Unless your shower turns cold halfway through your shampoo, you probably rarely think about your home’s hot water supply. But if it’s time to replace your hot water heater, then it’s time to consider the benefits of a tankless water heater (also called “on-demand” water heaters) over the traditional large-tank design.
Energy Conservation: The #1 benefit of a tankless water heater is a reduced utility bill — up to 35% annual savings on your electricity, propane or natural gas bill. That’s because unlike traditional water heaters, which constantly draw energy to keep the large tank of water warm and ready, on-demand units do just that; they heat up water only when there is a demand – in other words, only when you run your hot water tap, shower or hot-water appliance.
Less Space: A traditional tank unit is quite large – typically around 5’ high and 2’ wide. That means it takes up a lot of room in your home or garage. By contrast, tankless water heaters are very compact and generally mount right on the wall. Depending on your requirements, an on-demand heater might be as small as 2’ wide, 2’ tall and a mere 9” deep.
This means you can position the unit closer to where it’s needed, cutting down on the distance hot water has to travel through your home’s plumbing, and thus cutting down on your wait for the water to heat up.
Endless Hot Water: With an on-demand water heater, there’s no need to dread a cold shower when the hot water runs out. Tankless water heaters continue to heat the water supply for as long as you are using it, so you’ll enjoy warm water until you’re done.
Long Life: With no tank of stored water, on-demand units aren’t subject to the inevitable leaks or rusted-out bottoms that plague traditional hot water heaters. Because of this, you can expect your tankless heater to last up to 20 years – double the life expectancy of a traditional unit.
With such strong pluses, you might wonder if there are any downsides to choosing a tankless water heater. Yes, admittedly there are. A few of the cons include:
* Tankless water heaters are more expensive than traditional units at initial purchase
* Depending on the unit, installation can be complex
* If the tankless heater isn’t large enough, it might not be able to supply hot water simultaneously to different areas of the home – for example, running the dishwasher while you’re washing up at the bathroom sink.
Choosing the right water heater for your home doesn’t have to be a struggle.