So, you maybe wondering if those tankless, on-demand water heaters are worth installing. I have wired a few of these tankless water heaters for some of my customers; so I thought it might be a good time to talk about the pros and cons of tankless water heaters.
- If sized properly, you will not run out of hot water. If you have a large family or have family members who are power users with hot water, a tankless water heater is good to have.
- Space precious in your garage or interior space? Well tankless water heaters take up very little space. So, you can have some extra storage if you have one of these appliances.
- No draining necessary. Many legacy water heaters with tanks should be drained periodically so you do not have a sediment build-up in the tank.
- They are expensive! Installed cost will run you anywhere from a low of $1,200 up to $3,500 dollars depending on the size of tankless water heater you install. This compares to an average price of $300 to $500 for a standard water heater.
- Sizing. Tankless water heaters are also a little trickier to size for a family as you are not drawing from a pre-heated reservoir of water. Since it is "on-demand" the sizing must take into account multiple users accessing the hot water at one time rather than just on sheer volume.
Recommendations: A better question is what do you want? If you are looking to save energy you can still get savings from the existing "tanked" water heater options. First, Franky's Electric can install a good timer to adjust the heating of the water to when you use it and when you don't. Second, you can adjust the water heating temperature down to a lower temp. Third, you can purchase a new tanked water heater. Insulation on the newer water heaters are outstanding and will save you money on the installed and maintenance costs. Finally, go gas. If you are concerned about having hot water on demand, natural gas water heaters will recover much faster than electric water heaters...And, the operating cost is lower. Another advantage of gas water heaters is you don't have that electric heating element that will corrode and begin to use more energy, (and time), to heat your water.
So, are tankless water heaters worth it? They have been used in Europe for many years with success. If you are willing to spend the additional money, tankless water heaters maybe worth a look. The good news is that we have choices in water heaters. For most of us, the old standby water heaters, combined with some of the energy saving practices I mentioned above will save you money.