The Pros & Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters can be an excellent option to provide ample hot water for your household while creating a more energy-efficient home. Here are the pros and cons of a tankless water heater to help you decide it is the right solution for you.

Pros of a Tankless Water Heater

Instant hot water: Once the cold water sitting in your pipes is flushed out when you turn on the hot water tap, you instantly get a stream of hot water.

Longer lifespan: Generally tankless units can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance where a standard, high-quality water heater lasts about 10.

Reduced monthly costs: Tankless water heaters are more expensive at the time of installation, but they save money in the long term as they are far more energy-efficient. This translates into continued savings over time, so you more than make up your slightly higher upfront investment costs over time.

Less space: Tankless units are smaller, so they take up less space than your standard bulky storage models. This frees up space in your home for storage, an especially attractive pro for small homes.

Potential tax breaks: In some areas, you can find tax credits because the tankless water heater is so energy efficient. The federal government also offers a 10% tax credit when you buy and install a tankless unit.

No “Standby Loss”: Standby loss is the loss of energy used to keep the water heated in a storage unit. You eliminate this cost because the water is heated as it is used.

A steady stream of hot water: As long as people use hot water consecutively instead of all at the same time you can enjoy a steady stream of hot water as you aren’t depending on a reserve of hot water that will eventually run out.

Choose between electric or gas models: You can choose between electric or natural gas-powered models depending on your local infrastructure. This allows you to save money as you don’t require costly gas line rerouting.

Longer warranties: Because tankless units have a longer life expectancy, they also have longer warranties that often last as long as the water heater.

Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

Temperature inconsistency: It is possible to experience temperature inconsistencies with tankless water heaters when the multiple outlets are on at the same time. Just be sure people take turns and you time things right.  

Water supply: Tankless units don’t have a limitless supply of hot water although they do provide a steady stream. As with above, you can experience low supply when more than one person is trying to use hot water at once.

Upfront investment: As mentioned in the pros, you will pay a higher initial cost at the time you install your tankless water heater. This is a consideration if you feel coming up with $1,000 in hand with labor costs can pose a problem. You will make the money back over time, but if cash flow (or available credit) is a problem, this unit might not be an option.

Additional equipment: In some cases, you might find you need a water softener to optimize your tankless water heater’s performance. This can add to the above-mentioned costs and even eat into the space savings we mentioned as a pro. Together the two appliances could take up more than a traditional water heater, so if cost and space savings are your motivation for a tankless unit, then a standard storage unit might be best.

Additional labor: Due to their non-traditional set up you might find your installation requires your gas line to be rerouted. This is one of the reasons you pay more upfront for a tankless unit. New vents might also be required. Remember you can choose an electric model to avoid the additional labor costs.

Possible ROI issues: While you will see the money invested in your tankless unit be paid back, sometimes your ROI is not as good as you hoped. Although ultimately you will come out ahead, it could take as long as six to 12 years to see those month over month savings add up enough to cover those additional upfront costs.

If you have a smaller space, smaller household or want to enjoy a steady stream of hot water, a tankless water heater could be the ideal solution for you. Speak to your Indianapolis water heater experts at Pristine Plumbing today for more information on the benefits of a tankless water heater.

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