If you’re trying to be energy and resource conscious when it comes to your home, you may be considering a tankless water heater, an alternative to the big water heater that was likely in the corner of the basement of your home. While perhaps more typically found in apartments in Europe, tankless water heaters may be a wise choice for you and your family to save money on heating and water. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons to having a tankless water heater.

Things to Know Before Installing a Tankless Water Heater

The Benefits

1. Energy Efficient

Instead of using fuel or electricity to keep a large tank of water heated at a constant temperature around the clock, like a conventional water heater, you’ll only heat water as you need it, on demand. You can calculate your potential energy savings here.

2. Save Money

You may be eligible for a federal tax rebate; and save roughly $80 per year in energy costs.

3. Save Space

Usually these types of heaters are wall mounted, and take up about 2.5 square feet or less; the typical water heater is about five feet tall and two feet wide.

4. Lifespan

Tankless water heaters are estimated to last up to 20 years, compared with 10-13 years for a conventional water heater. Rest easy: you won’t have to worry about floods or leaks with a tankless water heater.

The Drawbacks

1. Energy Considerations

Electric models require more energy currently than natural gas powered models, and while electricity is currently more expensive to use, this may change in the future.

2. Costs

Tankless water heaters can cost up to three times the price of a conventional tank water heater and it may take more than the life of the heater to recoup in savings the cost of the original unit. Venting for a natural gas-powered tankless heater is expensive. An electric tankless water heater may require an additional circuit; meaning an electrician’s bill to pay.

3. Waste

There may be lag time between when you turn on the faucet and when you get hot water, and there will be some cold water in the pipes, so that may mean water and money down the drain.

4. High maintenance

If you live in an area with hard water, yearly maintenance is recommended: Calcium build up may interfere with functionality, and using a water softener is recommended.


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