When it comes time to upgrade your hot water heater, you have several options to choose from. For many homeowners, this decision comes down the choice between a newer version of their current hot water heater model or a newer tankless water heater. Both options have advantages and drawbacks so the right decision depends on your situation. Below, we discuss when this option may work in your home.
You Have a Smaller Than Average Hot Water Demand
While tankless water heaters can compete with most small and average sized traditional hot water heaters, tankless units may not be appropriate for particularly large households. A tankless heater may have trouble keeping up with a higher-than-average demand.
Additionally, the more hot water you use over the course of an average day, the less efficient a tankless heater will be. In homes with low water use, a tankless heater can be up to 34% more efficient than a traditional model, but the percentage drops to a maximum of 14% with high levels of water use.
You Need to Conserve Space in Your Home
Conventional heaters consist of a large reservoir that heats and stores water. These heaters take up a significant amount of space and require at least a foot of clearance around them. If you need to conserve square footage, a tankless water heater may be a better choice.
Tankless water heaters are ideal for urban apartments, so-called tiny homes, and other small living spaces.
You Prefer a Large Initial Investment Over Long-Term Maintenance Costs
Tankless hot water heaters can cost significantly more to purchase and install than their traditional counterparts. However, in most cases, this big initial investment leads to lower maintenance, water, and energy costs over time.
If you can afford a tankless hot water heater, you may recoup your expenses in reduced long-term costs. When considering costs, you should remember that not every home is wired to accommodate a tankless water heater. Rewiring can add a significant cost to the initial investment.
You Want to Make Your Home More Sustainable
The large-scale heating and water storage of conventional hot water heaters often leads to high levels of energy and water waste, especially in older homes with poorly insulated pipes. If you're taking steps to make your home more sustainable, a tankless water heater can be a smart investment since these units only heat the water you actually use when you need it.
As you consider your hot water heater options, consult with a plumber, such as First Class Plumbing LLC. A plumbing expert can make recommendations based on your home's architecture, household size, and other important factors.