Is It Worth Getting a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless Water Heater With a Blue Background

Hunting for Savings

Homeowners spend quite a lot of time considering their energy efficiency these days. While some focus on conservative habits to save money, others look to appliance upgrades as their primary means of cutting utility costs. One common question that keeps coming up in our conversations is “Which is better: a hot water heater or tankless?”

Today, we’re going to delve into the pros and cons of tankless water heater appliances, how they work, and which models rank best among homeowners. By the end, you should have a clear picture of their capabilities, and know if they could be right for you. Let’s get started!

How a Tankless Water Heater Works

Rather than drawing from a storage unit, tankless water heaters operate by passing water from the cold line into a gas burner or electric heating element. The hot water then passes to your chosen appliance. The process works instantaneously, which is why these devices are often referred to as on-demand water heaters.

Because of their smaller size, these tankless heaters can be used for outside hot water appliances, such as a hot tub. You may also use them to supplement appliances inside the house that require higher volumes of hot water. Homeowners love the smaller size, because they’re so much easier to store.

Key Benefits

Tankless Water Heater Benefits

Traditional tank models offer a high volume of water, but it also consumes energy constantly to keep that stored water hot. Even if you only use hot water three times a day, your gas burner or electric heating element is active 24/7 to maintain the ideal temperature. Tankless models only heat water as you need it, so it conserves a great deal of energy every day.

As you’ve likely been told by appliance manufacturers and your air conditioning service, savings for high efficiency devices play out over time. You’ll definitely pay higher upfront costs, but you’ll realize savings every year. Those benefits will also last longer, given the average tankless water heaters extended lifetime.

Last but not least, there’s no tank (hence the “tankless”). No tank means significantly smaller storage space requirements for the water heater. In fact, it can be mounted on a wall, inside or outside your home. It does need to be installed within a certain distance of your appliances, which a professional plumber can determine for you.

Longevity

How Long Should a Tankless Water Heater Last?

According to the US Department of Energy, “Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years.” That lifespan can be further extended with timely part replacement, which can be completed easily with the help of your local plumber. Considering the average tank model only lasts 15 years (sometimes less), that’s quite an advantage for your investment.

Home Value

Does a Tankless Water Heater Increase Home Value

According to research conducted by Zillow across millions of home listings, homes with tankless water heaters sold better than their counterparts with regular tank storage. On average, homes equipped with on demand models sold an average of 43 days sooner than originally predicted. They also sold for 4% more. Be sure to check out their research for a deeper understanding of their findings.

Downsides

What is the Downside of a Tankless Water Heater?

Of course, there are downsides to every product. When it comes to tankless water heater appliances, people generally point to upfront cost and capacity as the major drawbacks. Because of their longer lifespan and energy efficiency, on-demand models may cost thousands more than their tank storage counterparts.

Since they have no tank to draw from, tankless models provide a lower production rate (two to five gallons per minute). This makes it difficult to support multiple high-demand hot water activities at once without purchasing a second unit.

Finally, electric models of tankless experience smaller efficiency advantages than their natural gas counterparts. You can expect a minimum of 93 percent efficiency regardless of whether you choose an electric tankless water heater or water heater with storage. You’ll still earn savings with the switch, just not as much.

Finding the Ideal Model

Let’s briefly review the benefits of a tankless water heater.

  • Lower storage requirements
  • Significant energy savings
  • Longer average lifespan
  • Simplified maintenance and part replacement
  • Potential government rebates

These benefits are great, but we’re still left with a couple key questions. Which tankless water heater is best? Is a gas or electric tankless water heater more efficient?

If you’re searching for highly rated brands, some of the most notable include Rheem, Eco Smart, and Atmor. Talk with your plumber about finding a brand that fits your specific requirements. As far as the gas vs electric debate, electric models are almost always the most efficient.

However, homeowners switching from a tank gas water heater to a tankless experience a much larger improvement in energy costs. They have a much higher flow rate.

A Tankless Water Heater on a Blue Wall

Learn More About Tankless Heaters!

Want more details about Santa Clarita and Granada Hills, CA tankless water heater appliances? Our team at On Call Plumbing would love to answer all your questions and help you find your ideal heater type and model. We also provide professional water heater repair for whatever model your home relies on. Call us today at (661) 347-4478!