For contractors and plumbers alike, tankless water heaters can be a rather sensitive subject. The reason for this being that most people looking to buy homes and homeowners are interested in green, economical, and energy efficient homes.

Tankless Water Heaters

Water heating is one of the most expensive energy costs in a home and accounts for as much as 30 percent of the energy expenses in a home. It therefore makes sense to consider alternative energy saving options. Don’t forget that the percentage of energy expense that goes into heating water can be as high as 40 or even 50 percent in some cases. This is the reason why energy saving hot water solutions are able to bring significant cost savings to your overall energy bill. However, on-demand water heaters have their benefits and drawbacks like other household appliances.

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters operate only when the demand for hot water arises. This reduces the energy costs by as much as 35 percent annually and is extremely energy efficient. Energy Star reveals that some tankless water heaters have energy factors as high as 95.

Reliability is another factor. A properly sized unit can deliver a continuous supply of water effortlessly at pre-set temperature levels, which could be as high as 5 to 7 gallons of hot water a minute. They just never run out of water.

Other benefits include a longer life expectancy that can be as high as 20 years, versatility, which means that you can fix them anywhere in the house, and compact size, which means that they take up less space than conventional heaters.

Safety is another area where tankless water heaters score highly. The safety aspect is due to the fact that they operate only when warm water is needed unlike storage type water heaters that are on almost always.

The latest version of tankless water heaters boasts of having several innovative features that boost their safety further. For example, the most current models include systems for monitoring that provide details about water flow and pressure. If the system were to fail, the machine would turn off the heater instantly.

Drawbacks of Tankless Water Heaters

The up-front costs are definitely the greatest drawback of tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters typically cost twice as much as regular storage tanks. While standard tank-type water heaters start at around $800, a standard tankless water heater starts at more.

Installation costs are yet another drawback of tankless water heaters. The piping required can be expensive. Tankless water heaters require good venting, which can be rather expensive. However, it is possible to save more on the costs if you have a good plumber.

A water softener has to be installed in areas with hard water to avoid running the tankless water heater.

Installation complexity is another drawback of the tankless water heaters. Unlike traditional storage tanks, installing a tankless water heater can be quite expensive and difficult. To do the job right, you will require a skilled plumber.

Types of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are of two main categories: outside and indoor models.

Setting up the outside models is easier since they don’t require specialized ventilation. Since the outdoor models are uncovered in rainy conditions and possibly even freezing temperatures, they need to be more tightly guarded and sealed than the indoor models. The weather proofing tends to increase their costs slightly but it is possible to set them up right on an exterior wall.

The Bottom Line

It is quite clear that there are more benefits associated with tankless heaters than there are drawbacks. Once the tankless heater has been installed, you will require just minor but regular maintenance as well as flushing of the water heater. The only thing that you should not forget is to consult an experienced plumber.