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Heating & Air News

Is It True that Tankless Water Heaters Are Better?

Posted by Howell's Heating & Air on February 24, 2017

Hot Water Distribution in HomeHave you considered a tankless water heater? Their benefits are numerous, yet many homeowners have other sorts of hot water heaters and haven’t given tankless systems much of a thought. It may be helpful to take a moment and see tankless hot water heaters with a new eye.

What is a tankless hot water heater?

A tankless hot water heater (demand-type or on-demand hot water heater) heats the water as you need it. It requires no reservoir or storage tank. This sort of system heats cold water with an electric element or a gas burner as the water passes through the water heater and immediately disperses it throughout your home.

There is no storage reservoir. This heater is different than the more common type of heater, which is the conventional, or traditional, storage-style water heater. The conventional type of heater uses an electric element or gas heater to warm the water and has a storage tank that stores heated water for use whenever you want it.

The benefits of tankless heaters for homes

Gas Powered Tankless Hot Water Heater.jpgTankless heaters have many benefits that make them economical, efficient and eco-friendly.

  • The energy consumption of a tankless hot water heater can be as much as 30% less than that of a conventional tank water heater. This translates into savings for your pocketbook.
  • Gas-heated tankless systems save an average of $108 per year in energy expenditures in comparison to conventional tank heaters, and electric-heated tankless systems save $44 per year over conventional tank systems.
  • Electric, tankless systems are 99% efficient; whereas, the electric-powered, conventional heaters are 93% efficient.
  • Tankless heaters that are powered by natural gas are approximately 23% more efficient than the traditional reservoir water heater, which is about 60% efficient. 
  • Most gas-powered tankless systems qualify for a $300 federal income tax rebate and possible state rebates and incentives.

How do tankless hot water heaters measure up to conventional water heaters?

Electric Hot Water Tank.jpgAll types of water heaters have their pros and cons, which leads to an important question: How does the tankless water heater compare to the traditional tank heater?

  • The tankless heater requires a larger initial investment than the conventional tank heater, thus the conventional system is initially more economical.
  • The traditional water heater also provides a ready-to-be-used large volume of hot water that is easily circulated through your home; however, this wastes a significant amount of energy. Tankless water heaters provide on-demand hot water for use in the home.
  • The temperature of the stored water in a tank system tends to run near 120 degrees Fahrenheit; whereas, the tankless is adjustable to suit your wishes.
  • Tankless hot water heaters consume less energy; however, because there is no tank and the system provides heated water on an at-need basis, there is a possibility of running out of hot water during peak usage times.
  • Tankless water heaters require ventilation, so they need plenty of space around them to allow air to circulate. Tank water heaters don't need as much space for ventilation.
  • Tankless water heaters require specific physical conditions: They must be within 50 feet of a power source, mounted on an interior or exterior wall and positioned near the most common usage point. Conventional systems don’t have these requirements. Although they do require more physical space than tankless systems, which can be tucked away in a corner, closet or basement.
  • One tankless unit may or may not provide enough water for your house, depending upon use, the size of the heater, and the area of your house. Thus, you may need more than one heater. However, conventional heaters can have the same problem.
  • Tankless heaters can last more than 20 years, which is roughly twice the lifespan of traditional water heaters, which need to be replaced about every 10 years.

How much does a tankless hot water heater cost?

Cost of Hot Water Heater Replacement.jpgInstallation of a no-tank water heater is where the trouble comes in. A tankless water system can cost up to three times more than your traditional reservoir water heater. Your costs can run a little under $1000 for a tankless unit that is an electric-powered, whole-house model and up to $3,000 for a gas-powered, whole-house model.

If your home isn’t wired for the demands of an on-demand hot water heater, you will need to upgrade the electrical system in order to support the demands of such a heater.

Conventional Hot Water Tanks Vs. Tankless

Deciding whether to go with a conventional water heater or a tankless system is an important decision. It helps to weigh the pros and cons from the outset and know what you're wanting in a water heater. Tankless water heating systems are eco-friendly and efficient and sure to provide service for years to come.

Contact Howell’s Heating & Air to get pricing for a Replacement Hot Water Heater or installation of a Tankless Hot Water System.

Get Pricing for Water Heaters

Topics: Water Heater, tankless water heater

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