As long as it’s doing what it’s meant to do, you probably don’t give much thought to your water heater. You may think about it on a morning when you’re the last to shower and there’s no hot water left. You may give it a second thought when a large utility bill arrives and you realize that your heater has reheated the same tank of water several times each day. Have you ever considered installing a tankless hot water heater?
Tankless water heaters (also known as on-demand, instant-on, continuous flow, inline or flash heaters) heat water with an electric element or gas burner as it flows through a pipe in the unit. They don’t retain water (there isn’t a storage tank) and provide 2 to 5 gallons of hot water per minute. They can replace the tank-style heaters you’re used to seeing in the furnace room or basement of a home. The following are the advantages and disadvantages of tankless heaters.
- Savings: Tankless water heaters have superior energy efficiency costing up to 22% less to operate, resulting in about $100 of savings per year over the traditional hot water heater.
- Eco friendly: Traditional hot water heaters turn on and off continually in order to keep water warm and ready at all times. Tankless water heaters only use energy when you need hot water, reducing the consumption of non-renewable fuel sources. 94% of the fuel is being used to heat the water. Only 6% is wasted. With many parts available for replacement, a tankless heater is repairable. No rusty tank will end up in a landfill.
- Long-lasting: Tankless heaters have a lifespan of approximately 20 years, which is twice as long as traditional water heaters. They come with a 15-year warranty compared with the 6-year warranty of most tank-style heaters.
- Compact: A giant 40 to 60-gallon storage tank that’s 5 feet high and 2 feet wide takes a lot of space! Tankless water heaters hang on an interior or exterior wall, requiring less storage space. Small homes and tight spaces are no problem!
- Instant hot water: Tankless water heaters provide an unending stream of hot water almost instantly. Hot water is available in seconds rather than the minutes it takes for a tank heater to supply it.
- Unlimited supply: Tank-style heaters are limited by the size of the tank. Tankless water heaters provide enough hot water for multiple showers and appliances to run simultaneously. As long as your water usage at any given time is below the maximum allowable flow rate, tankless water heaters provide an endless supply of hot water.
- Low risk of leaks: Over time, minerals from hard water build-up in tank-style heaters leading to corrosion and eventually leaks. With tankless heaters, there is little risk of leaks or flooding.
- Upfront cost: Tankless water heaters cost approximately 3 times more than storage heaters and may require new venting and gas lines as part of the installation. You’ll need to hire professionals for the task.
- Output challenge: To make sure you have enough hot water for your household, you need to carefully calculate your maximum usage and purchase the correct size of heater. There are large units that can handle the demand of a whole family, but they’re expensive. You may need to install more than one smaller tankless heater to meet your needs.
- Inconsistent temperature: There is a short delay between when the water starts to flow and when the heater kicks on causing a short burst of cold water before turning hot. It can throw you off if you’re not used to it.
- Additional equipment may be needed. A water softener is usually necessary to ensure a tankless heater operates properly.
If you have the money to invest in the initial purchase and installation, you’re building new and plan on staying a long time, you frequently run out of hot water and/or you need extra space in your basement, a tankless hot water heater may be right for you. Call your local plumbing company. They can calculate your maximum water usage and help you decide if a tankless water heater is right for your home.
Thinking of a tankless water heater? Looking for a great plumbing company? Call Calgary based Plumbing Paramedics. Our plumbing technicians are friendly, informative and accommodating. Plumbing Paramedics hires only those we would trust in our own homes! Our certified plumbers can handle any plumbing task or problem! call us at (403) 452-2911 or email us to book an appointment.
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