Tankless water heaters make sense in theory. It does seem like a waste of energy to have a large tank of water being continuously heated in your home, even when you don’t need it. Tankless water heaters use gas to heat water on demand and boast savings of up to 20% on your utilities bill. They do come with some drawbacks, the most prohibitive of which is the considerable cost of these units. We take a look at the pros and cons of tankless water heaters to decide if they are a worthwhile investment.
Most governments offer incentives for home and business owners who are considering switching to tankless water heaters. These incentives will vary from one area to the next, so contact your local government to see if you qualify for a rebate. This will go a long way to mitigating the higher cost of tankless water heaters.
Another great advantage is that you never run out of hot water. If you run a business or have a large family, this can be the perfect solution to large-volume demand. Tankless water heaters are very small in comparison to more traditional models. This means you can install them under the sink, in a closet or even outside if you include an anti-freeze kit.
Energy efficiency is their most obvious advantage and you aren’t wasting energy heating water no one is using. Heating water accounts for 30% of the average household utilities bill, so the saving here can be significant.
The biggest factor to consider is the cost as electric tankless water heaters will cost $500-$800 while gas water heaters will set you back $1000-$2000. This doesn’t account for installation costs which depend entirely on your contractor, the location of the units and the size of your home.
Your tankless heater will take approximately 15-20 years to pay off with savings on utilities bills. With most models having a life expectancy of 20-25 years (as opposed to the 10-13 years of conventional water heaters), it means you may break even by the time you need to get a new one. The cost of buying and installing your tankless water heater can be offset by government subsidies and isn’t really a consideration if you already need to replace your water heater or if you are considering a tankless water heater for a new home.
If you are considering switching to an electric tankless water heater, you will have to check that your electrical system is up to the task. Having to rewire your home to support your tankless water heater may add considerable cost to the project.
Tankless water heaters last longer, take up less space, save energy and are great for the environment but the high cost of the system and installation make it a tough sell. If you are able to offset the cost with rebates, then a tankless water heater may be a worthwhile investment for you.