It’s a terrible moment when you step into the shower and find you have no hot water. Best case scenario—your spouse just ran a load of white clothes on hot in the washing machine, turned on the dishwasher, and took a leisurely hot shower a few minutes ago. Worst case scenario—you have a broken water heater.
Hot water is something everyone takes for granted. When your hot water heater breaks, it can be a bit of an emergency. Before you find yourself in this situation, you may want to understand the pros and cons of a tankless water heater and whether that might be a good option for you down the road.
Our professionals at Midwest Air Pros have a great deal of experience and expertise in both conventional and tankless hot water technology. Here are some of the considerations when making your decision.
Advantages of Tankless Water Heater
• Reduce your energy usage. Since tankless water heaters only heat water as you actually need it, you’ll consume less energy in the long run.
• Eliminate worrying about running out of hot water. As long as you’ve selected the correct size and capacity, tankless water heaters will provide an endless amount of hot water for your needs.
• Be kinder on the environment. Besides using less energy, tankless water heaters release less greenhouse gas into the environment.
• Increase your home’s value. Tankless water heaters are a much-demanded appliance for home shoppers today.
• Repair, don’t replace. Unlike conventional water heaters that often need to be completely replaced when they break down in 10 years time, tankless water heaters can often be repaired more easily. They also have a lifespan of 20 years.
• Say goodbye to stale water. Water is heated when you need it, and you won’t be using stale water that’s been sitting in your hot water tank for hours.
• Free up storage space. Since tankless water heaters are compact and many models can be mounted outside, they take up much less space than the huge water tanks found in most homes.
• Avoid water leaks and damage. Without a hot water tank, you’ll no longer need to worry about water leaks and damage around your water heater.
Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heater
• Incur higher upfront cost. According to Consumer Reports, tank-style water heaters typically cost between $500 and $600 with installation doubling the total. Tankless water heaters can run between $500 and $1,000 with installation costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $800 to $1,500.
• Fail to generate enough hot water. If you purchase a tankless water heater that is improperly sized to your needs or those needs change over time, your tankless water heater may not be able to keep up. Without a tank, a tankless system can only produce as much as its flow rate allows.
• Require a power upgrade. If you live in an older home, you may need to upgrade your power in order to have enough capacity to run a tankless water heater.
Making Your Final Decision
If you’ve decided to invest in a tankless water heater now or in the future, you’ll want to be sure you select the right efficiency level, warranty package, and capacity. Calculate your efficiency factor (EF), which is a proportion of hot water produced compared with energy required.
Read the fine print when you evaluate your warranty packages. You’ll want to pay special attention to how long your heat exchange is guaranteed as well as parts and labor. And, finally, calculate your family’s peak flow rate by looking at the gallons per minute produced by your faucets and appliances. Be sure to select a tankless water heater that can easily meet those levels.