Tankless Water Heater Pros and Cons to Consider for Indianapolis Homeowners
If you’re considering a tankless water heater for your home, you may be wondering if its the right choice for you to heat water and provide for your family’s hot water usage. Tankless water heaters have their pros and cons, like any other type of appliance, and its important to weigh those before making a decision.
The tankless water heater pros and cons are numerous, and important to consider when choosing between tankless heaters and traditional water heaters as well as selecting which water heater to purchase for your home. There are some major differences between the conventional water heaters you’re most familiar with and the tankless water heater system options that are increasing in popularity today. Energy efficiency, energy costs, upfront cost, safety, size, lifespan, and convenience are all on the line when you shop for water heaters.
Williams Comfort Air helps Indiana homeowners explore the positives and negatives of tankless hot water heater units so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not a tankless gas water heater or electric tankless water heater is right for your home.
Tankless Heater Options for Hot Water
Tankless water heaters come in two varieties: electric and gas. The main difference between them concerns the tankless water heater work fuel. Electric models use electricity carried from electrical wiring to an electric element and the heating elements warm to produce hot water. Gas models require natural gas or propane to be carried to the unit via the home’s gas lines to provide fuel for the gas burner, which burns natural gas or propane and the heat exchanger adds heat to raise water temperature.
Positives of a Tankless Water Heater
As you research tankless water heaters, you’ll see many tankless water heater pros and cons. To give you a better idea of what you’ll get when you buy tankless gas water heater equipment or electric tankless water heaters, lets start with the positives!
Instant Hot Water & Endless Supply
Tankless units heat the water on demand – they’re also called demand type water heaters for this reason. When you want hot water, the tankless water heater provides instant hot water and then shuts off when you’re finished. Electric coils in an electric tankless water heater or a gas burner in tankless water heater gas units start heating water only when your taps call for a hot shower or heated water at your kitchen sink.
This means there’s no waiting for a storage tank to refill, as you must do when you use conventional water heaters. You can turn on the hot water tap and start using the hot water supply immediately, no matter how much hot water has recently been used. When a traditional water heater is in use, the hot water supply at any time is limited to the hot water reserved in the storage tank – when the storage tank heater runs out, you’ll be stuck with cold water and a cold shower while the storage water heater works at heating water to refill the supply of hot water.
High Energy Efficiency
Tankless systems are more energy efficient than traditional water heaters with storage tanks and can save money on your monthly energy costs thanks to significant energy savings. Tankless water heaters use less energy than conventional water heater models – an average tankless system unit will use 8 to 34 percent less energy while tank style heaters consume more energy to heat water.
Tankless water heaters also save money on your energy bill because they only heat water when you need it instead of constantly heating a holding tank of water like older model storage tank heaters. A tankless unit helps households save energy – as an energy efficient appliance alternative that heats water, that means they’re more environmentally friendly as well.
Compact Water Heater Size
Tankless water heaters are a great option for those who don’t have enough space for a traditional storage tank water heater. Their compact size allows for flexible installation on a wall, which takes up no floor space. A storage water heater is much larger in size, requiring floor space for the water heater to be installed, as well as clearance venting requirements for natural gas and propane models.
Longer Service Life
One of the best qualities of tankless heaters is that the tankless water heater doesn’t need to be replaced as often as your traditional storage tank heater. A tankless water heater can last 20 to 30 years, whereas a storage tank water heater typically lasts 10 to 12 years.
They last longer than traditional storage heaters because they do not store any water inside internal tanks. This element of the design of tankless heaters limits corrosion issues that may occur over time, causing the system to break down.
A Safer Solution
There’s another important advantage to a tankless water heater: it is typically safer than a traditional water heater. If you’re looking for an upgrade without any worries about safety issues, this could be the way to go!
Without constant exposure to minerals in stored water, they have a lower risk of corrosion and resulting leaks. The tankless design means that when there’s a malfunction, it won’t send gallons of water flooding into your home and you won’t have to deal with the cleanup or replacement costs of damaged property or possessions! A tankless unit won’t explode like an older unit might, either, allowing you to avoid the great dangers associated with a tank exploding.
Negatives of a Tankless Water Heater
There are some drawbacks to installing a tankless hot water heater you should know about before you decide to switch to one.
Initial purchase and installation costs are higher than for storage tank water heaters. Tankless water heaters cost between 25 to 50 percent more than traditional tank systems, though the lower operating costs may offset this price difference over time, depending on how you use your system.
A gas tankless water heater costs are usually higher than an electric model, but they also provide more hot water and are typically quieter than electric models. Additional work may be required to set up a tankless hot water system which can increase installation costs, such as rerouting gas lines or upgrading electrical wiring. Installing a water softener is often necessary to protect the tankless unit from mineral buildup.
Not Enough Hot Water to Multiple Outlets
One potential downside of tankless water heaters is that they may not produce enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses (eg. running the dishwasher and taking a shower at the same time). When using multiple outlets for hot water simultaneously, a unit may not have a high enough flow rate for this volume of hot water usage. This results in lukewarm water whereas a storage water heater can easily supply consistent water temperatures to multiple taps at once, as long as the hot water tank has enough stored hot water.
To avoid this problem, it’s important to install a tankless water heater with a flow rate high enough to meet your home’s peak hot water demand. Work with a professional plumber to ensure your hot water needs are adequately met by the new tankless unit.
If you’re using a tankless water heater, you might sometimes notice that the water temperature can be inconsistent, especially when multiple outlets are being used at the same time. This is often referred to as a “cold water sandwich.”
Essentially, what happens is that when you turn on the hot water faucet, you might feel a initial burst of hot water, followed by colder water flow for a brief moment, and then you feel the temperature rise again. While it’s not a major problem, some people prefer to avoid this side effect of tankless heaters.
Power Outage Problems
If you have a tankless water heater, you may be vulnerable during a power outage. Tankless water heaters, both electric tankless water heaters and gas ones, require electricity to operate and therefore would be rendered useless during a power outage.
This could present a big problem if you rely on your tankless water heater for hot water. To avoid this issue, consider having a backup plan for heating water in the event of a power outage. Installing a backup generator to power your tankless water heater during these emergencies can provide piece of mind.
Shop Tankless Water Heaters Today
The positives and negatives of tankless water heaters vary from those associated with traditional water heaters. The best water heater for your home depends on the factors you find to be most important. Williams Comfort Air’s plumbers are here to help you when you need assistance arriving at that choice. Contact us today for more information on the various tankless units we have available and receive a quote for the upfront cost of equipment and installation.