It’s one of the worst possible ways that your day can start: you’re getting ready for a long day at work only to hop in the shower and realize that there’s no hot water. By the time your water heater has had time to fill back up with water, turn the burner on, and heat the water, you’re already well on your way out the door. To make things worse, your tank’s water cools only to be reheated multiple times a day while nobody is home to use it. This is a primary cause of wasted energy and, in turn, high utility bills. Fortunately, these are issues that can be addressed with the use of a tankless water heater.
Of the many reasons that our customers contact us with interest in installing a tankless water heater in their home, the most common that we hear is the ability to enjoy hot water anytime and lower energy bills. At Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC, we take pride in installing tankless water heaters that meet and exceed customer expectations. That being said, many homeowners ask us whether or not tankless water heaters are really worth that initial investment. Today, Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC will be giving you all of the pros and cons of installing a tankless water heater in your home. Is it worth the money? Let’s find out.
What Are Tankless Water Heaters?
Before we address the pros and cons of installing a tankless water heater in your home, it is important that you have an understanding of what they are and how they work. Tankless water heaters, also referred to as instantaneous water heaters or demand-type heaters, are designed to provide hot water only as needed. But how do they work?
Tankless water heaters operate by directly heating water without the use of a storage tank. Whenever a hot water tap is turned on in your home, your tankless water heater works to meet demand by directing cold water through a pipe and into the unit itself. Next, the cold water is heated either by way of a gas burner or electric element. In this way, tankless water heaters provide a constant supply of water by demand.
In discussing how a tankless water heater operates, we come across our first con. Although tankless water heaters provide a constant supply of hot water, they are limited in terms of flow rate. Most water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute. As an important note, keep in mind that flow rates depend largely upon the type of tankless water heater you have installed. Specifically, gas-fired tankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than electric tankless water heaters. Regardless, it should be noted that sometimes even the largest gas-fired tankless water heaters don’t supply enough hot water for use simultaneously throughout a large household.
In order to combat this problem, many homeowners elect to install two or more tankless water heaters in their homes connected in parallel. This works to handle the simultaneous demand for hot water through multiple uses throughout the home. It is also possible to install separate tankless water heaters for prioritized appliances that are known for using a lot of hot water such as a washing machine.
What Are the Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater?
There are a slew of advantages associated with tankless water heater installation. In looking at each of these benefits, you will have a much easier time deciding whether or not a tankless water heater is right for you and your family.
One of the biggest benefits offered by tankless water heaters is found in energy efficiency. For homes that use an average of 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, a tankless water heater can seriously cut energy costs. Specifically, a tankless water heater can be 24 to 34 percent more efficient than standard storage-tank water heaters for these homes.
For larger households using 86 gallons of water or more per day, tankless water heaters can be 8 to 14 percent more energy efficient. The homeowners that are most benefitted by the installation of a tankless water heater, however, are those that elect to install one at each consecutive hot water outlet. This results in energy savings of 27 percent to 50 percent!
Avoid Heat Losses
The next biggest benefit found in installing a tankless water heater in your home is that they are equipped to avoid the standby heat losses commonly associated with standard storage water heaters. This means that you and your family can enjoy hot water on demand at any time. Gone are the days where you had to sit around and wait for your water heater to reheat the water before taking a shower!
Tankless water heaters are known for having a long life of operation, if properly maintained. In fact, tankless water heaters have, on average, a much longer life than standard storage water heaters (lasting between 10 and 15 years). Specifically, tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of 20 years or more with well-maintained systems operating for even longer. Tankless water heaters also have easily replaceable parts that extend life.
Is a Tankless Water Heater Right For Your Home?
Now that you know the awesome benefits associated with installing a tankless water heater, it’s time to determine whether or not it’s the right solution for your home. Before you can make the final decision, it is important to keep a few things in mind. There are a few disadvantages, aside from the lower flow rate, that you should consider. For one, tankless water heaters can be quite an investment. In total, tankless water heaters cost up to three times more than a standard storage tank heater, ranging from around $1,000 for an electric, whole-house heater to about $3,000 for a gas-powered one. Still, the benefits offered by tankless water heaters make them a worthy investment long-term for most homeowners.
It should also be noted that tankless water heaters are not supported by all homes. For homes with electric-only utilities, the installation of a tankless water heater may call for an upgrade of the home’s existing electrical system. Rewiring your home’s electrical system adds on to the costs of unit purchase and installation. Still, these costs may be well worth the investment depending on your family’s individual needs and preferences.
So how can you determine if a tankless water heater is the right choice for your home? Here are a few things to consider before making your final decision as recommended by Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC:
- Location: Your heater must be installed roughly 50 feet from a power source. Make sure you have the space required.
- Demand: Decide on your needs. Do you need to heat water in just one bathroom or throughout the entire house?
- Type: Consider the requirements of each potential heater model and measure the pros and cons.
- Installation: Select a reputable, highly-knowledgeable plumber for tankless water heater installation. This will save time and money.
- Life Expectancy: Consider the life expectancy of the model you choose.
Tankless Water Heater Installation by Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC!
Have you decided that a tankless water heater would make a great addition to your home? You’ll need the assistance of tankless water heater installation experts! Luckily, Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC has years of experience installing tankless water heaters and we are well-equipped to help. As the top tankless water heater plumbing providers in Charlotte, Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC is made up of a team of plumbers that are highly-trained and experienced. Contact us today to learn more!