We are sure by now that you have heard a neighbors talking about the benefits of their new tankless hot water heater. Like so many new things, a neighbor is sure to spread the news. Tankless hot water heaters have revolutionized the way we use hot water. They produce more hot water, at a more consistent temperature, using less energy than typical tank-style water heaters. So are you wondering what the benefits and the drawbacks are? Should I make the switch?
Tankless Hot Water Heater Benefits:
Since tankless hot water heaters provide hot water only when it’s needed, they can save you up to 40%* on your energy bill. They feature Energy Factors of 0.82 up to 0.96, while tanks are typically 0.60.
Most tankless units come with a federal tax rebate of $300 which helps offset the cost and add to the savings.
They never run out of hot water. You can even use hot water for multiple tasks—such as showering, washing dishes or doing laundry—at the same time without worrying about running out.
They last five to 10 years longer than tank heaters. Tankless hot water heaters have a typical life expectancy of up to 20 years.
They’re more efficient with no standby heat loss. They heat the water as it’s being used, giving you continuous hot water at a consistent temperature.
Tankless hot water heaters are a fraction of the size of traditional tank water heaters and can be installed on virtually any wall, indoors or outdoors. Smaller units can even be installed under cabinets or in a closet, closer to the point of use.
They only need enough power to heat the amount of water necessary at any given moment. Many tankless gas hot water heaters have earned ENERGY STAR® approval by meeting the strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.
There’s no possibility of flooding due to a ruptured tank, protecting your home from possible flood damage.
Tankless Hot Water Heater Drawbacks:
They cost up to three times as much as a tank hot water heater, with a whole-house electric model costing $500-$700 and a whole-house gas model costing $1,000-$2,000.
Most electric models are intended to raise the temperature of water by 55 to 60 degrees. Thus, to instantly reach the 120° -130° usually recommended for hot water, the water will have to start out at 60 to 70°. This is not so much an issue here in Florida, but can be in northern states.
Venting gas and propane units require specific venting. You will need to use the approved venting specified by the manufacturer of the tankless hot water heater. You may also need to add a larger natural gas line to supply the unit with enough fuel.
Electric models may require an additional circuit. Most homeowners would need to upgrade their electrical service to supply the necessary amperage for a whole-house electric tankless hot water heater.
The flow-triggered heating mechanism might not kick on if only a trickle of hot water is required. They need a minimum flow rate of .5 GPM in order to activate the heat exchanger.
Finding the perfect solution for your home may take some thought. Also, installation should be performed by a licensed contractor who is trained to handle the plumbing, gas, electrical and venting aspects of a tankless water heater. Having a non-licensed professional perform the installation could affect the product warranty should there be operational or performance issues which are caused by improper installation.
Remember, Superior Plumbing is here to help you decide what hot water heating unit is right for you. We are fully licensed and insured to handle your new hot water heater installation. Call us today at (561) 241-2822.