The Essential Plumbing Resource For Homeowners

Pros And Cons Of Tankless Water Heaters

While most homes still have a standard tank-style water heater, tankless water heaters are growing in popularity. Tankless water heaters have advantages that make them perfect for some homes, but does that include your home? Learn more about the pros and cons of tankless water heaters. 

Pro: Great Efficiency 

Every water heater uses energy to produce hot water. In fact, water heating makes up roughly 20% of most residential utility bills. Tankless water heaters generally offer better efficiency ratings than conventional water heaters since they don't experience standby heat loss. Condensing gas tankless water heaters offer both power and efficiency in a small package with Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) ratings comparable to electric models yet much better heating capabilities. Water heaters with significantly better energy efficiency than your old one will ensure lower utility bills each month.

Con: Limited Water Production

Tankless water heaters struggle to provide the same water heating that storage tank water heaters provided. Most notably, tankless water heaters may experience inconsistent temperatures when too many fixtures require hot water at one time, while storage tank water heaters won't produce inconsistent temperatures (at least until the household depletes all of the hot water in the tank). 

Pro: Endless Hot Water

Storage tank water heaters hold hot water in the storage tank until it's needed. A cold water inlet replenishes the used water, but it takes the water heater time to heat the new water. Tank-type water heaters have a recovery time that will help you determine how long it will take for the water to get warm again. Tankless water heaters never run out of hot water since they heat the water on demand using a heat exchanger. 

Con: Expense 

Depending on the current infrastructure of your home, upgrading from tank-type to tankless can be a significant investment. Tankless units cost more than similar tank models, too. Get a quote to learn how much it would cost you. Ask your technician if you will need to hire electricians, HVAC technicians, or plumbers in addition to their installation services. 

Pro: Long Life Expectancy 

Tankless water heaters have an average life expectancy of 20+ years, which is much longer than storage tank water heaters. You will pay more upfront, but the savings each month eventually make up for the expense. You get even more for your money the longer the water heater lasts. Regular maintenance appointments can keep your tankless water heater running.