Home improvements and repairs can become absolute nightmares if you don’t go into a project with the right information and knowledge. While some home improvement projects, such as installing a water heater, may seem like a daunting task, there’s no need to stress over the repairs you need to make to your home. In fact, the more you know before embarking on any home improvement project, the easier it will be to achieve your desired results.
If you need to replace your old water heater and are considering making the jump to a tankless unit, there are things you need to know before deciding which model to purchase. In a standard tank water heater, you have a large tank that holds and heats your water, either through a copper coil or by burning natural gas. These models will continually heat your water in order to provide you with the hot water you need at the faucet. In this set up, the energy that’s used to keep your water hot, even if you aren’t using it, is called standby heat loss. Tankless water heaters reduce this standby loss by heating your water “on demand,” making the tankless system more energy efficient than standard tank heaters.
Now, there are two types of tankless heaters – whole-house and point-of-use – which, as you might expect, are fairly self-explanatory. Whole-house tankless systems are larger than most point-of-use heaters, and are usually powered by propane or natural gas. These systems are typically the more expensive option, as they can operate more than one faucet at a time. Point-of-use heaters, on the other hand, are significantly smaller, as they only provide hot water to one or two faucets in your home. However, these heaters are designed to fit beneath a sink, making their installation much easier.
Now, before you decide whether or not to go with a tankless water heater, here are some of the benefits to keep in mind:
- Tankless water heaters never run out of water. As they have come to be known as “on demand” heaters, you aren’t limited to the amount of hot water in a tank. When you turn your faucet handle, your heater powers on automatically.
- Many of today’s tankless systems are built to last up to 10 years longer than a tank water heater system.
- If you’re tight on space, tankless heaters can be installed on interior walls, under cabinets, in closets, or outdoors, provided you use it with an anti-freezing kit.
- Tankless water heaters can save you up to 20% from your current water heating bill.
- Electric systems don’t produce any greenhouse gases, and gas models are more eco-friendly than their tank counterparts, as they significantly reduce gas emissions by only powering on when you need it.
- You’ll never have to worry about flooding like you would with a tank rupturing.
With all of this in mind, there are some negatives when it comes to these tankless systems. Some of these include:
- Tankless systems are significantly more expensive than tank heaters, costing up to three times that of a heater tank.
- If your home isn’t equipped with a large enough gas line to supply your heater, you may need to install a larger line.
- In order to properly vent propane and natural gas, you will need to purchase expensive steel tubing in order to ensure your family’s safety. Electric units, on the other hand, may require the installation of an additional circuit to meet the heater’s needs.
- If you go with a gas tankless system, you will need to have it serviced at least once every 12 months, and as these units produce greenhouse gases, they are not perfect in environmental efficiency.
If you’re in the market for a new water heater and care about your impact on the environment, the tankless water heater is definitely an option worth pursuing. While the initial cost will be greater than a tank water heater system, you will save money in the long run on your utility costs to heat your water that will make up for the additional up-front costs. All you have to decide is whether an electric or a gas model is best for your home.