Having on-demand access to hot water is a necessity most of us depend on several times a day. However, before deciding on a water heater, it’s worth considering one important question:
Should you purchase a tankless water heater or a traditional tank-based model? Here are some of the pros and cons of each.
1. Tankless Water Heaters Save Energy
Unlike their tank-based counterparts, tankless water heaters warm water on demand.
Although traditional heaters are far more efficient than they were in the past, some heat loss is unavoidable, meaning they consume more energy.
Because tankless heaters only need to use energy when they’re in use, they consume an estimated 20 to 25 percent less energy. This efficiency adds up over time.
2. Tankless Water Heaters Cost More
Before settling on a tankless water heater, however, note that they typically cost more. Tank water heaters are relatively simple, and this simplicity makes them fairly straightforward to manufacture.
Tankless designs, on the other hand, have far more components, and the installation costs can be high.
In some cases, expensive setup costs can increase their price. Rerouting gas lines, for example, can drive up installation costs significantly.
Switching to a tankless design can save you money in the long run, but it might take years to recoup your investment. In addition, it’s worth factoring in how much a tankless design will cost to maintain over the years.
3. Tankless Designs Save Space
Water heater tanks are inherently bulky devices; if you want more heating capacity, you need a larger tank.
Tankless designs, on the other hand, take up relatively little space on a wall, and they can even be recessed to save more space. If your space is limited, choosing a tankless design can conserve valuable floor space.
From an aesthetic perspective, eliminating a bulky tank from your home can be worthwhile.
4. Tank Heaters Can Have Better Capacity
Tank-based heaters have limited capacity, potentially leaving you and your family waiting for the tank to refill after it’s drained.
Tankless designs can keep on heating up water as long as it’s needed, but there is a drawback: They can only heat up a limited volume of water at once.
Depending on the model you choose, you might find that you’re unable to take a shower while the dishwasher is running, for example.
Additionally, if you have multiple showers, your tankless design might not be able to supply both simultaneously. Before choosing a tankless design, make sure you understand its capacity.
5. Tankless Heaters Can Last Longer
Another critical component when deciding on a water heater is the expected longevity.
Tank-based designs are generally expected to last approximately 10 years. Tankless designs are often rated to last twice as long.
When calculating costs, it’s important to consider how long the warranty lasts and whether maintenance costs will eat into your savings, but the longevity of tankless designs might tip the scales if you’re undecided.
Choosing the right water heater for your home can be a challenge.
Fortunately, we have more options available today than ever before, and you’ll likely have multiple choices to consider that will serve your home well for years to come.
Make sure to do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.