Many homeowners in Chesterfield, MO, who are looking for ways to improve their home’s efficiency consider upgrading to tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters provide on-demand hot water to your sink, shower, or appliance, saving you a lot on energy costs.
However, like any big purchase, you should weigh the pros and cons of a tankless water heater to see if they make sense for your specific home environment. The plumbing team at Chesterfield Service can answer your tankless water heater questions and help you find a good water heater to meet your needs.
How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?
A traditional water heater has a tank that fills with water. The water in the tank is heated and ready on demand when someone opens a hot water tap. This can be wasteful because this water in reserve is always heated whether it is being used or not. So say if you’re on vacation and no one is at home to use hot water, the tank is still heated while you’re away.
With a tankless water heater, you get hot water on demand. When you turn on a hot water tap, cold water travels through a pipe into the tankless water heater unit, which is heated by a gas burner or an electric heater to provide you with a continuous hot water supply. According to Energy.gov, tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute.
However, if you want to shower while running the washing machine, your hot water supply might be relatively low. Many people often have more than one tankless water heater to counter this. Often people will dedicate one to the kitchen and another unit to a bathroom.
Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater
If a tankless water heater sounds like the right investment to you, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of these appliances before making a purchase.
- Much more energy-efficient. Homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily can expect a 24%-34% energy savings from on-demand water heaters. Homes that use 86 gallons or more of water a day can expect energy savings of 8%-14%.
- Last longer. A tankless water heater has an average lifespan of 20 years, compared to storage tank water heaters that last 10-15 years.
- Space savings. Tankless water heaters are much smaller and can be mounted on the wall or under a sink, saving you lots of space in a utility room or laundry room.
- On-demand hot water. Tankless models provide a continuous hot water supply, making them ideal for filling up a large bathtub or whirlpool.
- Limited hot water supply. Most tankless units can only accommodate one faucet at a time. This might make it challenging to have hot water in both bathrooms when two people are showering simultaneously.
- Higher initial costs. Tankless models have a higher initial cost to add to a home. If you choose a natural gas system to heat the water, you will need special ventilation installed, which can add to the costs. But many find that the energy savings offset the initial cost of installation over time.
- It may require multiple units. Families with lots of kids who like to take long showers find it necessary to install multiple tankless water heaters in their homes to ensure they have an adequate amount of hot water.
- High electricity costs. Tankless water heaters that run on electricity need to use a lot of electricity to heat up water on demand. You may notice higher electricity bills once you have a tankless water heater installed.