Nothing beats a steamy hot shower, but you need a quality water heater to enjoy that shower nirvana.
When choosing your next water heater, your two options are traditional storage tank water heaters or tankless water heaters. Traditional models are the least expensive upfront, but they can cost more to operate.
What are the advantages of a tankless water heater? They range from less energy consumption and decreased utility bills to an endless supply of hot water. Looking at the advantages helps you decide if the higher initial price point is worth the investment.
Consider these reasons to choose a tankless water heater for your home.
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Better Energy Efficiency
Tankless units work by heating water as it passes through the unit, making it instantly hot. That means the heating elements only need to operate when you need hot water so the unit uses less energy overall.
Traditional tank-style water heaters keep all of the water hot constantly so it’s ready when you need hot water. The burners need to run regularly to keep the water hot, which results in higher energy usage.
If your family uses 41 gallons or less each day of hot water, you can expect improved energy efficiency by 24 to 34% if you have a tankless system. For higher hot water usage of about 86 gallons per day, you can expect the unit to be about 8 to 14% more efficient than a traditional water heater.
That lower energy use is better for the environment. Less energy consumption also helps your monthly budget by slashing your utility bills. Compared to a traditional gas water heater, a tankless model can save you over $1,500 on gas bills over the course of its life.
Unlimited Hot Water
Have you ever been the last one to take a shower only to find out everyone else used the hot water? Tankless water heaters eliminate the cold shower issues you can have with traditional water heaters.
Since the tankless water heater heats the water as it passes through the unit, you can have hot water continuously. With a traditional unit, once the hot water in the tank is gone, you have to wait for more water to heat up. Depending on the size of the tank, that can take an hour or more, which is inconvenient when you need to shower, wash a load of laundry, or run the dishwasher.
One potential drawback is that tankless systems sometimes have inconsistent water temperature if you’re pulling hot water to more than one location at the same time. You might notice inconsistent heating if you’re running the dishwasher while you shower.
Faster Hot Water Availability
How long does it take for your storage water heater to deliver the hot water to your faucet? Waiting for the hot water to get to your faucets wastes time and water. It’s also uncomfortable when your shower starts out freezing cold and takes a few minutes to reach full temperature.
Tankless water heaters typically deliver the hot water much faster. That’s especially true when you have individual water heaters for different zones of the home. Because the water heater unit is right there, you get the hot water immediately.
Reduced Water Usage
Since you get hot water almost instantly, you don’t have to run the water as long to get it to the desired temperature. This can cut down on how much water you use, which saves on your water bill and makes your home more eco-friendly.
A standard showerhead pushes out 2.5 gallons every minute. Even waiting a minute or two for the hot water to reach your shower wastes water. When you multiply that by the number of showers your family takes in a month, it can be significant.
Longer Life Span
Tankless water heaters typically last longer than traditional models. You can expect to get 5 to 10 more years out of your tankless model. Tankless models can last 20 years or more while tank heaters usually only last 10 to 15 years.
A water heater that lasts longer saves you the hassle and cost of replacing the unit sooner. Holding onto the water heater longer means you aren’t contributing as much junk to landfills. When you do retire your tankless water heater, the significantly smaller size adds a smaller amount of waste to landfills than a storage water heater would.
Smaller Installation Space
Standard storage water heaters stand several feet tall with a wide tank to hold anywhere from 30 to 60 gallons of water. That takes up a significant amount of space in your basement or mechanical closet.
Tankless water heaters mount to the wall and have a much smaller overall size than standard water heaters. This is beneficial when you have a small space for your water heater. It gives you more flexibility where you install the unit while eliminating crowding issues.
The units can go on the wall in a closet while leaving the floor space open. This allows for more storage space on the floor or more room for accessing the mechanical components in that space.
The compact size also makes it possible to install individual tankless water heaters near each point of use. You can get an under-sink unit that supply water to just that sink or install the unit on the wall of the bathroom.
Both types of water heaters need regular maintenance for proper operation, but tankless heaters can typically go longer between check-ups. Storage water heaters usually need maintenance at least once per year, while tankless units can go for a few years.
Areas with hard water often increase the maintenance requirements for any type of water heater. Flushing the tankless system yearly prevents the hard water from causing a mineral buildup in the water heater system.
What Are the Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater?
When asking yourself, “What are the advantages of a tankless water heater?” consider all aspects of the decision. While you’ll pay more upfront for the tankless unit, you’ll also save on bills, energy consumption, water use, and space.
Keep reading more of our stories to find other ways to improve your life and home.