What Is A Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heater is a high-power device that instantly heats up cold water as it passes through the heating coils of the device. The heat generation is instantaneous and on-demand. It doesn’t store water in its tank, and doesn’t need to reheat the water constantly.

4 Advantages Of Tankless Water Heaters

  1. Endless Hot Water: A properly sized tankless water heater will heat enough water to give you an endless supply of hot water. No more fighting to shower first or waiting to wash clothes because someone is in the shower. It eliminates any discomfort or inconvenience caused by running out of hot water.
  2. Energy efficient: A tankless water heater is an energy efficient proposition because it doesn’t have to store large quantities of water, just to keep reheating it again and again. It only heats up small quantities of water only when it is necessary. It can save a lot of cost in the long run as the energy savings become significant.
  3. Lifespan: Tankless water heaters have a minimum lifespan in excess of two decades. A traditional water heater would last for 10-12 years, depending on the quality and make. This can give you significant cost benefits in terms of lower operational costs, energy savings, and also lower maintenance. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a gas-fired tankless heater could save up to $108 annually.     
  4. Saves a lot of space: Space is a premium at many top residential apartments and buildings in St Louis, and many other places across the U.S. While a traditional water heater with a tank could be 60 inches in height and 24 inches in diameter, a modern tankless heater has much more compressed dimensions, and can be fitted to walls. They could be just 28 inches in height and 20 inches in diameter.
Pro Advice: Tankless water heaters must be appropriately sized in order to provide the endless hot water that you expect.

2 Disadvantages Of Tankless Water Heaters

  1. High initial installment cost: While a traditional heater is priced between $800 and $1400, a tankless heater could be priced in excess of $1500 dollars or may even run up to $3000. You could incur additional costs if you are retrofitting and replacing an old heater with a tankless heater as the job is complex and requires special plumbing knowledge.
  2. A high gas pressure required: Most traditional tanks require 30,000 to 50,000 BTU of natural gas for functioning optimally. However, a tankless water heater could require up to 199,000 BTU of gas. This would require the local gas company to install a high pressure meter and regulator and additional gas lines to be ran from the tankless to the meter resulting in additional installation cost.
Pro Advice: When switching to tankless, make sure to get a professional plumber out to give you an estimate on what would be needed to be done to make the switch!

Other Thoughts Before You Switch

If you’re considering staying in the house you’d be installing the water heater in for a long time the investment of a tankless will benefit you. It will drastically lower water heating bills and last longer than a standard water heater. However if you plan on moving you will see a large upfront cost with out being around for any of the financial benefits. Making a large home improvement like replacing your water heater deserves special thought and all the options have pros and cons that should be considered.

Pro Advice: Don’t forget to ask about different energy rebates a tankless water heater could be eligible for!