Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

When asked about whether someone should install a tankless water heater over one with a tank, it is hard to provide an appropriate answer without knowing specific details. If debating about the same question, it is important to consider the following aspects prior to making your decision.

Efficiency and Cost

As most homeowners already know, conventional water heaters are inefficient. When a hot water tank is present, energy is used to keep around 20 to 80 gallons of water hot so that it is ready to use. This method for producing hot water upon immediate demand is inefficient when compared to the other options, such as tankless water heaters, available today. Tank water heaters have become more efficient over the years but if having to replace or purchase a heater for the first time, why not go with the more efficient option?

The reason homeowners may not go with this option is because tankless heaters generally cost more up front. For example if replacing a water heater with a tank, a new venting system must be installed. Surprisingly, this can cost as much as the heater itself. Plus, if you don’t invest in an up-scale model that has earned an Energy Star rating, you could end up saving as little as fifty dollars each year.

Tankless Water Heater

Endless Supply

The upside is that in addition to being more efficient and saving homeowners up to forty percent on their energy bills (depending on the type of heater / energy source), tankless water heaters offer additional benefits. For example, if you have a large family or enjoy taking long showers, a tankless heater will provide continuous hot water. With a tank, after prolonged usage, the hot water can run out. Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand as it is heated as needed. As a result, the supply won’t dwindle as it is being used.

The downside to this is that often, residential wiring is not a fit for supporting tankless water heaters large enough to provide hot water for multiple purposes. This is especially true for when your energy source is electricity. In many cases, homeowners would have to install multiple water heaters to meet all of their needs. In addition to this downfall, if your home has long water lines between the tank and the sources it feeds, a tankless water heater may not be your best option. If the water has a long way to travel, the cold water sitting in the pipes will be the first to shoot out.

Longer Lifetime

Tankless water heaters are known to have a longer lifespan. Known for lasting about twice as long as those containing a tank, tankless water heaters seem to win in terms of longevity. However, it is not uncommon for tankless heaters to require more maintenance and upkeep. With that said, you would have to weigh the options between the two if trying to determine whether the life expectancy of the product outweighs the costs associated with having to constantly maintain it.


Often the determining factor for why someone will swing one way over the other when it comes to tank versus tankless water heaters, is because of size. In smaller homes where space is limited, a tankless water tank may be the only feasible option. With being the size of a briefcase, tankless water heaters reign supreme in this category.

Going Green

Those interested in going green by purchasing energy saving products, will side with the tankless water heaters because numerous tanks are Energy Star certified.

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