No American home should be without a water heater. It’s an essential home appliance that makes our daily tasks easier and our lives a lot more convenient. Most homes own the traditional tank-type water heating system. As its name implies, it has a storage tank that features one or two heating elements. These things are responsible for keeping the water in the tank warm. The tank also features an anode rod that prevents corrosion. Aside from these components, the traditional water heater also has a T&P (Temperature & Pressure) valve, a drain valve and of course, the hot and cold water supply lines. Now while this appliance delivers a lot of benefits, you should know that there are also a few disadvantages with its use. For instance, the tank-type heater makes use of more energy to warm an entire tank and to be able to supply you with hot water from your taps. It also produces high levels of energy loss. Thus, you should expect paying more for your gas or electricity consumption. Fortunately, tankless water heaters have been invented.
What is a tankless water heater?
As it is named, a tankless water heater doesn’t have a tank that’s used to store and heat the water. This type of heating system is also known as the “instantaneous” or “demand-type” water heater because it only heats water by demand. Meaning to say, it only works when you turn on your hot water faucet. Once you turn the tap on, the water heater will determine how much heat is needed for it to produce the amount of hot water you just requested.
What are the pros and cons of using a tankless hot water heater?
An instantaneous hot water heater certainly has its advantages and disadvantages.
Among the advantages of a tankless water heater is its lengthy life span. While traditional tank-type units last for 10 to 13 years, an instantaneous type has an average life of 20 years. Pretty impressive, isn’t it? However, you have to remember that it will still require proper and regular care and maintenance. Any appliance that’s neglected will surely die sooner than when it’s supposed to malfunction.
Another advantage that you’ll be thankful for is that a tankless heater requires little space for installation. Since it doesn’t have a bulky tank, you won’t have to worry about setting a considerable amount of space for it in your basement. There are models that can be simply installed inside your kitchen sink cabinet while there are those that can be easily mounted on the wall.
Last but not the least, a tankless unit doesn’t produce heat loss. It won’t be wasting electricity or gas just to reheat a tank of water. Instead, it will only consume the specific amount of fuel to heat a specific amount of water that you’ll request.
Now we can disregard the cons of choosing a tankless water heater. First of all, you’ll have to spend a considerable amount of money just to get one. In other words, its upfront cost is relatively higher than traditional heaters. While tank-types range from $300 to $500, tankless units can usually be bought starting at $1000.
Another disadvantage you might want to think about is the appliance’s throughout limit. Meaning to say, it’s not able to supply large amounts of hot water to several fixtures all at the same time. If you have several people living in the house, they won’t be able to do their laundry and use the dishwasher all at once. With that said, the tankless heater should be suitable for your family’s needs.