The right water heater is a mainstay for family comfort and cleanliness. With advances in technology, tankless water heaters are becoming more reliable and popular.

Is it time to go tankless? To help you make a decision here is a closer look at the pros and cons of tankless water heaters.

Pros: Space, Cost and Quantity

These units are a triple threat: they take up less space, cost less to run and supply an unlimited amount of heated water.

Space. A tankless water heater is more compact than a standard unit because it doesn’t store water. A traditional heater with a capacity of 40 to 60 gallons is about 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide. A tankless unit is about 20 inches wide, 28 inches tall and 10 inches deep.

Cost. Tankless heaters cost less to operate. Though more expensive upfront, they cost less to operate. You don’t have to spend money to keep water heated while it’s in the tank. Instead, they provide heated water on demand. This saves energy and reduces monthly bills.

How much can you save? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a gas tankless heater costs $108 less to operate over a year.

Quantity. If you correctly size your tankless water heater to suit the demands of your family, you will have the amount of water you need, on demand. If you want water for just one bathroom, you can buy a smaller unit. If you want one that provides water for an entire home, it needs to be larger. A plumbing professional can help you determine what your needs are and recommend the right size.

Cons: More Expensive Upfront, Sizing Correctly, Energy Source

Tankless units aren’t suitable in all situations. Here is a look at three reasons why you might not want a tankless model.

Upfront costs. A new tankless unit starts at about $1,000. For a gas-powered unit that provides water for an entire home, the cost is about $3,000. It also requires special installation, so you need to include that into the overall price.

Sizing and quantity. If you don’t get the right size unit, you won’t have the hot water you need. Tankless heaters have a limit and provide a specific number of gallons at a time. You can’t plan to run the dishwasher and clothes washer while several people are taking showers. That’s why it is essential that you size the unit properly.

Proper energy source. Gas is the best energy source for a tankless unit. Many homes that are run solely on electricity may not have sufficient power to operate a tankless heater. And upgrading the electrical system is costly, about $5,000 or more.

If you have gas, you are in better shape. But the instant energy requirement of tankless units is also a heavy burden on the system. Standard units need 30,000 to 50,000 BTU to heat the water. A tankless unit needs 150,000 to 200,000 BTU to heat water on demand. Many systems simply aren’t prepared for that.

Get Advice From Professionals

Meticulous Plumbing can guide you through the decision-making process for your next water heater. We are experts with both tankless water heaters as well as standard units.

Contact us today for help with water heater installation.

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