One of the most important decisions a homeowner can make is whether to go tankless or stick with the tried and true storage water heater system. With the high upfront costs of a tankless water heater, you may find yourself asking: “Is a tankless water heater better?” The experts at Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing understand how daunting this decision can be and we are here to help you find some clarity with our professional insights!

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

Using either a gas burner or electric resistance heating coils, tankless water heaters provide “on-demand” hot water. Coldwater enters the tankless unit then exits a split second later, fully heated to the targeted temperature.

How Does a Storage Water Heater Work?

The unit heats and reheats a finite volume of water stored within an insulated tank (typical residential sizes range from 20-80 gallons). When demanded, hot water exits the tank from the top, while cold water enters from the bottom to replenish the tank.

Some Pros of a Tankless Water Heater:
  • More Energy-Efficient
    For homes using 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, tankless water heaters can be 24%-34% more energy efficient. For homes using a lot of hot water, they can be 8%-14% more energy efficient.
  • Longer-Lasting
    They typically last longer than conventional storage water heaters (most have a life expectancy of over 20 years, and storage heaters last 10-15 years).
  • Their Parts Can Be Easily Replaced
    This makes long-term maintenance and repairs much less of a hassle and easier on your wallet.
  • They Free Up Some Space
    Tankless water heaters are significantly smaller than standard storage water heaters. In fact, they are small enough to mount on the wall, freeing up some storage space in your home.
Some Cons of a Tankless Water Heater:
  • Output Can Limit the Flow Rate
    Sometimes tankless heaters cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses in larger households. Although gas-fired models produce higher flow rates than electric ones, you may still run into issues with low water flow.
  • Purchase Price is High
    The upfront purchase price of a tankless water heater can be up to 3 times higher than that of a storage tank unit.
  • Installation is Complicated
    The installation is also pricey, costing double or more. This is due to the modifications that must commonly be made in homes that support electric-only utilities. In this case, you will have to hire an electrician to rewire your home’s electrical system.

*Pro Tip: To overcome a flow rate problem, install 2 or more tankless water heaters, connected in parallel for simultaneous demands. You can also install separate tankless heaters for appliances.

Is a Tankless Water Heater Better?

With all the pros and cons to consider, it ultimately comes down to doing the math to see which water heater is right for your home and family. While the upfront cost of a tankless water heater is a definite con, you will save money in the long run with better energy efficiency and longer life expectancy. From your average hot water usage to how long you plan on living in your home, there are many factors to consider before deciding.

Consult with an Expert

There are no absolutes in answering the question, “Is a tankless water heater better?”. However, there are experts who can help inform your decision. Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has knowledgeable experts who can offer reliable advice and professional services for any of your HVAC needs. Call us or schedule an appointment online today!

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