Should I Replace My Water Heater with a Tankless?
What to Consider with Tankless Water Heaters
Water heating systems are crucial utilities that you need to prioritize when building or renovating a house. This includes making sure you get the right water heater for your needs. In this case, most homeowners struggle to decide whether to use a tankless or tank-based water heater. For each option, there are pros and cons that dictate the best choice. For this reason, most homeowners have a hard time choosing between the two.
Some have argued that tankless water heaters are preferable to tank-based. But are they really? If you are planning on installing or changing your water heater, there are some factors you need to consider. This article explores these factors in a comparable fashion. Consider this a guided approach to choosing the right water heater for you.
Understanding Tankless and Storage Tank Water Heaters
These are the two most common water heater types in the U.S. Although they both serve a relatively similar purpose, they are different in some aspects. Tankless water heaters heat water on-demand, while storage-based, store preheated water in a reservoir.
Tankless water heaters have a flow sensing mechanism that heats water when the hot water faucet is turned on. This flow sensing technology adds to their price and efficiency. As such, they are more energy-efficient since their use arises on demand. On the other hand, tank-based water heaters maintain water temperature in the tank with the help of a thermostat. For most, temperatures of between 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit are recommended by experts.
Features of Tankless and Tank-Based Water Heaters
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating accounts for around 17% of energy consumption in homes. This percentage is highly dependent upon the type of water heater in use. By looking at the features of both tankless and storage-based water heaters, you can easily tell which consumes more energy than the other. Let’s start with tankless water heaters.
1. Features of the Tankless Water Heaters: Pros and Cons
As we saw earlier, tankless water heaters need not store hot water in a reservoir like their counterparts. That’s why they aren’t fitted with one. Across the board, the initial cost of installing a tankless water heater is high. However, they end up saving energy since they warm water on demand. Then again, this will depend on maintenance, energy source, and usage.
Another great feature of tankless water heaters is that they do not require a large space for installation. As such, they can be installed in the garage, attic, or even on the wall. For the most part, the pros of tankless water heaters out shadow the cons. However, Tankless water heaters might also require new plumbing systems installed, which means more expense.
2. Features Of the Tank-based Water Heaters: Pros and Cons
Provided that they are cheaper to install, most homes have these as their primary water heaters. However, they are not as efficient as tankless water heaters. One of their biggest downsides is that they consume much energy. Typically, a water heater that uses a tank will run for three to five hours per day. This is because they have to maintain a certain temperature of water in the storage tanks. This occurrence is referred to as standby energy losses.
Apart from the cons, there are some pros of tank-based water heaters. Firstly, tank-based water heaters are perfect for small homes, as well as in homes in cold areas. Primarily, this is because you will probably be relying on hot water most of the time. Another advantage of tank-style water heaters is that they are relatively cheap. In fact, a standard storage tank will cost three times less than a tankless water heater. Plus, tank-based water heaters’ maintenance and replacement costs are lower than that of tankless.
Comparison of the Pros and Cons of The Water Heater Types
If you compare the two water heaters side by side, you will see the reasons why someone would prefer one over the other. While tankless are expensive initially, over time, they will save you on energy bills. Conversely, tank-based water heaters are cheap at first, but they consume much power over time. Furthermore, the lifespan of a tankless water heater could go up to 20 years. That’s twice the lifespan of a tank-style water heater. The size of your house, which will dictate the demand for hot water, also comes into play here. We saw that a large house that requires more water would function better with a tankless water heater. However, this does not mean that a small household can’t function just as well with tankless water heaters. Ultimately, it all has to do with budget and needs.
Should You Switch To A Tankless Water Heater?
If you already have a tank-based water heater, ask yourself these questions. Why do I need to switch to tankless? Will I save money long-term by replacing? Answers to these questions will tie to your preferences, budget, and lifestyle, respectively.
If all this is too overwhelming, the best approach could be consulting with an experienced plumber. However, most plumbers will agree that, generally, tankless water heaters are much better than tank-based. This is because it will save you money in the future. Eventually, it all comes down to getting value for your money and satisfaction.
Kalka Plumbing Heating & Air, located in Irvine and servicing all Orange County residents and businesses, for plumbing, heating, and air conditioning needs.
At Kalka Plumbing, Heating, and Air, our goal is to offer the most reasonably priced plumbing and HVAC work in Orange County and the surrounding cities. Because we value our customers, we do everything we can to keep service costs down without skimping on quality. We also pride ourselves on serving our customers for almost 3 decades. Find us online