Pros & Cons of Tankless Water Heaters
Keep Smiling Plumbing, your Gwinnett plumbers of choice, provides a range of plumbing services. From water heater installation and repair to drain cleaning service to being a veritable gas piping contractor to providing bathroom and kitchen renovations at affordable price points, we’ve got you covered.
In our previous posts, we’ve highlighted our range of plumbing services that we have on offer, in addition to shining a spotlight on our Best of Gwinnett 2015 and 2016 awards. It’s that kind of recognition that makes us proud to serve our Gwinnett County community with full-service plumbing. From Johns Creek to Lawrenceville to Snellville to Buford and even into Tucker, Stone Mountain, and Norcross, we’ll be out to fix your toilet (or whatever the case may be) in a jiffy!
Are people still saying “jiffy”? Come to think of it, we aren’t sure what kind of unit of time measurement a jiffy actually is, so let’s amend that statement to us coming to see you in an expedient fashion.
But we digress; that’s quite enough jiffy talk for the day. We have a promised post topic to get to, so with that in mind let’s take a look at why folks considering tankless water heaters should either continue what they are doing or perhaps keep other options in mind. Keep reading if you are interested in learning some of the pros and cons of tankless water heaters!
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
If you are like some people, you leave no stone unturned when it comes to saving money. And we aren’t only speaking of collecting coupons and electing to go with “store-bought” brands here – we are talking about examining the energy bill, looking into refinancing options when it comes to car and mortgage payments – the whole nine yards.
For people who do comb through their energy bill, you probably don’t think about how much impact your water heater has in the grand scheme of things. But you might be missing a crucial contributor to that bill’s bottom line; around a quarter of a home’s yearly energy usage is taken up by water heaters.
What does this mean? Water heaters are more expensive to operate than refrigerators, washers and dryers, and pretty much every other home appliance you might have, assuming you run your home like the majority of other Americans do. With the one exception of heating and cooling, there isn’t much else that costs more every month than a water heater.
Now that we’ve established the fact that it’s worth your while to weigh your options when it comes to water heaters, we have some excellent news for you – we are here to help you navigate this territory.
Here’s some more good news – manufactures have responded to this market opportunity by offering a variety of water heating types and technologies specifically designed for efficiency. So if you’ve been using the same water heater that you’ve had since you moved into your home around the turn of the millennium, it’s a good idea to begin your research mode. Think about it; every time you use the dishwasher, the washing machine, or even take a shower, you might be able to take a considerable chunk out of the dollar figure you are costing yourself using an inefficient, old water heater. But since you’ve already made your way to this blog, it seems like said research mode has already begun!
That being said, there are more options than ever, so how you figure out which is best for your own situation? Keep reading.
TANKLESS WATER HEATERS
Tankless water heaters are also known as instantaneous water heater or demand water heaters. Traditionally, water heaters with tanks use a certain amount of “standby energy” connected with the storage of pre-heated water. Demand water heaters require no storage tank but instead utilize either an electric element or a gas burner to heat the water as it is traveling through your home’s piping.
As such there is not a finite amount of hot water that can be used at one time. One of the most annoying aspects of a traditional tank heater is that they pre-heat a limited amount of water. Sure, you can get yourself a bigger tank that will handle a couple three consecutive showers or loads of laundry, but what if you wanted to take an extra-long shower to de-stress after a rough day?
Conversely, tankless heaters can offer you steaming water in just a matter of seconds. This hot water has no limit, which is pretty amazing if you are a big believer in long, hot showers. However, if you are watching your energy usage as we discussed above, you’ll probably be wanting to exercise some self-control around the 20-minute mark of your shower!
We’ve been circling around the idea of convenience, without officially categorizing it as such. But another “pro” we can chalk up to team-tankless is that it is a smaller system that turns off as soon as you are done using it. Contrast that system with a tank heater, which continuously is in operation, frequently heating water that plausibly will never be used. That’s not just wasted water, it’s wasted energy too.
Alright, here’s how you know we aren’t getting subsidized by some tankless water heating lobbyist somewhere – let’s talk about the cons.
- Tank water heaters cost less upfront, which is certainly a desirable characteristic for many a family looking to save money as they move into their first home or what have you. Keep in mind that over time, the sustainability aspect of your instant water heating system will likely save you money. A ballpark figure would be in the range of reducing energy by 60 percent or more for many families. Here’s another friendly reminder: tanks must be replaced every decade or so, whereas with tankless systems, there’s nothing to replace! These systems can last twice as long as tank heaters.
- Here’s the rub that is pretty much unavoidable. Although tankless heaters can deliver unlimited water, their true limitation is in how much water can be delivered at any given moment. People who don’t like tankless systems will usually complain that the flow isn’t strong enough, which reminds us of a classic Seinfeld episode (as many things do). Some people prefer low-flow shower heads in the first place, either because it’s conservational or they simply enjoy the gentleness. If you are like many others, however, having a low-flow shower will leave you unsatisfied.
Despite these cons, there are options when it comes to fuel type, size, energy-efficiency, and costs. We at Keep Smiling Plumbing Repair Service in Gwinnett County can help analyze the specifics of your home and provide you with a professional recommendation. Whether you want an electric tankless water heater or an alternative, we’ve got the experience and wisdom to help you make the right choice. Reach out to us today!
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