Hi- I purchased a condo a few years ago and the water heater is on its last leg. I have friends in another part of the country that use a tankless water heater and I’m not going to lie- it seems pretty cool. What are the pros and cons of choosing one over the other? – Cindy K.
Hi Cindy- thanks for reaching out
Tankless water heaters are great additions for certain households. As opposed to a standard, barrel-shaped water heater (that collects and stores hot water) a tankless heater is more of an on-demand system. Whereas a tank will hold, store and heat large quantities of water, so hot water is available when you need it, a tankless system heats water only when it’s needed.
When you start your sink or shower, cold water will flow into the unit through an intake pipe, and it’s heated (using either gas or electric) in the unit so it’s warm by the time it reaches the faucet or shower head.
One of the key benefits of tankless systems is that they never run out of hot water. Ever.
A second important benefit relates to cost of operation. It’s estimated that families can save $100 or more on energy costs, each year, if they choose an ENERGY STAR rated system. Most tankless water heaters are rated to last for 20 or more years.
Does this mean that tankless heaters are all sunshine and roses? Not necessarily. You should know that the upfront purchase cost is generally higher than a typical water heater, which means a larger initial out-of-pocket investment.
You’ll also need to make sure you install one that’s right-sized for your household. If the heater doesn’t have the type of capacity you need, you may not be able to have hot water in more than one place at a time.
What does that mean? Well, simply stated, if someone is taking a hot shower you may not be able to use hot water to do dishes in the kitchen, until their shower is done.
If the system runs on natural gas, and your water heater also doubles as a boiler, you can also run into some problems, if you don’t choose the right system.In the past we’ve heard stories from people who say they can’t shower and run their clothes dryer at the same time (if they want to shower with hot water, that is.)
Tankless water heater systems are impressive pieces of technology and advancements in that technology are happening every year. If you’re considering replacing what you currently have with this type of system, give us a call. We’ll be happy to schedule a time for one of our technicians to come to your home to provide you with a water heater assessment. If we feel you could benefit from a tankless system, we’ll tell you! We can even help you choose a make and model that will work well with your household.