There’s a great deal of press about tankless water heaters making homeowners wonder whether buying a tanked water heater previously was the right decision. There are also people with a tanked water heater near the end of its useful life who are considering their options.
In this article, we discuss going tankless to supply hot water in the home and whether it’s the right decision for you?
How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?
Tankless heaters don’t hold gallons of water and keep it continually heated. Instead, they take cold water and then warm it up on demand. There are sensors which catch when the faucet has been opened, indicating the hot water required. This alerts the control panel to set up a heating session. It’s all very clever stuff!
They are seen as energy efficient because they don’t need to continually heat up a sizeable volume of water. This provides a ready supply of hot water to a bathroom for people getting up in the morning to get ready for work.
What are the Benefits of a Tankless Version?
When you compare a tankless water heater versus tanked water heater, one of the things that will come up is that they can supply between two gallons and up to five gallons of hot water. And because there’s no heated water being stored, you don’t run into a situation where there’s no more hot water left because someone ran a bath!
Tankless models use between 8-24 percent less energy to operate than tanked models. On average, they also last twice as long too. Tankless units fit on the wall rather than on the floor, so there’s a greater floor footprint available when owning a tankless model.
Also, there’s no old tank to burst and flood the home with 40 gallons of hot water either. New models are clever too – they have mobile connectivity so you can adjust temperature settings from your phone. And when you’re talking about 50 gallons water heater, you can’t have any alternative rather than going tankless.
Are There Any Negatives?
Tankless water heaters are around three times pricier than tanked models. They’re also a bit more complicated to get installed. So, the upfront cost is considerably more with buyers sometimes getting sticker shock as a result. Of course, there are energy savings over the full ownership period, but it’ll take several years to recoup your higher investment.
While you don’t run out of hot water as it’s not heated and stored, the water heater has a maximum output. It’s also not usually able to feed two sources at the same time. This means in a household with two bathrooms in use, sometimes only one will be able to receive hot water. Due to the size and cost of a tankless water heater, fitting two in a home is usually not viable.
Also, in areas where water pressure is inconsistent, the flow rate will be variable too. This compares to a tanked water heater that can supply whatever flow is desired within higher set limits.
Tankless water heaters have a lot going for them. Nevertheless, homeowners need to consider the pros and cons carefully to determine if they’re the right choice for them.