We’ve all experienced that moment when we’re enjoying a nice, hot shower only to get attacked suddenly by icy water. It’s always frustrating when our hot water tanks run out of water. On average, hot water tanks take a full hour to reheat. That means if you’re in a rush and your daughter used the last of the hot water before running off to school, you’re out of luck. You’re going to have to endure an ice bath before rushing off to work. If you’re tired of running out of hot water and dealing with your inefficient heater, we have good news. You can try a tankless water heater.
What is a Tankless Water Heater?
Regular hot water tanks store up to 80 gallons of water. When the hot water runs out, you’re stuck with frigid rain pelting down on you. You have to wait at least an hour for your water tank to reheat. That isn’t the case with tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters use electric coils or gas to warm water as it runs over. That means you don’t have to wait for the water to reheat. This option is growing steadily more popular in the United States. But is a tankless water heater right for you? Let’s find out.
Are you someone who likes good news first? If so, you’re in luck. We’re starting with the pros:
Tankless heaters are approximately 22% more efficient than hot water tanks. That’s because hot water heats are constantly running, whether you’re currently using them or not. On the other hand, tankless water heaters work as needed. They only turn on when you set your washing machine, dishwasher, or shower to hot.
The average hot water heater only lasts 10 years. A tankless water heater lasts twice that long. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of replacing your tank every decade, this could be a good choice for you.
Lower Utility Bills
A tankless water heater is about 22% more efficient than a traditional hot water tank. More energy efficiency means savings on utility bills month to month. Who doesn’t love savings?
You’ve probably seen a traditional hot water heater. They’re huge! They’re tall and wide so they can store all the preheated water for your showers, laundry loads, etc. If you have a small laundry room or utility closet, it can feel like the tank makes up for half the space. That’s not the case with tankless water heaters. Tankless options are very small, so if you want more room in your home, this might be a route you want to go.
Eligible For Tax Break
Sometimes, being green pays off—literally. The federal government often offers tax breaks if you make an effort to become more environmentally friendly. You can get a 10% federal tax break when you purchase a tankless water heater.
Almost Unlimited Hot Water
There are limits to everything. However, some things have more limitations than others. A hot water tank can only keep up with so much demand. And once it’s out of hot water, it’s hot. But with a tankless heater, each member of your household could take a hot shower without running out of water, as long as showers are taken consecutively. As long as you’re not running too many things at once, you’ll have plenty of hot water for everyone.
Okay, we’ve covered all the pros of tankless water heaters. Now, we can discuss the cons. Thankfully, the positives do seem to outweigh the positives, but that decision is ultimately up to you!
Cost More Initially
Tankless water heaters come with a lot of benefits. That being said, they’re very expensive. While they will eventually end up saving money in the end, the cost of the heater plus the installation adds up. High-end heaters cost up to $3,331. Labor costs are between $100 and $450. Tankless water heaters also sometimes require more complicated installations because you might need to rewire your electric system to accommodate it.
Pales in Comparison to Other Options
Tankless water heaters are great, but there are a lot of other options out there. You could try conserving water by harvesting rain, composting instead of running your garbage disposal, taking short showers, and more. You could also use solar water heating or purchase a more efficient tank.
It’s important to consider how much responsibility a purchase requires. If you’re someone who doesn’t like going through extra care requirements, a tankless water heater might not be the right choice for you. You’ll need to go through a maintenance checklist once a year, such as running a water softener and flushing the system.
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