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Ken's Plumbing | Blog

Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Sep 13, 2017 4:03:04 PM

pros cons tankless water heaterTired of the shower going cold before you finish, or trying to ration the hot water among multiple family members every morning? Perhaps you should consider a tankless water heater.

Rather than keeping a finite amount of heated water in storage, as a traditional water heater does, a tankless heater heats water on demand, by running cold water through a pipe heated with an electric or gas-powered unit.

To determine whether a tankless heater is for you, let’s look at some of the pros and cons for installing this appliance.

Tankless Water Heater Pros

Hot water on demand

If you enjoy long showers, or have many family members showering at the same time of day, a tankless water heater provides a continuous flow of hot water for as long as it’s needed, instead of providing only a finite amount. This is the chief benefit of a tankless system.

Smaller footprint

Because they lack the large holding tank, tankless heaters fit better into smaller spaces. If you’re building a new home and would like to save space, a tankless heater is ideal.

Energy savings

A traditional water heater heats water in the tank to a certain temperature and stores it there, whether you need it or not in the moment. It takes energy to maintain the water at that temperature throughout the day. A tankless heater only runs when you actually use it, saving up to 50% of the energy—which can translate to lower energy bills.

Longer lifespan

A tankless water heater, once installed, lasts about 20 years, while its traditional counterpart lasts for about 10.

Tankless Water Heater Cons

Higher initial cost

Tankless water heaters are more expensive to purchase and install than traditional heaters are. They do save you money on energy bills throughout the year, so that extra expense may be recouped—but the initial price tag is higher.

Larger families need larger units

While a tankless heater works on demand, a small unit is unlikely to keep up with a lot of demand all at once (e.g. it’s harder to heat up two showers at the same time). A larger heating unit will cost more, but it’s a must if you have a large family or other high hot water demands.

Initial delay of hot water

This one makes sense with the on-demand nature of the tank. When you turn the hot water for a traditional water heater, the water is already hot—it just needs to run through the pipe to reach you. With a tankless heater, the water must be brought to the proper temperature first, and then it runs through the pipes. It’s not a long delay, but it takes more than a few seconds for this to happen.

Need help with your water heater?

Whether you’re ready to make the jump to tankless, or you just need someone to service your current water heater, Ken’s Plumbing is available for you!  Give us a call at (864) 242-5511 or contact us online—we’re available 24/7 for you!

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Topics: Water Heaters