Most home water heaters last a decade and then start to lose their ability to perform. Around year 12 to 15 the response goes down, inconsistent water heating occurs, and it becomes obvious it’s time to upgrade the water heater. While a homeowner could just replace the unit that exists with another tank heater, today’s tankless heater options provide some big benefits homeowners should consider. An upgrade not only improves performance, it can also increase heating efficiency as well as save money month after month.
How a Tankless Water Heater Works
Where the traditional water heater for a home involves a storage tank where the water is kept hot and maintained that way with a burner fed by natural gas, a tankless water heater has no such design. It is instead built to provide hot water on demand as the homeowner and users pull water through faucets, showers, sinks and similar. This design instead uses a heating system that the water runs through and changes temperature so that it is hot by the time it is sent through the system to the user.
Both systems use cold water from a municipal supply connected to the house. However, the traditional tank system spends a lot of time and energy heating that water and keeping it warm, even when not needed. The idea is that if the water stays hot in a tank, that provides convenience. But the homeowner is still spending money on the natural gas connection in the meantime when the faucet is turned off.
With a tankless system, the water only moves through as the demand occurs. As the water travels through the system’s network, it is heated and sent hot to the user, whether to a shower or a sink or a tub. Because the amount of time in heating is truncated significantly, a significant amount of utility expense is avoided. Additionally, equipment isn’t damaged by sitting water and oxidation as well, a problem with tank systems over time.
As mentioned earlier, tankless water heaters are far more efficient. That efficiency produces savings right away and on an ongoing basis for heating costs. There are other benefits to the upgrade as well.
A tankless system tends to last almost twice as long as a traditional water heater. Where the expected lifespan of a traditional system is only a decade, a tankless system could last up to 20 years. Additionally, where part repair is needed, partial repairs can be done on a tankless system far easier than a traditional heater. Where serious repair is needed, a traditional system more often than not ends up being a full replacement altogether, and that costs a lot more.
Tankless systems don’t need a natural gas feed line, so they are a lot easier to install, also reducing expense. Instead, the system is run by electrical power. That does require the expertise of a technician to install, but it’s going to be far easier to take care of by a plumber than a traditional tank replacement and gas line hookup.
With less equipment, tankless water heaters need less space. That reduces the equipment footprint and makes more of the storage area or garage available for other uses.
Finally, tankless systems don’t involve anode rods, flushing or line maintenance. Instead, a much easier filter cleaning process is applied and simply watching for sediment presence. And, where repairs are needed, again a plumber can help.
Worth Considering With Today’s Technology
A tankless water heater upgrade offers a homeowner today a real opportunity for better control of utility cost and leverage new technology. Remember, tank heaters have been around for decades. Why continue to use a system of heating that’s more than 50 years old? Tankless heating works faster, better, more consistently and with less cost. It’s an advantage all the way around.