Tankless Water Heaters are also called on-demand water heaters. These units heat water only when you turn on the faucet.  They usually operate on natural gas or propane.  The main advantage is that they eliminate the extra cost of keeping 40 to 50 gallons of water hot in a storage tank. Meaning, they save energy. According to Energy Star, some tankless units are so energy efficient, they have energy factors as high as 95.  Additionally, the units take up much less space. They are more expensive to purchase, but tax credits and energy savings eventually will repay the home or business owner with lower energy costs.  And there is no tank to leak when you are away on vacation – flooding the lowest level of your home.

How do Tankless Water Heaters Install?

A Tankless water heater mounts on a wall and is more compact than a standard water storage heater. Tankless water heaters take up little space in comparison to a typical hot water tank. You can mount tankless water heaters anywhere in the home. So, what are the advantages of tankless water heaters? These advantages include – energy savings, potential tax credits, and safety.  The first advantage is that you will not run out of hot water.

No Limit to Hot Water Volume

Do you or your spouse tend total along showers?  Do you like to fill your giant-sized jetted tub in your master bathroom?  Does your teenager live in the shower multiple times a day?  Do these things occur in your home? On-demand water heaters may be a natural fit.  Once the flow of hot water is started, it will last until you do.  No more cold showers! And you set the precise temp you want for the water temp.  So, if you want hot water to be 120 degrees – full on is always 120 degrees.

Energy Saving with Tankless

A tankless water heater uses 30 to 50 percent less energy than units with tanks. This saves a typical family about $100 or more per year, depending on water usage.  They also offer a continuous, reliable supply of hot water (they never run out).  When the unit is sized properly, it can effortlessly deliver a continuous supply of water at preset temperature levels. We’re talking as much as 5 to 7 gallons of hot water per minute. That’s ideal for filling a big hot tub or a whirlpool! They only need enough power to heat the amount of water necessary at any given moment, thus avoiding standby heat losses associated with storage water heaters.

Tax Credits for On-Demand after Heaters

A lot of tankless units come with a federal tax rebate of $300.  They typically last 5 to 10 years longer than storage tank heaters, some up to 20 years.  You can also install smaller tankless units closer to the point of use.

Safety of On-Demand Water Heaters

An on-demand water heater also scores high in safety.  There’s no possibility of flooding due to a ruptured tank.  And a lot of models are equipped with safety features to prevent scalding water from reaching your faucet.  They only operate when warm water is required, unlike the typical storage type units, and some of the more recent models include monitoring systems that provide details about water pressure and flow so that just in case of a system failure, the machine could turn off the heater.

Disadvantages of On-Demand Water Heaters

Although tankless water heaters can save energy, they typically have a higher installation cost.  An on-demand water heater will most likely cost twice as much as a conventional storage tank heater.  The smaller units typically only serve hot water to one area at a time, however, larger units can handle the demand of a whole family, but then are more expensive.  There is also a slight lag time at the start of the flow of hot water while the water supply is heated.

Because tankless units have high-powered burners, they also have special venting requirements (a dedicated, sealed vent system, which requires a professional installation).  This adds to the initial installation cost. And gas units can also require the additional expense of an annual servicing.  Also in some areas where there is harder water, a water softener may need to be installed for the on-demand water heater unit.

Which is Best – Tank or Tankless?

All in all, the advantages of a tankless water heater, as compared to a typical hot water tank do appear to outweigh its disadvantages.

Are you interested in tankless or on-demand water heaters? If so, be sure to hire an installer like Proudfoot Plumbing, Heating and Air that is familiar with these products and their installation.  Proudfoot has the necessary experience installing and servicing them.  Please give us a call at 1-888-461-2198.  We will be glad to help out and/or make recommendations for you on the installation and maintenance of your new tankless water heating system.

Image Credits – Adobe Stock

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  1. […] turn off the heater. For more information on tankless advantages and disadvantages, you can see a previous blog that we wrote last […]

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