for their higher purchase price in the long run.
- They also feature readily changeable parts, which might potentially increase their lifespan by many years.
- With tankless water heaters, you won’t have to worry about the standby heat losses that come with traditional storage water heaters.
- When compared to a storage water heater, the removal of standby energy losses might sometimes outweigh the savings from using a tankless water heater.
- A tankless water heater’s pilot light has a cost associated with it that differs from one type to the next.
Instead of a standing pilot light, look for versions that contain an intermittent ignition device (IID). This mechanism is similar to the spark ignition system used on certain natural gas furnaces, as well as kitchen ranges and ovens, among other things.
Selecting a Demand Water Heater
Before purchasing a demand water heater, you should take the following factors into consideration:
- Consider the following factors as well when purchasing a demand water heater:
Installation and Maintenance
It is possible to maximize the energy efficiency of your demand water heater with proper installation and maintenance. A variety of elements influence the success of an installation. These considerations include the type of fuel used, the environment, the needs of local construction codes, and safety concerns, particularly with regard to the combustion of gas-fired water heaters. As a result, it is recommended that you use a licensed plumbing and heating professional to install your demand water heater.
- Request written cost estimates, as well as contact information for references. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see whether the firm is legitimate. Check to see if the firm will seek a local permit if one is required and if they are familiar with local building rules.
If you’re determined to install your water heater yourself, first speak with the manufacturer about the best way to proceed. The relevant installation and instruction manuals are normally available from the manufacturer. Contact your municipality for information on acquiring a permit (if one is required) and on water heater installation codes in your area. Periodic water heater maintenance may considerably increase the life of your water heater while also reducing the amount of energy it consumes.
Improving Energy Efficiency
Consider implementing some further energy-saving measures once your demand water heater has been properly built and maintained to help reduce your water heating rates. Some energy-saving gadgets and systems are more cost-effective to install in conjunction with a water heater than they are separately.
Read This Before You Buy a Tankless Water Heater
Consider the following: The method used by the majority of houses in this nation to heat water is ridiculously inefficient. Every year, we fill up large storage tanks of 40- to 50-gallon capacity with water and then continuously pump energy into them to ensure that we have hot water available anytime we want it. But, unfortunately, this is not always the case. The wait for the tank to reheat might be lengthy if a teenager is taking a long shower or the spouse is enjoying a long soak in the tub.
Is there a chance of a leak?
Tankless Water Heater Installation: Is It Worth It?
Investing in a tankless water heater has a number of benefits, as detailed above. It creates hot water just when you use it and for as long as you require it, resulting in a reduction of 27 to 50% in fuel expenses when compared to tank-type heaters. (A typical gas-fired tank wastes 40 to 50% of the fuel it burns, according to the manufacturer.) As a result, there is virtually little danger of a catastrophic leak occurring because there is no tank to collapse. Furthermore, since their introduction in the United States in the 1990s, tankless heaters have become increasingly sophisticated, with features such as built-in recirculating pumps (which provide “instant” hot water) and wireless connectivity, which alerts you via smartphone when a unit requires servicing.
Our tankless water heater guide will explain how they function, what you should know before purchasing one (and before the installation comes), and the idiosyncrasies of how they operate so that you won’t be caught off guard if you decide to go tankless.
How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?
Doug Adams created the illustration.
- It all starts with the first turn of the hot-water faucet (1). A flow sensor (2) detects the presence of water entering the heater and sends a signal to the control panel, causing the heater to begin generating hot water. During operation of a natural-gas-fueled unit, thecontrol panel (3) activates thefan (4), which pulls in outside air, opens the gas valve (5), which allows the gas to flow into the unit, and ignites the burner (6). In order to transmit heat from the flames to water passing through the exchanger’s tubing, a heat exchanger (number 7) is used. The mixing valve (8) regulates the temperature of the superheated water that exits the exchanger. Whenever the temperature sensor (9) detects water temperatures that are too high or too low for the intended setting, the panel will modify the gas valve, the mixing valve, and the flow-regulating water valve (10) in accordance with the results. Ventilation is provided by a sealedvent (11) (or a couple of vents) via a roof or exterior wall, which removes exhaust gases and supplies combustion air to the burner.
Several people were thanked for their contributions: Phillip Maxwell, Residential Product Manager, Rheem; Eric Manzano, Product Training Supervisor, Noritz; Joe Holliday, Senior Vice President, Product and Business Development, Rinnai; and Fred Molina, Water Heater Products Manager, Bosch Thermotechnology
What to Know About Tankless Water Heaters
Thanks to Noritz for the use of his photo.
How Much Does a Tankless Water Heater Cost?
Prices range from approximately $170 for modest gas-fired units to more than $2,000 for high-output heaters that can serve two showers at the same time; $1,000 is a reasonable starting point for most buyers. Electric heaters without a tank range in price from $90 to $900. The expenses of a first-time installation are higher than the price of a simple tank replacement. Electric tankless water heater installation (see item below headed “Installing an Electric Tankless Water Heater”).
How to Install a Tankless Water Heater
This is a work that should be left to the professionals, since it entails creating leak-free water, vent, and gas connections in the case of gas or propane units, or upgrading the wiring and circuit-breaker panel in the case of electric units, and it is best left to the professionals.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
Sign up to have a professional do an annual service that includes cleaning or replacing water and air filters, as well as inspecting the burner’s operation. The use of a vinegar flush every 500 hours in places with hard water prevents mineral accumulation, known as scale, from blocking the heat exchanger. That 20-minute task may be completed by a professional or by a homeowner.
How Long Do Tankless Water Heaters Last?
It is expected that gas-burning tankless water heaters would last 20 years or longer, which is two to three times longer than tank-type heaters. Tankless electric units have shorter life lifetimes, ranging from 7 to 10 years, compared to conventional units.
Where Can I Buy One?
They may be found at plumbing supply stores, big-box stores, and internet sellers, among other places. Alternatively, you may order one via your plumber.
Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters
Thanks to Noritz for the use of his photo.
PRO: They’re Compact
As a result of new federal requirements requiring stronger insulation to decrease standby heat loss, the size of newer tank-type water heaters has increased. Consequently, they may not be able to fit into locations where an older heater with the same capacity might. Tankless gas heaters are approximately the size of a suitcase and are mounted on the wall.
PRO: They’re Safer
A tank-type heater, on the other hand, may leak and spill gallons of water if it springs a leak, but it will not house Legionella germs or topple over in an earthquake. The air supply and exhaust vents are also closed to prevent backdrafting, which would otherwise allow carbon monoxide to enter the house.
PRO: They’re Easy to Winterize
Owners of vacation homes are well aware of how long it takes to drain a water-heating tank prior to closing up a house for the season. An electric compressor may drain a tankless heater in a matter of seconds, after which it can simply be unplugged.
CON: They’re Sensitive to Slow Flow
These devices automatically shut off if there is too much scale accumulation in the pipes, or if the aerators in the faucets and showerheads get blocked, or if a turned-down faucet limits water flow to around 0.3 gpm.
CON: The Payback Takes Awhile
An annual savings of only around $100 for a household using a $1,000 tankless gas heater vs a $400 tank-type heater is possible, depending on how efficient the heater is and how much hot water is utilized. The savings, however, begin to accrue after six years, when many tanks are reaching the end of their useful lives due to the extended lifespan of tankless gas systems.
New Tankless Water Heater Technology
Thanks to Noritz for the use of his photo. The advancement of tankless technology is ongoing. Here are a few of the most recent enhancements:
Condensing gas heaters can extract up to 96 percent of the heat from a fuel, which is a 17 percent improvement over first-generation tankless devices. This is possible because of a second heat exchanger, which collects a large portion of the exhaust heat before it exits the vent. In addition to being around 25% more expensive than noncondensing heaters, condensing heaters produce acidic condensate that must be neutralized. If a heater doesn’t come with a built-in neutralizing cartridge, the installation will have to install one after the fact.
Instant Hot Water
A second heat exchanger, which collects much of the exhaust heat before it leaves the unit, allows condensing gas heaters to extract up to 96 percent of the heat from a fuel, a 17 percent improvement over first-generation tankless devices. They’re roughly 25% more expensive than noncondensing heaters, and they produce an acidic condensate that must be neutralized before it can be reused again. Installation of a neutralizing cartridge is required when a heater does not come with one built in.
Tankless systems with digital connectivity let you to control the temperature as well as monitor gas and hot-water use from your mobile device. Furthermore, the device is capable of identifying the cause of a problem. Please communicate this information to your plumber so that he or she may arrive on the job site knowing exactly what has to be done. This function also eliminates the need for any guessing when it comes to determining when it is time to descale.
Tankless Water Heater Rebates: A Great Way to Save
Carl Tremblay captured this image.
What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need?
Here’s how the specialists ensure that your water heater produces adequate hot water: 1. A large burst of BTUs is required for a tankless heater to convert cold water into hot water in a matter of seconds. However, if a heater’s Btu output is insufficient to meet demand, it will reduce the flow rate or, in the worst scenario, offer tepid water. A plumber considers three aspects when determining whether or not a heater will be able to satisfy the demands of a household:
- The temperature of the water that enters the heater
- The maximum demand for hot water expressed in gallons per minute (gpm)
- The efficiency of the heater, as shown by its Uniform Energy Factor, which may be found in the product specifications
- The temperature of the water entering the heater
- And Gallons per minute (gpm) is the peak demand for hot water. This is reflected by the heater’s efficiency, which can be found in the product specifications as itsUniform Energy Factor.
Btus Output Estimate
Heater water temperature when it first enters. Gallons per minute (gpm) is the maximum demand for hot water. It is possible to determine the heater’s efficiency by looking at its Uniform Energy Factor, which may be found in the product specifications.
- The following figures are for one bathroom for one to two people: 140,000 Btus
- Two bathrooms for two to three people: 190,000 Btus
- Three bathrooms for three to five people: 380,000 Btus
Btus Per Gallon by Region
- Kitchen or bath faucets should flow at 1.5–2.2 gpm
- Tub filler faucets should flow at 4 gpm
- Dishwasher: 1–2.5 gpm
- Washing machine: 1.5–3 gpm
- Showerhead should flow at 1.25–2.5 gpm
How to Determine gpm?
Kitchen or bath faucets should flow at 1.5–2.2 gpm; tub filler faucets should flow at 4 gpm; Dishwasher:1–2.5 gpm; Washing machine:1.5–3 gpm; Showerhead should flow at 1.25–2.5 gpm;
Electric Tankless Water Heater Facts
Thanks to Stiebel and Eltron for their assistance. In addition to gas lines and propane tanks, tankless water heaters operated by electricity can provide the benefits of on-demand hot water to homes that do not have them. Compared to gas or propane tankless heaters, these systems, which heat water using thick copper rods, are significantly quieter and roughly a third smaller in size. And because they do not require vents, they can be fitted practically anyplace, even beneath sinks and in small closets, without compromising performance.
In locations with warm groundwater, that amount of hot water may be sufficient to feed a whole house; but, in colder climates, they are better suited to point-of-use service, where the demand for hot water does not become excessive.
Furthermore, electric heaters have a lifespan that is approximately half that of gas heaters: Warranty periods typically range from three to five years.
As soon as the heating elements fail, it is frequently more expensive to replace the complete heater than it is to simply replace the heating elements.
Tankless Water Heater Installation
Doug Adams created the illustration. What you and your plumber should look for before the installation day is as follows:
If you want your tankless heater to work effectively, you must connect it to a gas supply line that supplies enough volume at a high enough pressure to run the burner. In many circumstances, this will need increasing the diameter of the supply pipe to 3-4 inches in diameter. Furthermore, if the pressure is insufficient, the gas provider will be required to change the regulator on the meter. For your information, some tankless systems, like as ones manufactured by Rheem, are capable of working with a regular 12-inch gas line as long as it is not more than 24 feet in length.
Tankless gas heaters that do not condense employ stainless-steel vents that can resist high exhaust temperatures. Condensing systems feature a cooler exhaust and use PVC pipes, which are less costly than other types of exhaust. Installing a concentric vent, which has an exhaust pipe inside a larger air-intake pipe, is easier than installing a traditional vent since only one hole in the wall needs to be made. As a point of reference, vent runs have traditionally been limited to a maximum of 10 feet.
Heat transmission is slowed and water flow is restricted when scale deposits accumulate in a heat exchanger (or on electric heating components) over time. If you currently have whole-house water softening, scale will not be an issue for you. However, if your water is not being softened and its hardness surpasses 120 milligrams per liter, it is worthwhile to invest in a treatment system to remove the hardness. For your information, a specific, point-of-use cartridge, such as the TAC-ler water conditioner (Stiebel Eltron), can be used to change the hardness of water without the use of salt or other chemicals.
Outdoor Tankless Water Heater
Matt Risinger captured this image. If your environment and local rules allow it, think about the advantages of hanging a heater outside in the winter.
- Saves space: You won’t have to create place for another appliance in your home as a result of this. Installation is straightforward: Because of the built-in exhaust vent, there is no need to drill a large hole (or two) through the side of the building. Service is simple: A plumber may come to your home at any time, whether or not you are there. However, take in mind the following: Regulations governing construction: If you want to install it outside, you may require approval from your local building department. Weather conditions that are cold: Even at temperatures as low as 22 degrees Fahrenheit, internal heaters keep components warm, but exposed water lines must be insulated and covered with heat tape that activates automatically in freezing conditions. Southern states are less concerned about frozen pipes than those located north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Tankless Water Heater Venting
Carl Tremblay captured this image. Are you in need of assistance with repairs around your home? A house warranty may be of assistance. The This Old House Reviews team has put up some in-depth guidelines that you can read here:
- Home warranty providers that are the best
- Reviews of American Home Shield, AFC Home Club, Select Home Warranty, and Choice Home Warranty are all available.
Tankless Water Heaters: A Buyer’s Guide
According to The Home Depot
What is a Tankless Water Heater
Because they heat the water immediately, tankless water heaters take up far less space than storage water heaters. As soon as you switch on the hot water, cold water is sent down a pipe and into the tankless water heater unit, where it is heated by either a gas burner or an electric element. This ensures that you have a continuous supply of hot water. On average, tankless water heaters can produce 2 to 5 gallons of hot water every minute, according to the manufacturer. According to energy.gov, gas-fired tankless water heaters are capable of producing greater flow rates than electric counterparts.
When you have a big family who uses a lot of hot water, it is typical to have more than one tankless water heater installed. Having adequate hot water accessible for showers, washing, and the dishwasher will guarantee that there is always enough to go around.
Tankless Water Heater Advantages
Compared to traditional tank-style water heaters, tankless water heaters (also known as “on demand” units or instant hot water heaters) consume 30 to 50 percent less energy, resulting in annual savings of $100 or more for a normal family, depending on water usage.
- These devices only heat water when you turn on the faucet
- Otherwise, they do not. These engines are often powered by natural gas or propane. Most significantly, they reduce the additional cost of maintaining 40 to 50 gallons of hot water in a storage tank, resulting in less energy loss. Another advantage is that they are more environmentally friendly. Aside from that, they provide a constant flow of hot water, which is perfect for filling a large hot tub or whirlpool
- And They are more compact than a normal water heater and may be mounted on a wall
- They are energy efficient.
This EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater is available on Amazon right now.
Tankless Water Heater Disadvantages
- You can get this EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater on Amazon right this minute.
This Rheem RTEX-13 240V Heating Chamber Residential Tankless Water Heater is currently available for purchase on Amazon.
Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heaters
One of the most significant distinctions between electric tankless water heaters and gas tankless water heaters is their energy-efficient design. Electric tankless water heaters normally have an efficiency of 98 percent or above, but gas tankless water heaters often have an efficiency of 80-85 percent or less. A gas tankless water heater can be less expensive to operate and will likely last longer than an electric tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters will free up valuable floor space that would otherwise be taken up by a large, cumbersome water heater.
A complete home electric tankless water heater may consume more than 25,000 watts of power, whereas a traditional water heater consumes just 5,000 watts of electricity.
Gas Tankless Water Heaters
Natural gas tankless water heaters have a longer life span than traditional water heaters, and they are also safer to use than traditional water heaters. One downside of a tankless water heater is that it can automatically shut off if there is a buildup of scale in the tank.
The Bottom Line: Pricing and Installation
When you’re putting together a quote for a unit, make sure to include installation fees in the estimate or firm offer. You cannot do this assignment on your own unless you have professional-level expertise. Many home shops and plumbing specialist businesses have the greatest tankless water heaters on the market. This WiseWater tankless hot water heater is currently available for purchase on Amazon.
Figure A: Tankless Water Heater Details
Consider getting an estimate or a formal bid for installation expenses while you’re putting together a unit’s pricing. You cannot do this job on your own unless you have professional-level abilities and experience. Many home centers and plumbing specialist businesses carry the greatest tankless water heaters on the market. On Amazon, you can get this WiseWater tankless hot water heater right now.
Is a tankless water heater for you? Learn about them in this video:
When determining the cost of a unit, make sure to obtain an estimate or a definite offer on installation expenses. A do-it-yourself project is not recommended unless you have professional abilities. Tankless water heaters are available at a variety of home centers and plumbing specialist businesses. ThisWiseWater tankless hot water heater is currently available for purchase on Amazon.
Tankless Water Heaters: 7 Pros and 6 Cons You Should Know
When you’re putting a price on a unit, make sure you receive an estimate or a definite quotation on the installation expenses.
This is not a do-it-yourself project unless you have professional-level expertise. Tankless water heaters are available at a variety of home improvement and plumbing specialized businesses. This WiseWater tankless hot water heater is now available on Amazon.
- They take longer to supply hot water
- The temperature of the water is variable when numerous outlets are turned on at the same time
- And they are unable to deliver hot water during a power outage
Making the decision to purchase a tankless water heater is a challenging one, so it’s critical that you grasp all of the facts before making a final decision. The purpose of this essay is to give you with a complete summary of the advantages and disadvantages of tankless water heaters so that you can make an informed decision based on your specific scenario. Let’s get this party started. To jump to a certain part, simply click on one of the links below. The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters include the following:
- Energy and cost savings over the long run are a plus. Pros: an unlimited supply of hot water
- A smaller footprint
- A lower risk of leaks and water damage
- And a lower cost. Advantage: There is no danger of the tank exploding. Benefits include a reduced risk of burns and exposure to toxic metals. Pro: A life expectancy of more than 20 years is expected.
Energy and cost savings over the long run are a pro. There are several advantages to this design: an unlimited supply of hot water, less space, lower risk of leaks and water damage, and less cost. The advantage is that there is no danger of the tank exploding. An advantage is that there is less risk of burns and exposure to toxic metals. Pros: A life expectancy of more than 20 years is provided.
- The unit and installation are expensive up front, which is a disadvantage. Cons: It takes longer for hot water to be delivered. Cons: Sandwich made with cold water
- If more than one outlet is used, the water temperature does not remain constant. The disadvantage is that it is difficult to get a lukewarm temperature. During a power outage, there is no access to hot water
- Disadvantage The bottom line: Is a tankless water heater a good investment?
Pro: Long-term Energy and Cost Savings
The most significant advantage of tankless water heaters is that they are energy efficient and so save you money over the long term of ownership. When a tank-style water heater is in use, it expends energy continuously to maintain the temperature of a 40 to 50-gallon water supply in order to ensure that hot water is available when it is required. In contrast to traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters heat water on demand rather than maintaining a constant supply of water. The lack of standby heat loss caused by tankless water heaters eliminates the need for regular warming of the water.
- It takes only seconds for the water to be heated and then circulated throughout your home through the pipes, where it is used to flush toilets and wash dishes.
- Water use and the efficiency of your prior tank-style system determine the amount of energy you will save.
- An electric tankless water heater is 24 percent – 34% more efficient than an equivalent gas tank-style heater when you consume less than 41 gallons of hot water per day.
- This is because they are running more often.
You can save anywhere between 27 percent and 50 percent. According to Energy Star, switching from a tank-style water heater to a tankless water heater can save a family of four an average of $100 each year, or more than $1500 over the lifespan of the system.
Pro: Unlimited Supply of Hot Water
In general, tankless water heaters are more energy efficient than traditional water heaters and can save you money in the long run. When a tank-style water heater is in use, it expends energy continuously to maintain the temperature of a 40 to 50-gallon water supply in order to ensure that hot water is available whenever it is required. In contrast to traditional tank water heaters, tankless water heaters heat water on demand and do not maintain a constant supply of hot water. Tankless water heaters do not suffer from standby heat loss, which happens when heat escapes from the water tank and necessitates regular reheating.
- It takes only seconds for the water to be heated and then circulated throughout your home through the pipes, where it is used to flush toilets and rinse dishes.
- Water use and the effectiveness of your prior tank-style system determine the amount of energy you may save.
- An electric tankless water heater is 24 percent – 34% more efficient than an equivalent gas tankless water heater when you consume less than 41 gallons of hot water per day.
- This is due to the fact that they are used more often.
- You can save anywhere from 27 percent to 50 percent.
Pro: Take Up Less Space
Tankless water heaters are quite advantageous if you have a limited amount of available space in your house. When compared to tank-style water heaters, they are often attached to the wall and take up substantially less physical area than they do. To give you an idea of how tankless and tank-style water heaters compare in terms of size, the average 40 to 50-gallon tank-style heater is 54 to 60 inches tall with a 20-inch diameter and is shaped like a cylinder. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are smaller in size and are typically smaller in capacity.
Tank-style (on the left) versus Tankless (on the right) (right) Unlike tank-style heaters, which take up valuable floor space and are typically found in the basement, tankless heaters are fixed to the wall like a circuit breaker and may be stored in most closets.
Pro: Lower Risk of Leaks and Water Damage
One of the major concerns with tank-style heaters is, over time, minerals from hard water build-up within the tank which leads to corrosion and eventually leaks. The absence of a tank means that there is no possibility of leaks or floods with a tankless water heater. This does not rule out the possibility of problems with tankless water heaters. There is a potential that they will encounter issues that will result in leakage, but the likelihood of experiencing a huge leak that floods your whole basement and causes severe damage is remote.
Pro: Zero Risk of Tank Exploding
The current plumbing code mandates that all tank-style water heaters be equipped with a temperature and pressure relief valve, which opens to relieve pressure and prevent the tank from bursting. Temperature and pressure relief valves are two types of relief valves. Minerals and silt from the water might block the valve and prevent it from performing its job effectively over time. When this occurs, a potentially hazardous amount of pressure might build up, putting you in danger. If you have a tank-style water heater, experts recommend that you test the valve at least once a year; find out how to do so in the video below.
Tankless heaters, on the other hand, do not have a tank, thus there is absolutely no possibility of an explosion ever occurring.
Pro: Lower Risk of Burns and Exposure to Toxic Metals
The use of tankless water heaters, according to many experts, is safer than the use of traditional tank water heaters. Beyond the fact that they do not have a tank that may explode, they also offer more accurate temperature control, which means you are less likely to get burnt by hot water when using them. Additionally, as previously stated, tank-style heaters fail over time owing to hard water, which causes the inside lining of the tank to rust and corrode, leading the heater to fail. That mineral buildup and particle accumulation ultimately finds its way into your water pipes, exposing you and your family to potentially dangerous pollutants.
Pro: Life Expectancy of Over 20 Years
I recently released an essay on the issue of how long water heaters last and how to extend the life of your water heater. I hope you will find it informative. Tank-style water heaters have an average lifespan of 8 to 12 years; tankless water heaters, on the other hand, have an average lifespan of more than 20 years. If you’ve already found your “forever home” or want to remain in your current location for an extended period of time, investing in a tankless water heater will prevent you from having to replace your water heater for an extended period of time.
Con: High Upfront Cost of the Unit and Installation
The most significant disadvantage of tankless water heaters is the large initial investment required for the device and its installation. According to HomeAdvisor, the typical cost of a tank-style water heater with a capacity of 40 to 50 gallons, including installation, is $889. Installation of a tankless water heater costs around $3,000 on average. Tankless water heaters are more expensive than traditional water heaters, mostly because of greater installation expenses. Often, more wiring must be added in order to manage the higher load, and/or a new vent pipe must be erected to accommodate the increased load.
Tankless water heaters can also be harmed by hard water (water that contains high quantities of minerals), which makes them work harder and finally fail.
The cost of installing this additional component is added to the total cost of the project.
Please keep in mind that the prices shown above do not include installation. Tankless Water Heaters are a type of water heater that does not require a tank to be filled with water (links open listings on HomeDepot.com)
- Rheem Performance Platinum 9.5 GPM Natural Gas High-Efficiency Tankless Water Heater
- Rheem Performance Plus 8.4 GPM Natural Gas Indoor Tankless Water Heater
- Rheem Performance Platinum 9.5 GPM Natural Gas High-Efficiency Tankless Water Heater Rinnai High-Efficiency Plus is a high-efficiency water heater. Natural gas tankless water heater with a flow rate of 11 GPM
Water Heaters in the Form of Tanks (links open listings on HomeDepot.com)
- Rheem Performance 40-gallon tall natural gas tank water heater with a 6-year warranty and 36,000 BTUs of output
- Rheem Performance 30 gal. short 6 year natural gas tank water heater with 30,000 BTUs
- Sure Comfort 40 gal. tall natural gas tank water heater with a 3-year warranty and 34,000 BTUs of output
Con: Take Longer to Deliver Hot Water
a Rheem Performance 40-gallon tall natural gas tank water heater with a 6-year warranty and a 36,000-BTU capacity; and A 30,000 BTU natural gas tank water heater from Rheem Performance that lasts six years. 34,000 BTU Natural Gas Tank Water Heater by Sure Comfort, 40 gal. tall, three-year warranty.
Con: Cold Water Sandwich
As part of your investigation into tankless water heaters, you’ve almost certainly come across the phrase “cold water sandwich.” Cold water sandwiches occur when you use hot water intermittently, causing you to feel an initial surge of hot water, followed by a cold water rush before the hot water surge returns, soon becoming cold again. It’s important to remember that when you switch the hot water on and off fast, like you would when hand-washing dishes, the pipes still contain hot water in them from just a few seconds earlier.
The experience of eating a cold water sandwich is not a huge problem, but it might be disorienting if you are not used to it.
Con: Inconsistent Water Temperature When Multiple Taps/Showers/Appliances Are in Use
When I first started writing on this topic, I described a scenario in which your family returns home from a day at the beach and everyone has to shower. Using tankless water heaters in this situation allows your entire family to shower side by side without having to worry about running out of hot water at any point. The disadvantage is that tankless water heaters are unable to keep up with the demands of numerous showers operating at the same time. Having a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time is not only a problem with showers; depending on the size of your water heater, you might run into problems if you do both.
The amount of water that a tankless unit can heat in a given length of time is referred to as the flow rate.
The flow rates for each type of outlet are depicted in the chart below to give you a sense of the average flow rates.
|Outlet||Average Flow Rates (GPM)|
|Bathroom Faucet||.5 – 1.5|
|Dish Washer||1 – 1.5|
|Washing Machine (Clothes)||1.5 – 3|
|Shower||2.5 – 3|
When I first started writing on this topic, I described a scenario in which your family returns home from a beach day and everyone has to shower. The advantage of tankless water heaters in this situation is that your entire family can take showers back-to-back without worrying about running out of hot water. The disadvantage is that tankless water heaters are incapable of keeping up with the demands of numerous showers operating at the same time. This is not only a problem with showers; depending on the size of your water heater, you may experience problems if you run a shower and the dishwasher at the same time, for example.
The quantity of water that a tankless unit can heat in a given length of time is referred to as its flow rate.
It is measured in Gallons Per Minute (GPM), and the higher the GPG, the greater the amount of water that can be heated at once. Each type of outlet is shown by a bar chart, which provides an indication of the typical flow rates.
Con: Difficult to Achieve a Lukewarm Temperature
It is one of the less well-known drawbacks of tankless water heaters that they have difficulties producing water that is just warm enough to bathe in. Due to the fact that tankless water heaters require a minimum volume of water flow before they can be activated, there is a gap between entirely cold water and the coldest warm water that can be created by mixing hot and cold water in a single container. Because there are very few situations in which you will not be able to attain the temperature you require, this isn’t a major problem, but it is something to keep in mind, especially if you’re the sort of person who truly loves taking chilly showers.
Con: No Access to Hot Water During a Power Outage
When a storm comes through and takes out the power in your home, the hot water in your home is also gone. The energy source for tankless water heaters can be either natural gas or electricity, however even gas-powered tankless water heaters rely on an electric control panel to run the unit. As a result, regardless of the sort of tankless water heater you have, you will be without hot water if your electricity goes out. Compared to tankless water heaters, tank-style water heaters have a major advantage in this category.
Bottom Line: Is a Tankless Water Heater Worth It?
The use of tankless water heaters has a number of advantages over the use of conventional tank-style water heaters. They conserve energy (and so save you money), they give infinite hot water, they are tiny and compact, they never leak, and they do not contribute to the presence of hazardous metals in your drinking water. The best part is that they last twice as long as traditional tank-style water heaters. Alternatively, you’ll have to pay around $3,000 up front, and they deliver variable water temperature in various conditions, as well as leaving you without hot water in the event of a power outage, among other things.
Some basic questions to ask yourself include the following:
- What if you only have $3,000 to invest in an appliance that won’t pay off for several years and you don’t want to risk losing your money? Is your home a new build or do you intend to live there for an extended period of time (10 years or more)? Do you frequently run out of hot water as a result of taking multiple showers in succession? Was it possible for you to profit from additional room in your basement (and who couldn’t? )
Do you have $3,000 to spend on an item that will not generate a return on your investment for several years; if so, what do you do with it? What is the age of your home and how many years do you intend to spend in it (new construction or long-term occupancy); Having multiple showers back-to-back causes you to run out of hot water? What if you had some more space in your basement (and who wouldn’t want that?)
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How It Works — Whole-Home Gas Tankless Water Heaters
Whole-home gas tankless water heaters heat water using the same concept as normal gas water heaters, but they do not require a storage tank to be installed. They conserve energy by heating water only when it is required, so avoiding energy losses that occur during standby mode operation. Cold water is sucked into the water heater when a hot water tap is switched on in a house or other building. The gas burner is activated by a flow sensor, which heats the heat exchanger as a result. The incoming cold water circulates through the heat exchanger, leaving the heater at the temperature selected by the user.
Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient than traditional tank-type water heaters because they heat water only when it is needed, rather than keeping a tank full of hot water at all times.
In addition to extracting more heat from the combustion gas, the secondary heat exchanger also cools it to the point where condensation occurs – so the term “gas condensing” is used to describe these types of heaters.
This type of tankless water heater, like gas condensing furnace, must be vented through a vertical PVC pipe and a condensate drain to avoid overheating the water supply.
Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth It? 10 Pros and Cons
Tankless water heaters are one of the more recent techniques available for making a home more energy efficient. Tankless heaters, as opposed to normal units, which continually heat and reheat water to ensure that it is always hot, create water that is heated quickly using high-powered gas burners or electric coils to heat the water. In order to achieve this immediate heating, more electricity is required; but, because the water does not have to be heated repeatedly, as in a traditional “tank” type, tankless systems consume less energy in total.
- Is there a catch to this?
- When the circumstances are favorable, a tankless water heater is the most cost-effective solution.
- Before we get into the advantages and disadvantages of tankless water heaters, if you’ve already decided that you’re going to get a new water heater (with or without a tank), have you considered how you’re going to pay for the purchase?
- By clicking on the button below, you will get accepted within 30 minutes (with no credit check)!
- Now, we’ll go over some of the advantages and disadvantages of tankless water heaters, so you can determine if a tankless water heater or a regular water heater is the better option for you.
Pro1: Instant Hot Water
Using tankless water heaters is one of the more recent innovations in the quest for a more energy-efficient household environment. Tankless heaters, as opposed to typical units, which continually heat and reheat water to ensure that it is always hot, create water that is heated quickly using high-powered gas burners or electric coils to heat water instantly. In order to achieve this immediate heating, more electricity is required; but, because the water does not have to be heated repeatedly, as in a traditional “tank” type, tankless systems consume less energy in aggregate.
- If so, what is it?
- A tankless water heater is the greatest alternative when the circumstances are correct.
- Befor we get into the advantages and disadvantages of tankless water heaters, if you’ve already decided that you’ll be purchasing a new water heater (with or without a tank), have you considered how you’ll be financing your purchase?
- Get accepted in 30 minutes or less (with no credit check) by clicking on the button below.
Approval for your new water heater can be obtained immediately. In this section, we’ll go over some of the advantages and disadvantages of tankless water heaters so that you can determine whether a tankless water heater or a regular water heater is the better option for you.
Con1: Inconsistent Temperatures
In the Consumer Reports poll noted above, one of the most common consumer concerns was that the water temperature was constantly fluctuating. Most of the time, this problem arises as a consequence of the heater’s failure to deliver adequate hot water to several outlets at the same time. Tankless heaters, on the other hand, do not always turn on if the faucet is only slightly open (when shaving or rinsing a toothbrush, for example).
Pro2: Longer Lifespan
The fact that tankless units have a longer lifespan is a significant advantage. A normal, high-quality water heater will last around a decade, but tankless water heaters may operate for up to twice that amount of time. Choosing a tankless type that will last longer can prevent a homeowner from having to replace their tank every ten years or so.
Con2: Higher Initial Cost
Tankless units are intrinsically more costly because of their greater life expectancy. The average conventional model costs roughly $500, and the lowest tankless choices start at $1,000 for the most basic configuration. These specialty models are also more expensive, and they need more time to install, thus labor costs must be considered into the entire cost of the product or service.
Pro3: Lower Month-to-Month Costs
Despite the fact that these systems are more costly, they are also more productive. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, tankless water heaters are 22 percent more energy efficient than regular kinds of water heater. Homeowners should expect to save hundreds of dollars yearly, despite the fact that the monthly savings may be little.
Con3: Limited Hot Water Supply
The cost of these systems is higher, but they are also more efficient. The truth is that tankless water heaters are 22 percent more energy efficient than traditional versions, according to Consumer Reports. Homeowners should expect to save hundreds of dollars every year, despite the fact that the monthly savings may be little at first.
Pro4: Space Savings
Tankless water heaters are significantly lower in size than traditional storage ones. Installers often attach them on a wall in an unobtrusive location in the basement, according to the manufacturer. The reduction in floor area is especially beneficial in smaller residences.
Con4: Additional Equipment is Often Necessary
In most cases, a water softener is required to guarantee that a tankless heater performs effectively. Obviously, the additional equipment increases the cost of the device at the time of purchase. Because the softener (as well as the requisite bags of salt) will take up valuable space next to the wall-mounted heater, the softener will offset the space-saving benefit. In fact, it is possible that this equipment will take up more room than a standard hot water heater.
Pro5: Special Financing and Tax Breaks
Tankless heaters are eligible for federal tax credits since they are more energy efficient, which helps to offset the high installation costs associated with these systems.
The federal government provided a 10 percent tax credit on the total cost of purchasing and installing a tankless hot water heater as of December 2016. Traditional storage heaters that have earned the Energy Star certification are likewise eligible for the same 10 percent tax credit.
Con5: Rerouting Gas Lines
As previously said, tankless water heaters require a non-traditional installation, which increases the cost of the unit’s installation. Even worse, a contractor may be obliged to redistrict a gas line or install new vents, which would raise the entire cost of the renovation.
Pro6: Tankless Water Heaters Eliminate “Standby Loss”
When it comes to tankless heaters, the most significant selling feature is that they remove “standby loss.” Traditional water heaters reheat water repeatedly, increasing energy expenses with each reheating operation. Even if no one is at home, the water heater is still consuming energy since it is continuously heating up the water in its tank to a safe temperature.
Con6: Could Take Years to Make Up for the Higher Price Tag
While tankless water heaters are less expensive on a month-to-month basis, it might take years for the savings to offset the hefty initial investment. Consumer Reports estimates that switching to a tankless water heater can save a homeowner up to $75 per year in energy savings over the long haul. As a result, it might take anywhere from 6 to 12 years (or more) until the month-to-month savings exceed the price of installation.
Pro7: Never Run Out of Hot Water
Storage tanks will ultimately run out of hot water in homes with high hot water consumption (for example, if three or four people take showers in a row while the dishwasher is running). Using a tankless heater guarantees that everyone has an equally warm shower – as long as the showers are taken consecutively, rather than all at the same time – since it does not rely on stored water to supply the necessary water.
Con7: Changing Water Usage Habits Could Save as Much Money as Going Tankless
An energy-efficient water heater is not the only technique to improve the efficiency of a home’s water system. The simple act of altering bathing habits can result in a large reduction in water bills for a household. Additionally, when the monthly costs of water and heating are combined together, low-flow plumbing fixtures or a more energy-efficient dishwasher might save as much money as a new water heater.
Pro8: Both Electric and Gas Models are Available
Typically, natural gas is used to power tankless water heaters, although electric ones are also available on the market. Depending on the electrical infrastructure of a property, a non-gas unit may be a viable alternative to rerouting gas lines or making other costly and time-consuming modifications.
Con8: Other Options Like Solar Heating are Available
Typically, tankless water heaters are fueled by natural gas, although there are also electric types available on the market. It is possible that a non-gas unit will eliminate the need to reroute gas lines or make other costly and time-consuming modifications to a home’s electrical infrastructure.
Pro9: Tankless Heaters Offer Longer Warranties
Tankless heaters are covered by extended warranties as a result of their long service life. As a result, in the event that something goes wrong, the homeowner will not be responsible for any repairs or replacement costs. Warranties for tankless heaters can last up to 20 years, which is the normal lifespan of a heater of this type.
Con9: Additional Maintenance is Possible
In order to keep the guarantee valid, owners must execute yearly maintenance and, in certain cases, use a water softener.
Aside from that, homeowners should flush out their system once a year to avoid mineral build-up in the heater or the water line. The expense of doing these chores may outweigh some of the savings realized as a result of the tankless heater’s decreased energy demand.
Pro10: Ideal for Smaller Homes With Minimal Hot Water Requirements
If you live in a smaller house with a low need for hot water, a tankless water heater is the best option for you. It is possible to minimize standby loss with these efficient units, and they will offer enough rapid hot water for one to three persons to shower, wash their clothes, and clean dishes at the same time.
Con10: Standard Energy Star Water Heaters are Also Efficient
Traditional storage water heaters that are Energy Star certified are now available on the market. Not only do these apartments provide monthly savings in exchange for a smaller initial investment, but they also qualify for tax deductions. Additionally, because virtually all homes are already built to support these classic water heaters, homeowners will not have to make any substantial alterations to their gas lines or electrical wiring to use them.
A Final Consideration
Tankless water heaters are frequently eligible for PACE financing through Ygrene. Using their local PACE program, homeowners may finance the purchase and installation of a tankless water heater with no money down and no monthly payments. The homeowner then pays for the improvement over a period of time (as a line item on their annual property tax bill). Water heaters that are more traditional in nature may also be eligible for PACE financing in some instances, so it is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each choice before deciding on the kind of water heater for your house.
Approval for financing your new water heater can be obtained.
For further information, please contact Ygrene at (855) 901 3999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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