Water heaters are a staple of modern life, providing clean hot water for cooking, cleaning and bathing. We’re accustomed to traditional tank water heaters in most homes, with their long cylindrical tubes holding hot water, and that system is safe and effective in most cases. But it’s not the only type of water heater out there and depending upon your circumstances, you may benefit from an alternative model.
Consider, for example, tankless water heaters. They get rid of those big tanks in favor of heating the water directly as it passes through the pipes. Tankless water heaters can cost more to install and they usually need to have a lower workload than tank models: handling fewer outlets or requiring multiple tankless water heaters to be installed to cover everything in the home. In exchange, however, they offer a number of benefits, some of which might help your household out considerably. Here are some of the most important.
1. INSTANT, ENDLESS HOT WATER
Water heaters usually take a little time to warm up, which is why the hot water from your tap initially feels cold. And while tank water heaters provide a copious supply of hot water, we’ve all had those moments in the shower or similar spots where the hot water runs out.
Those simply aren’t problems when it comes to tankless water heaters. The system heats the water instantly as it passes through the pipe, meaning you won’t have to wait for the water to heat up., And because the heat is delivered “on demand,” as it were, it means you’ll never run out of hot water, no matter how much you run the tap.
2. INCREASED SAVINGS
Tankless water heaters tend to waste much less water than tank models, since you don’t have to run the faucet or other outlet for very long to get the hot water you need. Furthermore they tend to use less energy than tank models when heating the water, since they only heat the water you need instead of maintaining an entire tank. All of which translates to increased savings in your pocket and a decrease in energy useage! Furthermore, tankless water heaters tend to last longer than tank water heaters, giving you more value for your money in the process.
3. EASE OF USE
Tank water heaters can present problems for vacation homes and other homes that go unused for portions of the year. Mold and other contaminants can creep in to a tank model if you’re not careful, and they can take up a great deal of space, which might not be appropriate for a small cabin or other vacation home. On the other hand, tankless water heaters don’t need time to “warm up,” meaning you can make use of them immediately. That can come as a huge relief if you’ve been driving all day and just want to cook some dinner or draw a hot bath. Plus, they take up a fraction of the space that tank water heaters do, freeing that storage closet or corner that your old water heater fills up!
Other Things to Consider About Tankless Water Heaters
While we love tankless water heaters, every home is different and yours might not be the right fit for a tankless system. These are the cons to consider:
- Tankless systems can’t usually handle as much of a load as tanked models can. That makes them better for households with fewer occupants. That said, for larger households, multiple tankless water heaters can be installed.
- Tankless systems cost more to install, though they cost less to run. That’s good for families who intend to stay in their homes for quite awhile, since the savings accrue over time.