How would you like to have endless hot water for your morning power shower or luxurious late-night soaker tub session, produced by a modern energy-efficient, space-saving device? Sounds great, right? Well, a tankless water heater will keep on keeping on, producing hot water whenever you please.
That’s the good news.
The not-so-great news is that this type of appliance is pricier to purchase than traditional water heaters equipped with storage tanks. Installation cost in some instances may be slightly higher too.
When you balance the extra expenses against the benefits, is a tankless water heater vs. a hot water tank worth it?
Check out the facts and decide.
What Is A Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless water heater is a device that heats water whenever you want (which is why it is often known as an “on-demand” hot water heater). However, it does not store heated water in between uses.
Tankless water heaters are usually powered by one of three different fuels:
- Natural gas
Tankless water heater installation may require a professional upgrade of your electrical wiring (especially if your house has only a 200 amp total capacity) or gas line. Natural gas and propane systems must be safely vented to remove exhaust and avoid carbon monoxide buildup.
How Does A Tankless Water Heater Work?
- Switching on the dishwasher or clothes washer — or turning on the faucet for your sink, tub, or shower — activates a flow of cold water through a pipe leading to the water heater.
- Depending on the type of tankless water heater, it will heat that cold water by means of a burner or electric coil.
- The heated water is then piped to your location. This may take a few minutes, depending on how close the water heater is to your faucet or bathtub.
- The appliance will continue to produce hot water as long as you leave the faucet open.
- The rate of flow varies from approximately 2 to 5 gallons per minute, depending on the heater model. In general, electric tankless units heat water more slowly than gas does.
Hot Water Tank (Storage) vs Tankless Water Heater
Hot Water Tank Pros
- Comes with a lower initial cost.
- Installation is quick and easy.
- Gas hot water tank will continue to function in a power outage, if operated by a continuous gas pilot light.
Hot Water Tank Cons
- Keeping stored water hot wastes energy.
- There is a wait for hot water if the tank is emptied.
- Appliance is large and bulky, and takes up a lot of space.
- Service life is shorter than that of a tankless heater, about 8 – 12 years.
- A leaky tank may spell disaster for your floors.
Tankless Water Heater Pros
- Saves energy and cuts fuel bills.
- Supply of hot water is always available.
- Appliance is compact (as small as 2 square feet) — perfect for small homes and condos –and can be installed in small spaces.
- Lifespan can be 20+ years.
Tankless Water Heater Cons
- Installation could require pricey modifications to your house.
- Less powerful units don’t accommodate high-volume hot water use. For example, you might not be able to enjoy a steamy shower while the washing machine is running.
- Energy savings may be outweighed by high upfront costs, although tankless water heaters are generally known to pay for themselves.
Another option could be a Heat Pump Water Heater, also known as a Hybrid Water Heater. Learn about the pros and cons of a Hybrid Water Heater to see if it could be the right choice for you.
Cut Costs By Renting
We’ll let you in on a little secret – you can avoid tankless water heater purchase costs by renting one instead, with low monthly payments through your Enbridge bill.
Tankless Water Heaters You Can Trust
We deal only with brands we trust. Our customers think they’re definitely worth it, and we hope you will too.