Tankless water heaters can be a sensitive subject for plumbers and contractors. This is mainly because most home owners and people looking to buy a home are interested in energy efficient homes which are economical and green friendly.
Since water heating is on of the most expensive energy costs in homes (they account for as much as 30% of a home’s energy expenses) it makes perfect sense to consider energy saving alternatives. Keep in mind that in some cases, that percentage of energy expense that goes into water heating may soar up to 40 or even 50%. Because of this, energy conserving hot water solutions can deliver significant cost savings to the overall energy bill. But like other house appliances, on-demand water heaters have advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters
- Tankless water heating units operate only when there is a demand for hot water. This will reduce energy costs by as much as 35% a year. It is also extremely energy efficient. According to Energy Star, some tankless units have energy factors that are as high as 95.
- Then there is the reliability factor. If the unit is sized properly, it can effortlessly deliver a continuous supply of water at preset temperature levels. This could be as much as 5 to 7 gallons of hot water per minute. They simply never run out of water.
- Other advantages include longer life expectancy of as much as 20 years, compact size which takes less space than conventional takes and versatility, which means tankless water heaters can be fixed anywhere in the house.
- Another area in which an on demand water heater scores high is safety. Their safety is due to the fact that they only operate when warm water is required. This really is unlike the storage type units which are almost permanently on.
The latest tankless water heaters boast several innovative features which further boost their safety. For instance, the most recent models include monitoring systems that provide details about water pressure and flow. Just in case of system failure, the machine would instantly turn off the heater.
Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters
- The biggest disadvantage of tankless water heaters starts with the up front costs. Tankless water heaters will cost you twice as much as conventional storage tanks. A standard traditional tank-type water heater starts out at about $800. Standard tankless water heaters start out at about $1,600.
- There are also costs that come with installation. Necessary piping can be pricy. Keep in mind that tankless water heating units need good venting which can be costly. However with a good plumber you can save more on these costs.
- In areas where there is hard water, there has got to be a water softener installed so you won’t ruin the tankless water heater.
- Another flaw is how complicated some unites are. Unlike conventional storage tanks, retrofitting a home with a tankless unit which can be extremely difficult and costly. You will need a skilled plumber to do the job perfect.
On demand hot water heaters are usually split into either indoor or outside models. The outside models are simpler to set up given that they do not require specialized ventilation.
Since they’re uncovered in rain and possible freezing temps, they should be more tightly sealed and guarded than indoor models. The price with this weather proofing has a tendency to raise their cost slightly, but you can set them up right on an exterior wall.
As you can see, there are basically more advantages with tankless water heaters than there are disadvantages with tankless water heaters. Once the tankless unit is installed, you will need minor regular maintenance and tankless water heater flushing. Just remember to consult a skilled plumber from Best Plumbers® every 6 months for maintenance on your tankless water heater.