If having to constantly heat up water in a large tank that sits in your basement sounds very wasteful and inefficient to you, then you might want to consider getting a tankless water heater instead. I have done some of research for you in terms of the advantages that a tankless water heater system offers, in addition to some of the disadvantages that come with a more energy-efficient and compact option.
A tankless water heater offers a number of important advantages. From extended lifespan and space savings to lowered operating costs and increased energy efficiency, keep reading to learn more about why going tankless may make sense for you.
Operating Costs and Energy Savings
The first thing people wonder about when considering a tankless water heater is how much money and energy will I save? Initially you will be spending more money on a tankless water heater and getting all the plumbing in place that it needs. However, although there are more upfront costs involved with a tankless water heater, your future operating costs will begin to make up for those added initial costs. Your savings will come from not having costs for generating standby heat, which means you will not have to waste money on heating water inside of tank that just sits there idly until someone needs some hot water. A tankless system produces hot water instantaneously on demand, when it is needed. That way you don’t waste energy on heating water that isn’t being used. You also don’t lose heat that is just sitting idly inside of tank that, even though it is insulated, still loses heat and needs to be reheated constantly.
Although the average tank water heater supposedly lasts 10 to 13 years, it is estimated that the average tankless water heater lasts as long as 20 years. So if you are planning to live in the same house for a while, you will be saving quite a lot in replacement costs. Even if you aren’t planning to stay in your house for that long, it is still nice paying it forward in terms of the cost savings overall for owning a home.
Even if saving energy and money wasn’t a concern of yours, another significant advantage offered by a tankless water heat is the amount space that you can save. A traditional water heater that has a capacity of 40 to 60 gallons will tend to be about 24″ wide and 60″ tall. This bulky metal tank has a tendency to take up valuable space in a home, especially when space is at a high premium. In comparison, a tankless water heat may be about the same size as a large computer measuring 28″ tall by 20″ inches wide and only 10″ deep.
Although investing in a tankless water heater may sound like a complete no-brainer, there can also be some drawbacks or things you need to consider before deciding whether it is the right choice for you or not.
A large tank water heater that can store 40 to 60 gallons worth of hot water at one time will keep your laundry, shower and other needs for hot water satisfied for a long time. In addition, modern tanks are able to reheat water fairly quickly, so you probably won’t ever be without hot water whenever you need some. By contrast, there is a limit on how much hot water a tankless water heater can supply at one time. It can generally only supply a couple of gallons worth of hot water at one time. So if you happen to have a large family where everyone takes a shower and you are doing dishes and laundry at about the same time, then a tankless water heater may not be suitable or up to the tasks for your family’s specific hot water needs.
Although an average tank water heater can be as inexpensive as $300 to $400, they can cost as much as $1,000, depend on what options are offered. However, the starting cost for a tankless water heater is around $1,000, so there is quite a big difference in the price tags. The idea of course is that you will make up for this extra expense along the way as you are using less energy. However, it isn’t an option for everyone to have the money to invest up front.
Requires Instantaneous Energy
Traditional gas water heaters may use around 30,000 to 50,000 BTU of propane or natural gas when heating up the water. By contrast, a tankless water heater may require about 150,000 to 200,000 BTU for heating up water on demand. This high BTU requirement sometimes isn’t possible. This is something that I discovered myself while renovating my home. When you have a low pressure main like we do, you are limited to having total BTU spread that is fairly low when spread out across all of the gas appliances that we have. If you are thinking about switching from gas to electric, you will need to ensure that the electrical system in your house can handle it. Electricity usually costs more than natural gas as well, so you will also need to consider your energy costs also.