Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for Your Home?

If the notion of heating gallons of water in your home around the clock sounds wasteful, you’re right! There is another option. Tankless water heaters offer a number of benefits that you should consider when purchasing a new home.

What Are Tankless Water Heaters?

Tankless water heaters are water heaters that heat water on-demand with no storage tank holding 50 gallons or more. Tankless water heaters, offering benefits such as a reduced risk of leaks and increased energy efficiency, are gaining popularity around the United States. Let’s take a look at the benefits of tankless water heaters and find out if they are right for your home.

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

When you imagine a “water heater,” you probably picture the traditional tank storage version, the kind that heats water constantly in a large storage tank holding 50 gallons or more. The tank offers hot water as it is needed, and continues to heat water while it is in use.

A tankless water heater, then, may seem counterintuitive; however, a tankless water heater operates in the same fashion. Only tankless water heaters do so on-demand, with no need for a reservoir and no need for constant heating to keep the water warm.

In a home with a tankless water heater, when you turn on the hot water, cold water enters the heater. The heat source is activated by a flow sensor, which warms up the heat exchanger. Water is quickly warmed and flows through the piping.

Whole-house heaters are tankless water heaters installed centrally, supplying your entire home with unlimited hot water. Point-of-use heaters are smaller, specifically to heat water for one or two outlets like an outdoor shower, kitchen or hot tub.

Is a Tankless Water Heater Right For Your Home?

A tankless water heater is considered a great investment, but it may not be the right choice for everyone. Many will love the convenience and efficiency. Some will be dissuaded by the cost of installation or lag time in responsiveness on occasion. As a soon-to-be homeowner, is it worth the expense? Here we explore some important benefits of tankless water heaters.

Pros of Tankless Water Heaters:

  • Endless Hot Water
  • Lower operating costs
  • Internal buffer tank and recirculation pump
  • Great for the environment
  • Average efficiency factor of .97 vs .55 for tank
  • Longer lifespan than storage water heaters
  • Stainless steel heat exchangers vs copper: less corrosive long-term
  • Increased property values
  • Less space required: 80% smaller than a traditional 50-gallon water heater
  • Reduced risk of water damage

Energy-Efficiency

A tankless water heater uses considerably less energy compared to a traditional tank water heater since water is heated on demand, versus the constant heating of gallons of water. According to the

 US Department of Energy, a home using less than 42 gallons of hot water each day can expect energy savings of between 24%-34%. This means lower utility bills and it’s also good for the environment. Consider the working lifespan of water heaters. Even with excellent maintenance, they won’t run forever. You could manage to get 15 to 20 years of use out of your water heater. Taking into account the cost of installation, energy savings may or may not amount to enough for it to pay for itself. If you are purchasing a new home with a tankless water heater already installed, this is less of a concern. It is well worth it!

Property Values

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, but high utility bills and maintenance issues can ruin the experience. Like all appliances, water heaters have a limited lifespan, and should you decide to sell your home, a buyer will appreciate the new water heater. They get an appliance that will last longer than a traditional tank water heater, postponing their next major expense. Real estate agents will confirm the power of smart appliances on a home listing. In today’s eco-friendly society, homeowners with smart home features can demand higher asking prices when selling their home since the buyer will enjoy spending less on utility bills.

Fuel Supply

Would you like gas or electric power for your tankless water heater?

Your states or local utility company may offer tax credits and rebates on tankless water heaters. To see what rebates are offered on ENERGY STAR tankless water heaters in your area, refer to the ENERGY STAR rebate finder.

Flooding

Live in a home long enough and you know the pain and headache of a failed traditional tank water heater. Flooding or spills seem inevitable; however, tankless water heaters don’t store any water at all. This significantly lowers flood risk.

Space

Tankless water heaters are also a great option where space is a concern. Compared to a traditional tank water heater, the tankless variety is typically smaller and takes up less floor space since most are secured to the wall.

Drawbacks

Tankless water heaters can warm up water impressively fast, yet, they can usually handle only a few gallons at any given time. This may not create an issue for small households. But let’s say your family has two showers going upstairs while the dishwasher is running and someone decides to do a load of laundry. Your tankless water heater may not be able to keep up with the surge in demand for hot water, leaving someone in the cold.

If you have a large household, pay close attention to the model you’re considering. Installing a series of water heaters will increase the flow limit for high demand homes, but increases the initial cost of set up.

Still not sure if a tankless water heater is the right choice for your home?

We’re here to help. Give us a call or stop by our showroom today!

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