Some people shy away from tankless water heater because of the uncertainty of new technology, others aren’t fond of the higher price tag. However, tankless water heaters actually last longer and save energy, which will save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.
Tankless “on demand” water heaters don’t constantly heat and store hot water like their traditional tank counterpart. The fact that there isn’t a need for constant heating saves approximately 24-34% more energy than a tank water heater, equaling approximately $100 of savings annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. For higher water usage households, this amount is even greater.
A traditional tank water heater lasts eight to twelve years on average. A tankless water heater lasts an average of twenty years, in essence doubling your time between replacements. What’s better, when parts go out around that twenty-year mark, a tankless water heater also has parts that can be replaced to extend its life even longer to further avoid replacement.
Replacing parts rather than a whole system not only saves you money but reduces your carbon footprint.
The average cost of a new high-efficiency traditional hot water heater tank is between $300 to $2,000 for the unit, dependent on the size, brand and efficiency, and then additional costs for installation.
The average cost for a new tankless “on demand” water heater is $330 to $1,450 for the whole house, also dependent on the size/gallons per minute, brand and efficiency, and then additional costs for installation.
The cost of traditional and tankless water heaters varies by fuel source. Gas fueled traditional water heaters and tankless water heaters tend to run at the higher end of the cost range, however, they recuperate their cost sooner than electric water heaters because of their fuel cost savings.
Whole House versus Point of Use
With traditional tank hot water heaters, there is usually one tank that provides hot water for the whole home. These tanks range from 30 to 80-gallon tanks for residential use, with the most common being 40 gallons. As we all know, when there are multiple sources of hot water use occurring at once, the water in the tank will grow cold and take between 30 minutes to an hour to heat the water again.
Tankless “on demand” water heaters are unique because they bring water through the heating coils and heat the water as it is needed. This is great for efficiency, but the tankless water heater selection is important to make sure there enough gallons per minute of hot water to meet the household’s needs. Similar to the traditional tank running out of hot water with over usage, the tankless water heater will not be able to meet multiple demands at once if the gallons per minute it produces aren’t high enough.
Some people use a whole home tankless water heater, while others use point of use tankless water heaters. These are smaller tankless water heaters that are connected to a specific area. For example, a point of use tankless water heater could be installed for each bathroom separately, or in the laundry room or kitchen, to supplement hot water production in high demand areas.
Let Us Help You Decide
If you’re considering a switch from a traditional hot water heater to a tankless water heater, we would love to help you calculate your hot water needs, give an installation estimate and guide you through the process.
For more information about tankless water heaters, or for other heating and cooling needs, contact us at Pilchuck Heating.
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