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Your water heater is an investment. If you make the right choice and keep up with regular maintenance, your water heater will last between eight to 20 years. Given the expense of this appliance, you want to ensure you’re making the best decision for your household. In recent years, tankless water heaters have become more and more popular. They’re the trendiest water heater on the market for a reason. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about tankless water heaters, so you can see if it’s the right choice for you.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, instantly heat water. Rather than keeping a tank of water continuously hot (like a traditional water heater), these water heaters heat the water as it flows through the pipes.
Other names for tankless water heaters are instantaneous, inline, continuous flow, flash, or instant-on water heaters.
The Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters have many benefits over conventional water heaters, making them a popular choice with homeowners. Some of the main advantages are:
- Longevity: While a conventional water heater lasts between eight to 12 years, a tankless water heater can last up to 20 years. This is mostly because tankless water heaters have easily replaceable parts that extend their life by many years.
- Endless Hot Water: A conventional water heater can only provide as much hot water as is readily available in its tank. In comparison, a tankless water heater can give endless hot water to your household. (This assumes you purchase the right size tankless water heater for your home.)
- Environmental Impact: As most models last longer and have replaceable parts, the tankless option is much better in terms of environmental impact. Over 20 years, you may send two conventional water heaters to the landfill versus one tankless water heater.
- Lower Utility Costs: A traditional water needs to continuously turn on and off to keep the water in its tank hot and ready to go. As soon as the water sits in a container, it begins to lose heat. In comparison, a tankless water heater only heats the water on demand. This makes the tankless model much more energy efficient. These water heaters can be 24-34% more energy-efficient than conventional models, according to Energy.gov. The average American household spends $268 on heating water, so at a savings of 30% every year, that’s $80 less on energy bills annually.
- Space Saving & Home Aesthetics: No one exactly loves how a large water heater tank looks. Most homes have to create a hidden space so that the tank isn’t ruining the home’s aesthetic. A tankless water heater takes up less space and doesn’t need to be hidden as much.
- Tax Credits: As a tankless water heater is more energy-efficient, many states offer tax credits for installing this appliance.
- Gas or Electric: Many times, if you already have a gas or electric power source for your water heater, you shouldn’t be switching. Tankless water heaters can be powered by natural gas or electricity. A non-gas unit can save you the trouble or rerouting gas lines or investing in expensive alterations.
- Longer Warranties: As a tankless water heater has a longer expected lifespan, it usually comes with a longer warranty too. Many warranties extend up to 20 years, which is the average lifespan of an on-demand water heater. A warranty is essential so that the owner isn’t footing the bill for repairs.
The Downfalls of a Tankless Water Heater
Like most appliances, your tankless water heater won’t be perfect. There are some cons to the tankless model that keep people from choosing this route. It’s essential to be well informed when you make a decision, so we are outlining the cons for you as well:
- Initial Cost: Your tankless water heater will have a higher upfront cost than a conventional model. Usually, a tankless water heater is twice as expensive as a traditional model. This higher price is both for the unit and the installation. It’s important to note that when you’re considering price, the cost savings from utility bills won’t outweigh the initial costs for many years.
- Water Limitations: Yes, your 60-gallon water tank will cost you a lot of money to keep it heated. But, it will also be helpful when you want to take showers, run the dishwasher, and the laundry all at the same time. An on-demand water heater can sometimes be limited in its ability to provide large amounts of hot water all at once. To solve this issue, some people install more than one tankless water heater in their home. Generally speaking, tankless water heaters are best for small houses with fewer inhabitants.
- Water Softener May Be Needed: Many tankless water heaters require the installation of a water softener. This is an additional expense on top of the expensive appliance.
Choosing the Right Size Tankless Water Heater
It’s incredibly important to choose the right size for your tankless water heater. If you select the wrong size, it won’t be able to keep up with your household’s demands. We generally recommend speaking to a professional plumber to understand the best size of the tankless water heater for your home.
Additionally, ask your plumber if they recommend installing more than one tankless water heater in the home. This may be essential for larger households with lots of people generally at home.
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain in San Antonio, TX
If you require a new water heater, book a consultation with a plumber from bluefrog Plumbing in San Antonio, TX. Our plumbers can come to inspect your water heater and advise if it really needs replacement or can be repaired. If you need to purchase a new water heater, we will provide recommendations for the type, model, and size that best fits your needs.
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, provides top quality plumbing services for residents. Contact us today for more information about appointment availability and pricing.