Pros & Cons of Switching to a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are the newest innovation in home plumbing appliances and they have been increasing in popularity in the last couple years due to their reputation for being more energy efficient than standard storage water heaters. However, depending on your hot water usage, a tankless water heater may not be the best solution for your home. Here are a few pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to stick with your storage water heater or go tankless.

Tankless Water Heater Pros

  • Traditional water heaters warm gallons of water at once. A tankless water heater produces hot water only as you need it, heating water as it flows through pipes insulated by either a gas burner or electric coils. This design makes tankless water heaters more efficient, resulting in energy savings.
  • An 80-gallon storage water heater can run a shower, the dishwasher, and a load of laundry at once, but when you run out of hot water you have to wait an hour for the heater to replenish its supply of hot water. Tankless heaters have no delay.
  • Tankless heaters are much smaller and will take up less space in your basement. Because of their size, you can install multiple heaters throughout your house along any stretch of piping, further increasing energy savings by decreasing the distance water has to travel.
  • While storage heaters have an average lifespan of 10-13 years, tankless heaters will last up to 20.

Tankless Water Heater Cons

  • Tankless water heaters are significantly more expensive to install. It may be a number of years before your savings on energy bills offset the upfront cost difference.
  • While storage heaters can supply multiple uses at the same time, a tankless water heater has to prioritize water flow more rigorously and can typically only handle two uses at once.
  • Many tankless users report experiencing the “cold-water sandwich” effect, which is when hot water flow is suddenly interspersed with a burst of cold water. This is caused by cold water lingering in the pipes if hot water is turned off and back on.
  • Tankless heaters have more complex design and specialty parts, making them more expensive to repair should they break down.
  • Because tankless water heaters have no storage and run on electricity, you will have no backup hot water in the event of a power outage.

If you’re not sure whether a tankless water heater would be a good fit for your home, call a Bonfe professional to inspect your plumbing and electrical systems. A Bonfe plumbing professional can provide an assessment of the projected costs and savings of installing a tankless water heater in your home.

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