Whether it’s on the sales side or the property management side, at least once a month we are asked by an investor or a client about tankless water heaters.
Tankless, also known as on-demand or instantaneous water heaters, have many benefits over a traditional tank-style water heater. However, they also have some limitations and drawbacks which you should consider before deciding if going “tankless” is the best move for your household.
One of the main advantages of tankless water heaters is that they are not limited by the size of a tank. Traditional tank-style heaters can only deliver the amount of hot water that it has stored, and then it’ll need to heat more, which could take hours!
But a tankless water heater can keep your shower hot all day long since the water is heated immediately when needed. This also makes a tankless heating system more energy efficient than tank-style heaters since energy is used only to heat water, not to store and keep the water hot, which is known as standby heat loss.
On-demand systems are capable of delivering a constant supply of hot water, however, they are limited by the unit’s flow rate. The flow rate is the amount of water the tankless appliance is capable of heating at any given time.
If your tankless system has too low of a flow rate, it won’t be capable of delivering enough hot water to meet your household needs. Selecting a large enough unit is a critical decision to prevent running out of hot water.
What’s. the difference between the two:
Tankless Water Heaters
- Heats water on-demand when there is a need. The water is heated as it passes through the appliance.
- Large up-front investment.
- Modifications are often required for installation.
- Compact design.
- Proper sizing is critical.
- Because of their repairable design, tankless systems can exceed a 20-year service life if cared for properly.
Traditional Tank Style
- Heats and stores water in a tank for later use.
- Service life is typically 8 to 12 years.
- Storage capacity typically ranges between 20 to 80 gallons.
- Floor space is required.
- Economical in both purchase price and installation costs.
- Frequently leaks when in need of repair or replacement.
Will Tankless Water Heaters Replace Tank-Style Heaters?
Tankless water heating systems have become very common in Europe and Japan, and over the last decade they’ve also gained popularity in the United States. This is largely because they are environmentally friendly, use less space, and are economical to operate.
Many see on-demand water heaters as the future. The technology will undoubtedly improve, and as it does these systems will likely gain in popularity and drive prices lower.
New home construction will also adapt by building homes with the necessary electrical requirements. Enabling homeowners to either install an on-demand system during the construction of the home, or easily transition to one at a later time.
Choosing to install a tankless system may not be the right move for everybody right now, but for those who can take advantage of the benefits, it’s a clear win!