Big-ticket home appliances continue to evolve, and they are delivering more energy efficiency and convenience than ever before. The water heater is seeing its own evolution as tankless models have gained popularity in the market. Homeowners in Phoenix, AZ, can especially benefit from tankless water heaters, but some hesitate because there is an upfront investment.
If you have questions, we at Christian Brothers Air Conditioning Plumbing Electrical can answer them for you. Here is some information to get you started:
What Is the Difference Between a Tankless and Tank Water Heater?
The main difference between a tankless and tank water heater is – as the name suggests – that one has a tank and the other does not. The tankless version offers several benefits, but consumers want to know how quickly they’ll receive a return on their investment or at least begin to break even.
In a way, newer big-ticket appliances that are driven by technology eventually balance out with their analog counterparts. Consumers simply have to decide if they want to pay more or less upfront. If you pay less upfront, you will usually pay more in energy costs over the lifetime of the product. The opposite seems to be true about technology-driven appliances. If you pay more upfront, you pay a little less for your energy consumption.
Plus, there are other things to consider, such as the immediate benefits. The following covers the benefits a tankless water heater can deliver.
All new home-related appliances are designed to be energy efficient. This is a trend that is set to last due to the fact that more and more people are looking for ways to reduce energy use. One of the biggest selling points of the tankless water heater is its energy efficiency, which is going to lessen your carbon footprint while helping you save money.
A tankless water heater only heats as much as is needed at a time while the tank water heater continues to heat water even when it’s not being used. Results from studies show that tankless water heaters can save 24% to 34% in energy over the tank version because water is being heated on demand instead of continually. Energy Star has also studied tankless water heaters and estimates that a household will use anywhere from 27% to 50% less energy with a tankless water heater installed. Less energy consumption means more energy efficiency, which leads to savings on energy costs.
The average lifespan of a tank water heater is around eight years. The tankless version has a longer lifespan of about 10 years. All appliances are likely to operate longer if they are well-maintained, and these estimates are for water heaters that receive regular maintenance. Another nice bonus of the tankless water heater is that it is easier to maintain.
Endless Hot Water
As mentioned, the tankless water heater heats water on demand. If you are washing the dishes, the water is going to be heated until you stop washing. There will be no additional water heated until someone turns on the hot water again. For some, this is going to seem impossible. This is probably because everyone is so used to a tank always having hot water in it. No one wants to run out of hot water, either. The good news is that with a tankless version, you are not likely to run out.
For a household with few members, manufacturers are confident that running out of hot water will never be an issue. The only time you could run into an issue is if there was a miscalculation of your estimated maximum usage.
Requires Less Space
Since a tank is not part of the tankless water heater package, it requires less space. This is a desirable feature for several reasons. For one, it can fit just about anywhere. The typical tank water heater measures 60 inches tall and 24 inches wide and holds between 40 and 60 gallons of hot water. By contrast, the typical tankless water heater measures 28 inches tall by 20 inches wide and 10 inches deep. That is quite the space saver.
Those who are into interior design get a necessary appliance that can be visually appealing. When you place it on the wall, there can be enough space under it to fit something else. For example, if you placed it in your laundry room, it can be installed next to the washer and dryer or over a set of drawers.
With a tankless water heater, the installation process is typically easier because there is no tank to position and secure. In some cases, retrofitting and the addition of new connections may be needed in older homes. Most new homes, however, are already set up for the tankless water heater.
A professional like those from our team can walk you through the process prior to beginning any work. We can take a look at what your home has and let you know what adjustments have to be made.
Fewer Maintenance Requirements
Once the tankless version is installed, it requires regular maintenance. The good news is that it will typically need less maintenance than traditional water heaters. A tank water heater requires at least annual maintenance. In some regions, though, it will require maintenance every six months. The tank has to be flushed out due to the mineral deposit buildup that occurs. Plus, it has to be checked for leaks. In regions where precipitation freezes, the appliance has to be able to handle that kind of weather to keep producing hot water.
Because it has no tank, a tankless water heater doesn’t get affected as much by mineral buildup. The possibility of mineral buildup is still there, but it will be determined by the quality of your home’s water supply. Those who have hard water are encouraged to schedule an annual cleaning. Homes with soft water, though, can sometimes go without maintenance for up to five years. To be on the safe side, however, it is wise to schedule an annual inspection for your water heater.
Deciding Between the Two Options
There are several pros and cons to consider when deciding between a tankless and traditional tank water heater. Fortunately, there is enough information available to help you make the right decision for your home, household, and budget.
Those who cannot make the upfront investment have the traditional tank water heater option available to them. Plus, there is the reliability factor. The tank water heater has been successfully tried and tested for decades. If you are moving toward transitioning to a more efficient home, though, the tankless water heater is a step that moves you further in that direction.
For more information about setting up a tankless water heater in your home, give us a call at Christian Brothers Air Conditioning Plumbing Electrical to set up an appointment in Phoenix. In addition to installing, repairing, and maintaining water heaters, we offer a full range of additional plumbing services. We are also available to assist with all your electrical, heating, and cooling needs.