Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters for Cincinnati Homeowners
Water heaters are an essential part of any home, providing hot water for a hot shower, dishwashing, and laundry. Tankless water heaters offer a new alternative to conventional water heaters that use a storage tank.
If you’re in the market for a new water heater, you may be wondering if a tankless unit option is right for you. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to install a tankless water heater. The pros and cons must be weighed carefully before making a decision.
Thomas & Galbraith Heating, Cooling & Plumbing assists Cincinnati area homeowners in their search for a tankless gas water heater, electric tankless water heater, or traditional water heater. There are some important tankless water heater pros and cons to keep in mind as you weigh your options. Below, we discuss how much tankless water heaters cost, energy efficiency, hot water supply, lifespan, size, and more.
Your Tankless Water Heater Choices
There are two main types of tankless hot water heater: an electric model and gas units. The key difference between them is the fuel source. Electric models and electric tankless water heaters rely on electricity from electrical wiring to power an electric element or electric coils, which then heats up for heating water. Gas models, on the other hand, use natural gas or propane as fuel for a gas burner. This burner then heats up a heat exchanger to make water temperature rise. A tankless system with electric heating elements tends to use more energy than a natural gas tankless hot water system, but you can save money and save energy when using either type of tankless water heater compared to a conventional water heater.
Tankless Water Heater Pros
Tankless heaters are becoming increasingly popular due to the many advantages they offer over traditional storage tank heaters. Lets take a look at some of the positive reasons many homeowners are making the switch to a tankless water heater.
Instant Hot Water
Once tankless water heaters are connected to the home plumbing system, you can simply turn them on and start using them whenever you need hot water for your hot water tap, showers, baths or dishes! There’s no more waiting for the water to heat up, no waiting for a storage tank water heater to refill. Tankless systems also don’t have a chance to run out of heated water and stop working when there’s not enough hot water for everyone in your house.
Tankless water heaters heat water on demand so you receive instant hot water – one reason they’re also called demand type water heaters. Whether you choose an electric or gas tankless water heater, you’ll be sure to enjoy the benefits of on demand hot water.
There’s no need to wait around for a hot water tank on a storage water heater to refill when you use a tankless water heater. You can simply turn on the tap and start using hot water right away, no matter how much has been used recently. Traditional water heaters limit how much hot water is available at any given time to what is stored in the tank, meaning you could end up with a cold shower if the tank runs out. With a tankless heater option, there’s an endless supply of hot water, so you’ll never have to worry about running out.
Energy Efficient Water Heating
You’ll also save on energy costs because the unit only uses electricity, natural gas, or propane when it needs to heat the cold water coming into the unit. With traditional storage tank heaters, all of the heating elements in them are always active because water is constantly stored at a high temperature, which can lead to a lot more wasted energy than necessary due to standby losses!
This means that you have more control over how much energy your home uses and where that energy goes, all while using less energy for hot water usage in the home. A tankless water heater can help reduce your hot water energy costs by up to 34% compared to the use of traditional water heaters. The energy savings from this energy efficient water heater can make a noticeable reduction on your monthly bills, whether you choose electric tankless water heaters or gas units.
Size of Unit
Tankless water heaters are small, compact, and can be hung on a wall, making them a great choice for homes with limited space. If you’re tight on space, a tankless water heater is a great option. These compact units can be easily installed on a wall, taking up no floor space. And because they don’t need to store a large reserve of hot water, they are much smaller than traditional storage tank heaters.
One of the main benefits is that tankless water heaters have a much longer lifespan, typically lasting 20-30 years. In contrast, storage tank water heaters only last an average of 10-12 years before they need to be replaced.
This extended lifespan is due to the fact that tankless water heaters do not store any water internally. This eliminates the corrosion issues that can develop over time and cause the unit to degrade.
Safe Water Heating
With a tankless water heater, you don’t have to worry about damage from minerals that build up in your stored water. That means less risk of leaks and corrosion, which means a safer home for you and your family.
And if something does go wrong? It won’t flood your house with gallons and gallons of water. You don’t have to worry about a tank exploding, either. So no matter how much you love your tankless water heater, it’s safe to say that it’s the safer option!
Cons of a Tankless Water Heater
While tankless water heaters have a lot of good qualities, there are still some factors about them that a lot of homeowners find to be drawbacks. Next, we’ll discuss the cons that you might experience if you choose to install tankless water heaters versus traditional water heaters.
On the downside, tankless water heaters can have a higher upfront cost. Tankless water heater costs tend to be more expensive, typically costing between 25 and 50 percent more than their counterparts, tank style water heaters.
One of the main reasons that tankless units cost more upfront is because they generally require additional work for installation, so installation costs can be higher. This can include things like rerouting gas lines or upgrading electrical wiring. In some cases, a water softener may also be necessary to prevent mineral buildup from damaging the unit.
Multiple Outlets Issues
Tankless water heaters are a great way to have hot water on demand. However, if you have multiple outlets running at the same time, you may not have enough hot water flow to meet your needs. This results in lukewarm water, which is less than ideal.
If you’re considering a tankless water heater for your home, it’s important to make sure that the unit has a high enough flow rate to meet your peak hot water demands. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a lack of hot water when multiple outlets are in use simultaneously. Storage tanks on conventional tank style heaters can easily provide consistent water temperatures to multiple taps at once, when their tanks are adequately filled.
To ensure that your home’s hot water needs are adequately met, it’s important to work with a professional plumber to select the right tankless unit for your home. With proper installation and maintenance, a tankless water heater can provide years of trouble-free hot water.
If you’ve ever had the experience of turning on a hot water faucet and feeling hot water, only to be greeted by a blast of cold water followed quickly by hot water again, then you’ve been the victim of a cold water sandwich. This phenomenon occurs when tankless heaters struggle to maintain consistent temperatures with multiple outlets in use. While it’s not a major problem, it can be bothersome for some homeowners.
Power Outage Vulnerability
If the power goes out, your tankless water heater won’t work. That’s because all tankless water heaters, whether they run on gas or electricity, need power to operate. So if you’re looking for a way to heat water during a power outage, a tankless water heater isn’t your best option. However, installing a backup generator can ensure your tankless unit works even when utility power is out.
Find Your New Tankless Water Heater Today
If you need a new water heater for your Cincinnati home, we urge you to consider the comparison between tankless water heaters and storage tank heater models. There are positives and negatives on both sides, but overall homeowners seem to prefer the pluses that come along with a new tankless water heater.
Thomas & Galbraith can help you find the best tankless water heater for lasting, energy efficient water heating in your home. Call us today to learn more about tankless water heater options and get a quote for the installation costs.