Tired of the long wait before the next person can hop into the shower? Then, you should be considering tankless or demand-type water heaters. Unlike regular heating systems, tankless water heaters provide a never-ending supply of hot water.
While standard heating units constantly heat and reheat the water, tankless water heaters instantly heat it up when needed.
Although instant heating requires more energy, tankless water heaters are still more efficient than standard units. In fact, tankless water heaters have a 22% higher efficiency than regular heating systems, as per Consumer Reports.
So, should you get a tankless water heating system for your house? Read on to learn about the pros, cons, cost, and functioning.
A tankless water heater heats up water instantly and only when it is required. The cold water flows through a pipe to the heating unit – electric or gas-powered – that heats it up.
Usually, these heating systems offer two to five gallons of water per minute. However, gas-powered tankless water heaters have a higher flow rate than their electric counterparts.
Multiple tankless water heaters are common in larger homes or bigger families to ensure a constant water supply for laundry, showers, and the dishwasher.
Here’s how a gas tankless water heater works:
Before you purchase a tankless water heater, it’s wise to weigh its pros and cons. Here are some advantages of a tankless heating system.
With standard units, if someone has just finished a long shower, you have to wait a certain period for the water to heat up again. On the other hand, tankless water heaters heat up instantly, providing an uninterrupted flow of water.
Another benefit of tankless water heaters is their longer lifespan. While most standard water heaters last a decade, a tankless heater works effectively for up to 20 years.
Since a tankless water heater only heats water when needed, it’s not always operational. Therefore, your monthly savings will be higher while your gas or electricity bills will be lower.
Tankless water heaters have a space-saving design as you can mount them on the wall. They’re also less bulky and can easily fit a confined space in the bathroom or the basement.
If you have a smaller home, this is a blessing.
As tankless water heaters are more efficient, they qualify for tax breaks in the US. In 2016, the federal government gave its citizens a 10% tax credit on the collective expenditure of tankless water heaters’ purchase and installation.
Standby loss refers to the loss of energy when the heater is not in use. Standard heating units are always working, even when no one is using water. Therefore, the standby loss raises your bills.
On the other hand, tankless heating systems don’t have a standby loss.
Since they have longer lifespans, tankless water heaters also come with longer warranties. Some manufacturers might offer a 20-year warranty – as long as the heater’s life.
Although tankless water heaters have many benefits, they lack in some regards.
Although most homeowners consider tankless water heaters to be viable alternatives to traditional heating units, new and better options are available too. One of them is solar heating.
Since the heating system only uses sunshine, there’s no additional equipment or installation cost.
If you’ve decided to purchase a tankless water heater, your immediate concern is to choose the type; electric or gas. The major difference between the two is their efficiency.
While gas heaters are about 85% efficient, electric heaters are up to 98% efficient. On the flip side, gas heaters are long-lasting and cost less.
Gas tankless water heaters are considered safer than standard heating units. Plus, they’re less expensive than the electric versions and have a higher longevity.
However, these water heaters shut off if there’s scale or mineral buildup. So, regular maintenance is necessary. If your region gets hard water, you should flush the water heater with vinegar every 500 hours.
These heaters are more expensive because they’re highly efficient. Along with taking up less space in the house, they also heat up water instantly.
If you’re prepared to pay a high upfront cost to lower your energy bills later, you should definitely opt for a tankless water heater. Moreover, these water heaters are suitable for smaller families or homes where you’re not doing multiple water-related activities at once.
On the other hand, if you have a larger family and need a dishwasher, two showers, and a washing machine to have consistent water temps simultaneously, conventional water heaters are more suitable for you.