Tankless Water Heaters – Conservation Tool or Expensive Waste?

There are many options for heating water. Hot water tanks was one of the most popular choices, and many homeowners still use an old water tank in their house today. Now a days however, tankless water heaters are becoming more popular. Tankless water heaters work by heating water on demand. Instead of keeping a large tank filled with hot water, this high power device instantly heats water as it passes through on the way to your tap. It sounds pretty great. However, at Plumbing Paramedics, we’re often getting asked whether these heaters really are a great system for saving energy or if they’re just not worth the extra cost.

Pros. Tankless water heaters provide long term energy savings. Since they only heat water when necessary, they are significantly more efficient and can save you a lot of money on your utility bills. Another great perk of these heaters is the unlimited supply of hot water. Tankless water heaters are always creating new hot water on demand, so you don’t have to worry about emptying the tank when numerous people need to take a shower. There are two more great features that come with losing the tank that many people don’t consider when make this decision. First of all, a tankless water heater needs way less room. This can free up space in your basement. Secondly, without a tank filled with water taking up space, you’re also at a reduced risk for water damage.

Cons. The clear con of tankless water heaters is the initial cost. Many of these heaters will run you 2 to 4 times the cost of the traditional tank version. For many homeowners, this investment will be earned back through the energy savings, but it’s always worth while to calculate the math for yourself. There are other little problems that come with tankless water heaters, but they rarely affect the user too much. For example, depending on where your heater is compared to the tap, there may be a short delay before hot water begins to flow. Another delay problem can occur when water is being turned on and off and on and off and on and off again. If your pipes aren’t well enough insulated to keep the water travelling and waiting inside warm, you may find that your warm water comes in waves if you’re only turning the tap on intermittently. However, this will never affect continuous water use such as showering.

As with any purchase with a variety of options, there are pros and cons to tankless water heaters. Though we’ve taken a brief look at the benefits and problems you may experience, it’s always advisable to research a large purchase, and of course, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at (403) 452 – 2911.

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