Pros & Cons of Investing in a Tankless Water Heater
With water heating being one of the most expensive energy costs in modern homes today, accounting for as much as 30% of a home's energy expenses, tankless water heaters have been steadily increasing in popularity. Because hot water makes up such a large amount of the average home's energy costs, energy conserving hot water solutions can wind up delivering significant cost savings on your overall energy bill. Just like any other home appliance, however, what works for one homeowner might not necessarily be best for every other homeowner.
While tankless water heaters can be an excellent investment, they have a full line of advantages and disadvantages associated with them, just like any other household appliance. To help you determine whether or not a tankless water heater might be the right water heating solution for your home, our skilled Houston plumbers have put together a list of some of the advantages, and disadvantages that come along with investing in this particular system.
Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless heating units operate only when there is a demand for hot water. This can work to reduce your energy costs by up to 35% in a given year. These types of water heaters are also incredibly energy efficient, with some of them having energy factors that are as high as 95 according to Energy Star.
In terms of reliability, if a unit is sized properly for the home it is in, it can effortlessly deliver a continuous supply of water at preset temperature levels. This can even be as much as 5 to 7 gallons per minute. If properly sized, they almost literally never run out of water.
Tankless water heaters also have a much longer life expectancy than regular water heaters, lasting up to 20 years with the proper care. In addition, due to their small size, they can be set up nearly anywhere in the home.
Safety is another aspect that tankless water heaters excel in. This safety is due in large part to the fact that they are only in operation when hot water is required, in contrast to traditional storage type units which are almost always on. More recent models also include monitoring systems that provide details about water pressure and flow, meaning that the machine can instantly shut itself off if there's a problem.
Disadvantages of Tankless Water HEaters
The biggest disadvantage of tankless water heaters is their upfront cost, which can often run almost double what it would cost for a standard unit. In addition, the specialized installation and making sure the pipes are set up correctly and you have proper venting can be quite pricey. In areas where there's hard water, you'll also find it necessary to have a water softener installed so you won't ruin your new tankless heater. Finally, retrofitting a tankless water heater into a home that was designed with a standard unit can require a skilled plumber to install correctly, and can be fairly expensive.
All that said, however, investing in a tankless water heater for your home is just that; an investment. While the upfront costs might be more, you stand to gain a lot in savings over the extended lifespan of your new tankless water heater, potentially even paying for itself over time.