A tankless water heater works by heating the water that flows through it as and when it does so – making the storage tank of a standard water heater unnecessary.
If you have a tankless water heater then when you turn on the faucet, the cold water will travel through a water pipe into the tankless hot water heater. The water becomes immediately heated using gas or electricity, and travels out again to be used right away.
Comparing the benefits between a tankless water heater and tank, you will find that a standard hot water heater is not so efficient. A standard water heater works by storing the water, heating it and maintaining that temperature until it is needed. The hot water is drawn to the top of the tank making it ready for use, but there is a chance that you will run out of hot water. You should also keep in mind that the energy needed to maintain the heat of water in a tank compared to a tankless water heater is vast.
A tankless water heater, vs tank, is therefore vastly more energy efficient.
Will You Get More Hot Water from a Tankless Option?
The average heating rate of a tankless water heater is 2-5 gallons per minute. As mentioned above, in a tankless water heater the water is heated immediately as it flows through the tankless hot water heater. A tankless water heater ultimately gives you unlimited hot water.
A standard hot water heater, commonly known as a tank, can only provide as much hot water as the tank is able to contain, before needing to reheat if it gets to the point of running low. This could cause you to limit the amount of time you spend in the shower, limit the ability of bathes, or require a waiting period between showers if you have multiple people needing to shower around the same time. Even though the most common size standard water heater is 50 gallons, and can provide enough water for 3-5 people to shower within a single hour that can still pose problems. Depending on the size of your family and your schedule, you could still run the risk of running out of hot water. Additionally if you have similar showering schedules with the people in your household or have to run your dishwasher or washing machine at the same time, then this could pose a challenge.
A benefit to owning a tankless water heater is having unlimited hot water allowing you to complete all your chores.
What is the Installation Cost for a Tankless Water Heater?
Unfortunately installing a tankless hot water heater will cost more in terms of initial purchase and installation, in fact, the initial could be up to 3 times more.
Tankless water heaters come in two varieties – electric and gas-powered. An electric tankless water heater can be purchased for under $1000, while a gas-powered tankless water heater could cost around $3000.
However, despite the initial cost, there are still financial benefits when it comes to choosing a tankless water heater vs tank water heater. Choosing a tankless water heater means you are very likely to save money on your energy bills going forward. Many families can save around $100 annually, but the more water you tend to use the more you are likely to save by making this transition.
A standard hot water heater will typically last around 10 years, while a tankless hot water heater should last approximately 20 years. This is important to take into consideration when factoring in the initial cost of purchase and installation. Even thought the initial cost of set up can be expensive, the tank should last double the amount of time as a standard tank water heater.
It is important to determine if your home can support a tankless water heater before moving forward with the purchase. We would be happy to assist with guidance tailored to you and your home.
The team at TNC Mechanical Cooling & Heating, Inc. in Monson, MA., is ready to assist. Serving clients throughout Western MA, the family-owned company offers a wide range of HVAC services. Visit us online for more information or call (888) 284-3892 to schedule an appointment.