Tankless water heaters can indeed prove to be the better choice over tank heaters. If you are already browsing through online tankless water heater reviews, then you have probably already come to the same conclusion as well. However, given that we are talking about a hefty investment that should last anything between 10-20 years, do go through the following pointers to find out for sure if going tankless is the right option for your home.
Tankless Options are Eco-Friendly and Cost-Efficient
In their Tankless Water Heater Buyer’s Guide, Carbon Switch introduces a cheap operative cost as the first advantage of tankless water heaters. Go through the linked guide if you are looking for more comprehensive information before finalizing your buying decision.
According to them, the average home can meet all its hot water needs with a tankless water heater, while paying less than $100 in operative energy expenses! This would naturally shave off several hundred dollars from the household’s annual energy expenses, in case they were using a tank water heater previously. Aside from financial benefits, using a tankless water heater naturally reduces the residence’s overall energy consumption and emission rates significantly, taking it a step forward towards becoming a green home.
Tankless Water Heaters Require Less Space
If you live in a small apartment or a house with confined spaces, then tankless water heaters might just be the best possible option for you by default. Most apartments do not have the space to accommodate a tank water heater, and the rare ones that do will need to sacrifice a large portion of their already limited space to the installation.
Besides, even if you do manage to get one squeezed inside a tight space, maintaining it over the years will prove to be a nightmare. Tank heaters in confined spaces usually do not last long either, because the limited access prevents technicians from checking and servicing the machine as thoroughly as needed. On the other hand, you can simply hang a tankless system on the wall and be done with it!
Tankless Water Heaters Provide Instant Hot Water
If nothing else up to this point has appealed to you yet, then this benefit will. Unlike tank heaters, you will not need to wait for the water to heat up during those freezing cold morning showers. Tankless water heaters are also called instant water heaters because they heat up water almost instantly, which is a huge relief when compared to the slow heating system accompanying tank water heaters. Therefore, if you are the kind of person who needs to wake up early, finish their chores, and get ready for work before leaving, you will come to highly appreciate the speed at which tankless water heaters work.
Tankless Water Heaters Last for a Much Longer Period of Time
Unknown to most of us who are used to tank heaters, tankless heaters last a lot longer than traditional tank water heaters. While tank heaters are expected to last anything between 8-10 years, tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of no less than 18-20 years.
Depending on how well water heaters of any kind are maintained over the years, their life-expectancy will vary, but under similar circumstances, tankless options generally last twice as long as their tanked counterparts. The main reason behind their long life is that the tankless heaters do not have a constantly degrading storage tank to shorten their useability.
Are You Looking for the Safer Option?
If you are worried about the potential dangers that are common with water heaters (especially as they age), then you are right to be worried. Exploding tanks might be a thing of the past, but there are indeed a few dangerous possibilities that accompany them, such as:
- Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
- Flammable vapors
- Scalding risks
- Bacterial and fungal (mold) growths on account of leaking water
There is a clear winner here and it’s the tankless water heater. Even if you go through several tankless water heater reviews from real users on forums and websites, you won’t find too many legitimate complains about scalding risks, bacterial buildups, or mold growth. A select few older models did have an issue with leaking vapors and CO unfortunately, but new tankless water heaters since then have been redesigned to decrease any chances of such accidents ever happening.
Even if we were to count that risk of gas leaks from the old days, it does not put the tank water heaters ahead of tankless water heaters in terms of safety. As long as they are gas powered, the risks in that department are equal, whether the water heater has a storage tank or not. The installation in both instances must be on point though, because the exhaust and air supply vents will need to be sealed properly for maximum safety.
Lacking a storage tank, tankless water heaters do not leak, which is generally the reason why puddles of dirty water accumulate below the heating appliance. Without the water puddles, mold and bacterial growths are also not issues that you will need to deal with after installing a tankless water heater.
Other than the leaks, the storage tank itself will become a cesspool of bacteria and mold if it isn’t cleaned professionally and regularly. Once again, tankless water heaters are safer in that regard as well, for obvious reasons. Finally, scalding risks are absent with no tank of heated water to fall over during an earthquake, or due to corroded tank legs. As far as safety is concerned, tankless water heaters are by far the safest option in between the two.
There are a Few Considerations to Note
By now, it should be clear that tankless water heaters do enjoy several advantages over traditional water heaters with a storage tank. However, there are certain aspects of the tankless options that should also be considered before making a purchase decision.
Installation and Remodeling Expenses – Since most houses and older apartments were built with no conception of a tankless water heater back then, the installation costs are usually a lot higher for tankless water heaters. The combination of remodeling and labor expenses should be taken into account before finalizing the decision to shift to a tankless heater.
Price – Are tankless water heaters more energy efficient? Most certainly, but they do cost quite a bit more than traditional tank water heaters, especially if you are going to buy one with a high GPM capacity. Nevertheless, given how long they last and how much less electricity the tankless heaters consume, it should more than makeup for the extra cost in a few years’ time. The bottom line is that tankless water heaters are indeed the better option in almost every way, but until they become the standard for every home, the initial cost is something to consider for sure. As long as you are okay with investing a bit more money into making your home environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, futureproof, and a lot safer, a tankless water heater is a right option for you. If you are looking for the most budget-friendly option with immediate funds in mind though, you will have to stick with a traditional storage tank heater.