Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

A hot water heater is a big investment – not just in the appliance itself, but in your future utility bills. The second biggest electricity user in the home, water heating systems typically comprise 18% of your monthly electric costs, on average, according to the Department of Energy. These costs, and society’s turn toward greener home purchases, has homeowners nationwide contemplating a tankless hot water heater upgrade – but are they truly all they’re cracked up to be?

Is a tankless water heater right for me?

For those upgrading from tank-style water heating systems, it is essential to understand

Bradford Infinity Tankless Water Heater

Bradford Infinity Tankless Water Heater

tankless water heaters benefits and drawbacks, and most importantly, avoid the assumption that as a “hot water heater,” a tankless system will operate in exactly the same manner as the tank-style system it replaces. It will not.

Pros and cons of tankless systems:

  • Pros
    • Energy-saving.
      Because they don’t waste energy keeping 40 gallons or more of water constantly to temperature, gas or propane-powered tankless systems, such as those by Bradford, use 30-50% less than tank-style systems, saving $100 or more a year depending on usage. For systems powered by electricity, that savings drops to around $44 per year.
    • Space-saving.
      Tankless heaters mount on the wall, taking up very little space – and giving you additional opportunities for storage.
    • Consistent temperatures.
      Tankless heaters provide a continuous supply of hot water, without running out as tank-style systems are known for with heavy use.
    • Less waste.
      The compact design of tankless systems means less rusty tanks in the landfill.
    • Longer lifespan.
      Tankless systems last over 20 years – about twice that of tank-style systems.
    • Longer warranties.
      Tankless systems typically offer 15-year warranties – versus the 6-year average for tank-style models.
    • Tax incentives.
      Propane and gas-powered tankless models may qualify for a $300 federal rebate – and potential state incentives.
  • Cons
    • Higher initial cost.
      Smaller, more inexpensive units typically won’t provide enough hot water to serve a household. Larger units can – but are more expensive. Because of high-powered burners, they require special venting within a dedicated, sealed vent system – which means professional installation is a must.
    • Serve one hot water faucet at a time.
      Someone might get a cold shower if multiple faucets are running – unless you install additional point-of-use tankless systems.
    • May require a utility upgrade.
      For homes with electrical-only utilities, a system upgrade may be required to provide enough juice for your tank. This, plus necessary rewiring and the cost of a professional electrician, could add a hefty, 4-digit chunk to your installation bill.

Still unsure if a tankless water heater is right for you? Hot water heaters by H & H come in a wide variety of sizes and styles, delivering lower bills and performance that lasts. Contact us today for help finding the perfect match for your home and family’s needs.