Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth It

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tankless water heater in laundry room

Content was updated on May 29th, 2024

Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth It? A Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners

In the quest for energy efficiency and cost savings–as well as hot showers that last forever–many homeowners are turning to tankless water heaters as an alternative to traditional tank water heaters. But are tankless water heaters worth it? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of tankless water heaters.

From their initial costs to their energy-saving capabilities and longevity, tankless water heaters offer a range of benefits that appeal to homeowners looking to upgrade their water heating systems. In this blog, we’ll delve into the factors to consider when determining whether tankless water heaters are the right choice for your home.

What are Tankless Water Heaters?

Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, work by heating water directly as it flows through the unit, without the need for a storage tank. When hot water is needed, cold water enters the unit through a pipe and is heated by either a gas burner or an electric heating element. The heating process is activated by a sensor that detects the flow of water, triggering the heating mechanism to turn on.

As the water passes through the heating element, it is quickly heated to the desired temperature before being delivered to the faucet, shower, or appliance. Unlike traditional tank water heaters, which continuously heat and store 41 gallons of water in a tank, tankless units only heat water as needed, providing an endless supply of hot water on demand.

Tankless water heaters can be more energy-efficient than traditional tank heaters because they eliminate standby heat loss, which occurs when hot water sits unused in a tank and gradually cools down. By heating water only when needed, tankless units can reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills. Tankless water heaters typically have a longer lifespan than traditional tank heaters, further increasing their appeal to homeowners looking to invest in a reliable and efficient water heating system.

What Are Tankless Water Heater Costs?

Exploring the Initial Investment and Long-Term Savings

Tankless water heaters typically have higher upfront purchase and installation costs compared to traditional tank water heaters. On average, the cost of a tankless unit ranges from $500 to $2,500, while a storage-tank water heater may cost between $300 and $1,500. However, it’s essential to consider the long-term savings that come with a tankless water heater.

With a tankless unit, you’ll enjoy lower energy bills due to its energy-efficient operation, which can offset the initial investment over time. Tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan than traditional tank heaters, potentially saving you money on replacement and maintenance costs in the long run.

Installing a Tankless Water Heater

Understanding the Installation Process and Considerations

Installing a tankless water heater requires careful planning and consideration of several factors, including the unit’s size and fuel type, your home’s existing infrastructure, and local building codes and regulations.

Unlike traditional tank water heaters, which can be bulky and require a significant amount of space, tankless units are compact and can be installed in various locations, such as closets, attics, or even outdoors.

However, installing a tankless water heater may involve additional costs, such as upgrading your electrical or gas lines and installing venting systems. Work with Simpson Plumbing and we’ll make sure that your tankless water heater is installed correctly and safely. We’ll also get you the right size tankless water heater for you and your family.

Are Tankless Water Heaters Energy Efficient?

Examining Efficiency Ratings and Potential Energy Savings

One of the primary benefits of tankless water heaters is their energy efficiency. Unlike traditional tank water heaters, which continuously heat and store water, tankless units heat water on demand, resulting in less energy waste. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, tankless water heaters are typically 24 to 34 percent more efficient than traditional tank heaters.

Many tankless water heaters are ENERGY STAR certified, indicating that they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By upgrading to a tankless water heater, homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint and enjoy lower utility bills while still enjoying ample hot water for their daily needs.

How Long Do Tankless Water Heaters Last?

Exploring Longevity and Durability

One of the most appealing aspects of tankless water heaters is their longevity. On average, tankless units have a lifespan of 20 years or more, compared to the 10 to 15-year lifespan of traditional tank water heaters. This extended lifespan not only provides homeowners with peace of mind but also results in long-term cost savings.

While tankless water heaters may have a higher upfront cost, their durability and reliability make them a worthwhile investment for homeowners looking to minimize maintenance and replacement expenses over time. They use less energy, they don’t need to be replaced as often, and are made with fewer materials.

Homeowners Considering Tankless Water Heaters to Heat Water in Their Homes

Addressing Common Concerns and Providing Solutions

For homeowners considering a switch to tankless water heaters, it’s natural to have questions. Some common concerns include the perceived high cost of tankless units and doubts about their ability to provide sufficient hot water for household needs.

However, with careful consideration of the initial investment, long-term savings, energy efficiency, and durability of tankless water heaters, many homeowners find that the benefits outweigh the costs. Not to mention running the washing machine while you shower and never running out of hot water!

The most important thing, of course, is to make sure they are properly installed. Even the most efficient, reliable, and durable products can be made useless without correct installation. Simpson Plumbing crews have decades of combined experience installing tankless water heaters and we offer annual inspections to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Tankless Hot Water FAQs

Q: Are gas or electric tankless water heaters too expensive?

A: While tankless water heaters may have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional tank heaters, they can provide long-term savings through reduced energy bills and longer lifespans.

Q: Do tankless water heaters heat as well as traditional tank heaters?

A: Yes, tankless water heaters provide on-demand hot water and can heat water just as effectively as traditional tank heaters, if not more so, depending on the unit’s size and specifications.

Q: How much money can I save by switching to a tankless water heater?

A: The amount of money saved depends on factors such as energy usage, utility rates, and the efficiency of the tankless unit. On average, homeowners can expect to save 24 to 34 percent on energy bills compared to traditional tank heaters.

Q: Can I install a tankless water heater myself, or do I need professional installation?

A: It’s recommended to hire a qualified plumber or contractor for the installation of a tankless water heater to ensure that it’s installed correctly and safely, and to comply with local building codes and regulations.

Q: Are there any rebates or incentives available for installing a tankless water heater?

A: Many utility companies and government agencies offer rebates or incentives for upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, including tankless water heaters. Check with your local utility provider or government website for available programs in your area.

Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth It? It’s Up To You

Tankless water heaters were designed to give you on-demand hot water for as long as you need it. If you like taking long, hot showers, saving money on your monthly power bills, or even freeing up a little space in the utility closet, these units check all the boxes.

But they do cost more than traditional water heaters, and you may need to install new electrical or gas lines to accommodate a tankless heater. If you live in a smaller home and hot water isn’t an issue, a tankless water heater may be an unnecessary cost.

Reach out to Simpson Plumbing to see if a tankless water heater is right for you. We’ll take a look at the size of your home, talk about your usage, and any issues you may be having with your current setup. We’ll give you all the information you need to make the right decision for you.

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