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
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:
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.
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.
- 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.