Tankless water heaters are growing in popularity thanks to their energy-efficient benefits. If it's time for you to replace your current water heater, you may be considering switching to a tankless one. If so, answering these four questions can help you determine if a tankless water heater really is the best choice for your home.
How Much Hot Water Does Your Household Use?
The first thing to do when deciding if a tankless water heater is a good option is to calculate exactly how much hot water your household uses on a daily basis. This will help you determine how much a tankless water heater can save you each month on your water heating bills.
The get the most out of your tankless water heater, it's best to use 41 gallons of water or less each day. This typically results in 24 to 34 percent less energy usage, which can drastically lower your energy bills. Even if you use more water, you can still see savings each month with a tankless water heater, but the savings will be significantly smaller. For example, if you use about 86 gallons of water per day, you only use about 8 to 14 percent less energy, but that still results in monthly savings.
Do You Want to Conserve Energy?
The reason tankless water heaters can save you money each month is because they conserve energy, and doesn't everyone want to conserve energy? Traditional water heaters require a tank. The water sits in this tank and is constantly heated. Even if you don't use hot water for the entire day, the water heater is still working away, wasting energy to heat the water.
Tankless water heaters don't waste energy in this manner. Instead of constantly holding hot water to be used when needed, they hot water when it's needed via a heating element. You can choose a gas or electric heating element. Gas heating elements cost more to install, but they cost less to run because gas is cheaper than electricity per BTU. Interestingly, a tankless water heater actually uses significantly more energy than a tank system when they are in use, but because they are only in use when you need hot water, you still end up using less energy.
Are You Willing to Wait for Hot Water?
Because the tankless water heater only heats water when it's needed, you may have to wait for hot water. The heating element isn't instantiations, so when you turn on the hot water, it may take a while before it starts running. With tank systems, you generally have hot water as soon as you need it, unless someone uses all the hot water. With a tankless system, at least you won't have to wait for the tank to refill.
A common complaint of tankless water heaters is that you can't use a lot of hot water at once. If someone is taking a hot shower, and the dishwasher is running, you may have limited hot water from the kitchen sink. However, even with tank systems, it's not a good idea to use a ton of hot water at once because it can reduce the water pressure.
Can You Afford the Installation Cost?
Like other energy-efficient appliances, tankless systems are more expensive than their energy-sucking counterparts. A whole house tankless water heater costs about $800 to $3000, and that doesn't include the cost of installation. A tanked water heater can cost about the same, but the cost includes the installation.
Although the initial cost is more, you still may end up saving money in the long run, and not just because of the monthly savings. Tankless water heaters last longer than traditional water heaters. A tankless water heater can last up to 20 years.
While tankless water heaters are a more energy-efficient option, they may not be perfect for every home. If you think your household could benefit from one, however, contact a contractor who does water heating in your area today.