The tankless water heater is making major inroads into residential water heating. Many newly constructed houses incorporate tankless technology. Many owners of existing homes are also considering going tankless when replacing a conventional water heater. Is a tankless water heater the best choice for every household, however? Like all new advancements, tankless technology provides both benefits and drawbacks that warrant careful consideration. Here are some pros and cons of staying with the tank versus upgrading to tankless:
Tank Pros And Cons
- Storage tank models have lower upfront purchase price—often as much as half the cost of a tankless unit. Installation costs are also less than tankless models and usually a straightforward direct replacement.
- Storage tank maintenance is also simple and usually DIY-friendly: draining and flushing the tank once or twice a year.
- The major drawback to a storage tank is the tank itself: While it holds hot water in reserve, that water is continuously cooling off and often must be reheated repeatedly before it’s actually used. This wastes energy and increases operating costs. Tanks are subject to internal corrosion, as well, and typically last no more than 10 years.
- The amount of hot water in the tank is finite. If somebody takes an overly long shower, nobody gets hot water until the unit can re-heat another tank full.
Tankless Pros And Cons
- Tankless units heat water instantly on demand and don’t store hot water. For typical homes using no more than 40 gallons, energy consumption can be up to 30 percent less.
- Theoretically, a tankless water heater should supply hot water continuously without ever running out.
- Eliminating the tank means far longer service life—estimated at 20 years or more.
- Tankless units are more expensive up-front and installation may be more complicated and costly.
- Household hot water requirements must be carefully calculated so the tankless water heater is properly sized to meet demand.
- Annual maintenance usually must be performed by a qualified plumber.
For more information about making the switch to a tankless water heater, contact Russell's Heating & Cooling.