Tankless Water Heater Pros & Cons

Posted on: November 1, 2016
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Plumbing

Benefits Of Using A Tankless Water Heater In Houston Homeowners

The latest tankless water heaters boast several innovative features which further boost their safety. For instance, the most recent models include monitoring systems that provide details about water pressure and flow. Just in case of system failure, the machine would instantly turn off the heater.

As you can see, there are basically more advantages with tankless water heaters than there are disadvantages with tankless water heaters.

Pros And Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters can save energy, which is a good thing, but the cost of the tank is substantially higher than a conventional tank. The big issue is that they serve hot water to one faucet at a time. So one can get a cold shower if multiple hot water faucets are activated at the same time.

The primary disadvantage is higher upfront costs, and if you have a busy household you may find the supply of hot water is not enough for more than one faucet. In my house we regularly are servicing multiple adults and children at the same time. Another issue to consider is because these state of the art tankless water heaters have high-powered burners, they require a special and more sophisticated venting system, which adds to the cost, and may be difficult to install.

Pros of Tankless Water Heater

  • Saves energy. The unit only operates when there is a demand for hot water, which can reduce its energy cost by about 25% annually.
  • Highly efficient. The most efficient storage tank has an energy factor of about .67, but, according to Energy Star, some tankless units have energy factors as high as .95.
  • Reliable. If a unit is sized properly, a gas tankless heater can deliver a continuous supply of water at a preset temperature (plus or minus one degree) at a rate of typically 2 gallons to 5 gallons per minute. The units never run out of hot water, though the flow rate may be inadequate during times of peak demand.
  • Compact size. The typical tankless heater is about the size of a small suitcase, which takes up significantly less space than a conventional tank.
  • Durable. It has a life expectancy of 20 years or more.
  • Versatile. The unit is easy to zone and it can go almost anywhere in the house. It also can be installed outside on a wall.

Cons of Tankless Water Heater

Tankless units cost about twice as much as traditional storage tanks. A typical tankless unit may cost about $700 and can easily top $1,500.

Installation is expensive. In addition to the high product cost, installation for the unit and the necessary piping can be pricey. They also need very good venting, which is also expensive.

Retrofit is pricey and complicated. Unlike a traditional tank, retrofitting a home with a tankless unit is difficult and expensive. “In new construction, the labor time required to install a tankless water [heater] is about the same as a tank water heater. But the equation changes in a remodeling situation. The process is complicated, and the installed costs to replace a tank water heater with a tankless unit can be as high as $3,000.

Best performance comes from gas units. Though gas-fired tankless units are great performers for whole-house use, electric units are woefully inadequate.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters can be a sensitive subject for plumbers and contractors. This is mainly because most home owners and people looking to buy a home are interested in energy efficient homes which are economical and green friendly. Since water heating is on of the most expensive energy costs in homes (they account for as much as 30% of a home’s energy expenses) it makes perfect sense to consider energy saving alternatives. Call us (713) 812-7070 for you home service and repair needs.

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