Things you should know about the downside of a tankless water heater before you take the plunge.
There are pros and cons to everything, but do you know what the downsides of a tankless water heater are? As everyone makes changes to become more energy-efficient, tankless water heaters are more popular than ever. But are they all they’re cracked up to be? Before you make a decision, one way or the other, it’s important to have all of the information. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about tankless water heaters. That way you can make an informed choice about whether or not they’re right for your home.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless water heater is just what it sounds like. It’s a system that heats your water as you need it, instead of storing it in a tank like a traditional water heater. It works by heating the water as it flows through the pipes in your home to your taps. The only place heated water is stored is in the heat exchanger coil. They work with a series of flow sensors. When water moves past them, it triggers the heating element. The heater raises the temperature of the water by circulating it through a heat exchanger that heats the water. Because the water isn’t stored in a tank but is instead heated as needed, there is a continuous supply of hot water.
What Are the Pros and Cons?
So far, tankless systems sound pretty great. So, what are the drawbacks? To help you make a decision, we’ve broken down some of the pros and cons of going tankless.
Let’s start by looking at the downside of converting from a traditional tank heater:
A tankless system requires a different setup and careful installation.
Converting from a traditional tank to tankless requires a professional plumber to complete the installation correctly to ensure it functions optimally without leaks or heating issues.
There is a higher initial cost to a tankless water heater.
While most traditional water heaters with a single tank start at about $500 and go up, a tankless water heater starts at closer to $1,000 and goes up. They’re also more expensive to install because they are more complex and require components throughout your plumbing system instead of a single tank in a single location. They require more labor and take longer to install.
Tank water heaters come equipped with an anode rod.
The rod helps reduce the occurrence of rust and corrosion within the tank. Because there isn’t a place for a single anode rod in a tankless system, additional equipment might be necessary to prevent rust and corrosion. A water softener may be a worthwhile consideration depending on the water quality where you live.
It can take some time to recoup your investment.
While you will begin to see energy savings immediately when you switch to on-demand water heating, you won’t make up for the initial cost right away.
If saving money on your water bill and using less water overall is your goal, you could make changes to your water use and save nearly as much as converting to a tankless heater.
By reducing shower time, cutting out baths, installing low-flow toilets and showerheads, and buying more efficient appliances, including a dishwasher and washing machine, you could save as much money on water and energy as you would save using a tankless water heater.
There are some potential drawbacks to the tankless heater, but what about the positives? Here’s what you should know about the pros:
Tankless systems generally have a longer life expectancy than a tank system.
While a traditional water heater has a lifespan of approximately 8-12 years, an on-demand system can last for closer to 20 years. The longer life saves you money by helping avoid replacement every ten years or so.
Tankless water heaters are much smaller than their tank counterparts.
They mount on a wall with components placed along your pipes. Instead of a large container in the middle of your basement or taking up an entire closet, you’ll hardly notice the wall unit. The smaller size is especially beneficial in smaller homes or homes without basements.
You won’t run out of hot water like you can with a tank.
When a traditional water heater runs out of hot water, it takes time to heat more water to distribute to your taps. The instant hot water feature of the tankless variety means you won’t get stuck in a cold shower if your family members showered or bathed before you, or if you happen to run the dishwasher or washing machine right before shower time.
If something breaks, you won’t be stuck with the bill.
Because they have fewer parts that can wear out, these heaters generally have longer warranties, sometimes up to 20 years.
You’ll get increased energy efficiency. When you don’t have to keep heating and reheating a standby water supply, as you do with a traditional heater, you’re going to use less energy. Tankless heaters are significantly more efficient for this reason. They only heat the water you need, as you need it.
What’s the Right Choice?
You can’t go wrong with either a tankless water heater or a traditional tank system. You can purchase both with Energy Star ratings. Both will serve your family well if you schedule installation and regular service through a reliable plumbing professional. So, how do you know which one is the right one for your home? Call Morningside Plumbing for help. Our master plumbers can look at your home, your current system, your plumbing, and your budget. They can help you come up with the right water heater for your needs. Not only can we recommend the right system, but we can also install it for you.
Contact our expert plumbing team today at 404-984-2090. Talk to one of our knowledgeable staff members to explore the downside of a tankless water heater and also the benefits. We are here to help you make the right choice for your home plumbing needs and budget.