Tankless water heaters are all the rage right now as they are being dubbed the most energy efficient option available to homeowners. Of course, everyone wants to give more hype to these appliances than may be reasonable and no one wants to discuss the downsides to going tankless. Sure, the idea of not having a giant tank take up valuable space or a seemingly endless supply of hot water may seem like reason enough to go with a tankless heater, but not so fast!
- *What no one wants you to know is that tankless water heaters can be extremely expensive. Not only is the appliance itself costly, but the costs of installation can easily spring your investment into the thousands. Should you prefer a gas model over an electric one, be prepared to open your wallet accordingly.
- *A tankless water heater does have limited output and won’t be able to supply enough hot water for your household if two people are showering, the washing machine is running, and you also need to rinse dishes all at the same time. Even though traditional water heaters run out of water eventually, you know exactly how much water is in your tank. On the other hand, there’s only a certain amount of water that an on-demand heating unit can heat.
- *Not all homes are able to accommodate the needs of a tankless water heater. For electric heaters, homes need to be completely rewired in order for the hookup to work. With a gas unit, you need your main gas line to be able to support the amount of BTUs that your water heater will put out. If you’re connected to an old gas line, this could be a major issue.
- *Certain research studies have been conducted on the actual energy efficiency of tankless water heaters. The conclusive evidence supports that if any energy savings are to be had, they will even out years after installation. Gas powered tanks will still burn fuel even when not in use and electric tankless heaters must work overtime to heat the water you need. The reality is that these heaters are still a work in progress at best.
- *You’ve probably been told that tankless water heaters take up minimal space, but did anyone tell you that location matters? Gas heaters need to be properly hooked up to a vent, and electric water heaters can only be a certain distance from the originating circuit breaker.
- *Though your water heater is reputed to last for 20 years, it doesn’t mean maintenance won’t be necessary. In fact, you have to have your unit cleaned professionally every year for lime deposits.
Small households and homeowners looking to spend extra money for an eco-friendly water heater, should automatically opt for something tankless. With that being said, if you have an older home and a large family, traditional water heaters, though bulky, are still your best bet for running your household effectively.