There is nothing enjoyable about taking a shower and ending up under a cold stream of water because all the hot has been used up. Especially in the winter. If you are heading to work or out for a meal you won’t have time to sit around waiting for the tank to refill and reheat the water. This is where tankless water heaters have an advantage.
What are tankless water heaters?
Unlike traditional water tanks, tankless water heaters don’t need to have constant hot water. They only produce hot water when it is actually needed. Traditional water tanks hold maybe 60 gallons of water which is then heated by energy you pay for. You do this so you can have hot water whenever you or your family may need it. But is this the most economical and practical way to have hot water?
Tankless water heaters provide hot water when it is needed. But, unlike regular water tanks they don’t have to be filled or preheated. Unlike water tanks they can’t run out of hot water either. Shower Insider has reviews of water tanks to give more information.
What are the benefits to having one?
There are many benefits for having a tankless system installed, one being that you can’t have a 50 gallon tank spring a leak and flood your home for one. Here are some more advantages.
No need to fight for who goes first
If you have a family living with you then unless you have a multitude of bathrooms you are surely used to everyone trying to get to the shower before the water runs out. As already mentioned there is no storage unit of hot water, the system produces hot water on demand so everyone is happy.
Hot water everywhere
Ever been in the shower when suddenly it runs cold because someone else is using the hot water to wash dishes or run a washing machine? Tankless systems are able to produce hot water in high volumes so even if you had two bathroom showers going and water running downstairs for cleaning it won’t run out.
Traditional water tanks often go wrong between 8-12 years. When they do go wrong they are costly and can leave a big mess if they leak. They tend to come with a guarantee for around 6-10 years whereas a tankless water system comes with up to 20 years. This adds peace of mind knowing you will be looked after for up to 2 decades.
No more waiting around
When you turn on the taps for hot water there is usually a period between cold water arriving and then turning hot. All that cold water goes straight down the drain usually and is wasted. With a tankless system there is no waiting, the water comes out hot straight away. There is also no tank to refill.
Not only do they waste less water they are also likely to reduce your bills as they use less energy. They don’t need to be heated and reheated so they are far more energy efficient. Something you will see reflected in your utility bills.
Are there any disadvantages?
Of course nothing in life is perfect so there are some negatives. The two main ones are the cost and the water output.
If you switch to a tankless system then it will cost some money. You will need to have the tank installed and thus hire an electrician or plumber to do so. You may need new gas lines, ventilation and other costs. However, you need to look at the bigger picture and look at the lifespan of the system and the yearlys savings on utility bills.
The other disadvantage is that although tankless systems are designed to cope with high water output they might struggle to replicate a big 60 gallon water tank. This leads some people to pay out for more than one tankless system.
As you have seen there are energy savings in a tankless water heater and the benefit of having hot water on demand especially in winter and with a family is great. Obviously you will have to consider the installation cost against the other benefits and savings. To put the savings into figures tankless systems save around 25% to 50% of energy costs.
They also take up less space. A lot less space, around 1/5th of a normal water tank. They can also be safely placed pretty much anywhere. There is one other thing to consider, as your traditional water tank gets older, corrosion can build up. This doesn’t just lead to a potential leak but also leaves the water contaminated. Tankless heaters provide purer water than old water tanks.