Why would anyone want to buy a tankless hot water heater? What's the advantage of it? There certainly are some pros and cons to tankless water heaters (like most everything else) so let's go through some of the advantages and dis-advantages so that you can make a well informed decision if you are in the market to purchase a tankless water heater.
How Does A Tankless Water Heater Work?
Before we can get to the pros and cons of a tankless water heater let's go through some information about how this type of water heater works.
Essentially, a tankless unit, unlike a traditional water heater, does not use a storage tank to hold water. It does not, in fact, store water at all. Instead, it immediately heats water that is being requested at the moment that it's needed.
So, an example of it working would be...
You turn on the hot water tap in your sink, the water (which is cold) then runs through a pipe in the tankless water heater unit and it's immediately heated either by a gas or electrical element. The water then that comes out of your faucet is nice and hot.
Advantages Of A Tankless Water Heater
There are several advantages of using a tankless water heater...
- One of the most touted benefits of a tankless water heater is that since the water is heated as needed (instead of being stored) there's a constant supply of hot water. No chance of the hot water running out in the middle of your shower.
- Tankless units can save you money in the long run. The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that tankless units can be 24% - 34% more energy efficient in homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily.
- If you need to maximize the space in your home, a tankless unit will certainly take up much less space than a conventional water heater.
- Tankless units are available as whole house units or small, point-of-use units for individual areas such as a sink or shower, etc.
- The lifespan of tankless units are almost double of a traditional water heater (20 plus years).
- You don't have to worry about cold water freezing when you need it. This is an issue with traditional units where the water freezes at room temperature and sometimes can be very dangerous. It can also create issues with your pipes as they can crack and break. Tankless units keep the water at just the right temperature and it doesn't heat up because it is not being heated by electricity so it shouldn't affect your plumbing at all.
- Since the water does not have to heat up the entire house, you will be able to reduce the amount of fuel you use by up to 30%. Since most tankless water heaters only heat the water that is in use at any given time, they can also help save your electricity bill since you won't be heating water when you aren't using it.
Basically, a tankless unit can save you some headaches (no running out of hot water), it can save you money in the long run and if you live in tight quarters or want to maximize the space in your home or garage, it can certainly save you some space.
Disadvantages Of A Tankless Water Heater
But, like everything else, there are disadvantages too...
- Because hot water is delivered directly on an as needed basis – the unit cannot produce hot water for multiple units at once. So, taking a hot shower AND running the washing machine may only give you lukewarm water. To avoid this you must choose a unit that puts out more heat OR purchase multiple tankless units.
- The initial cost is higher than traditional water heaters.
- If you are switching from a traditional water heater to the tankless unit, there is a cost for retrofitting and installing the unit.
- The amount of water produced is variable, which means you could have more hot water on hand, but it won't be as hot.
- There is the chance that your electric bill will be a little higher with a tank but you can avoid this extra cost by installing a second boiler which is inexpensive and usually easy to install.
- It takes longer to fill the tank than traditional units and if the water runs out while you are in the shower you will be disappointed. They also are louder than traditional hot water heating units.
So, it seems that for homes with many household members, it may not be cost effective to have a tankless unit, especially if there are multiple sources of requests for hot water at the same time.
Also, tankless water heaters and their installation costs can be cost prohibitive for some families.
It's true that these units do not contribute to your household's carbon footprint. It takes a little longer to heat up the water but it is minimal compared to other systems. You may also have the option of installing an on-off switch for your hot water. This is a handy feature if you forget to shut it off while taking a shower or washing dishes.
As you can see there are quite a few advantages to having a tankless unit such as this in your home. The main reason is because it can provide you with a cheaper and less energy consuming alternative to your traditional hot water heater.
If you are looking for an option to a conventional hot water heater, a tankless water heater may be the right choice for you. There are many benefits to having these types of units such as the ability to cut back on your energy consumption and the reduction of toxic chemicals that you are putting into the environment. These types of water heaters are also more cost effective than your conventional unit.
As you can see there are several advantages of having this type of unit. Tankless units allow you to have hot water without taking up any space. You can use less electricity while still being able to provide your family with the hot water they need. These types of units are cost effective and environmentally friendly. Now you can see why many people are choosing to have this system installed in their homes.
If you have any questions about tankless water heaters or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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