If you own a home, you’re more than likely well aware of the fact that over time, your water heater will eventually wear out. In fact, on average you’ll need to replace your water heater every eight years, as it will eventually spring a leak or wear out to the point where repairing it simply isn’t a viable option.
When the time comes to install a brand-new water heater, you’ll more than likely hear about your opportunity to consider ditching the tank and switching over to a tankless water heater system. Tankless water heaters are quickly becoming one of the most popular home upgrades on the market because homeowners are looking for ways to make their homes safer and more energy-efficient. While they do require a more substantial investment than simply replacing your existing tank, switching to tankless could be one of the best decisions you make as a homeowner.
If you’re unsure whether or not a tankless water heater is right for you, you may be looking for more information to help you make a more educated decision. In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the pros and cons of each type of water heater to help you make this determination for yourself.
A tank water heater is more than likely the type of system you already have in your home. Tank water heaters have been around for decades, and beyond some upgrades to make them more energy-efficient, they’ve really changed very little. And for many homeowners, that’s just fine. In fact, little change is a good thing, as it means not much will change in your home and your new system installation is more than likely just a matter of a quick, routine plumbing service.
Pros: Arguably the largest pro of a tank style water heater is the price: tank heaters are much cheaper than their tankless counterparts, so for those on a tight budget who need a new water heater, a tank may be the way to go. You’ll have more opportunities to upgrade in the future, so there’s nothing wrong with sticking with a tank style heater for now.
The second is that the overwhelming majority of homes these days are built with a tank style water heater in mind, and that means you’re more than likely going to be replacing one, so you have space. It all just comes down to picking one that fits your water heater closet right and which can meet your water demand needs. Be advised, however, that as tanks have become more energy-efficient, they’ve become surrounded by more and more insulation. That means a closet which may have been capable of holding a 100-gallon tank before may only be able to hold 80 or 85 gallons now.
Cons: Tank style heaters are actually prone to a number of issues, and many of them simply don’t have an easy solution. One problem that has actually become an even bigger issue with modern high-efficiency heaters is thermal expansion. As water heats, it expands and takes up even greater volume. The same is true for the air in your water heater—it expands as it heats. As the air expands, it puts even greater pressure on the top and sides of your tank, which then means your tank could be prone to major leaks, bursting, or even an explosion in super-rare cases. This is why you have a pressure release valve located at the top of your tank, but these valves themselves could also fail.
Likewise, another downside to tank style heaters is their short lifespan. Even when well-kept, tank-style heater will only last eight to ten years on average, and even less if you don’t care for it. That means you’ll inevitably be making another investment in a new heater within what will feel like just a few more short years.
Tankless water heaters are unique in that they don’t have a tank of water, but rather just heat the water as you need it. There are a number of advantages to this arrangement.
Pros: Because you only heat the water one time, and do so on-demand, you only pay for the energy to heat your water once. No more bringing a tank of water up to temperature and then paying for even more energy to keep it there, waiting until you need it. That means way less energy usage and lower utility bills. Likewise, because they don’t have a tank, they’re less prone to leaking, don’t have to worry about thermal expansion causing pressure issues, and their smaller size means they take up less space. Likewise, they’re exceptionally long-lasting—a tankless water heater can last for decades when maintained, and may be the last water heater you ever have to buy while you own your home. Oh, and did we mention the coolest feature: so long as your utility connections remain active, you’ll never run out of hot water again!
Cons: So what are the downsides to a tankless system? The biggest one is the cost: a tankless water heater is a significantly larger investment in your home than a tank heater. Tankless water heaters do require more of an upfront cost, but many homeowners are choosing to simply invest now and enjoy the savings for longer. Over time, these upgrades do become self-funding with the amount of money they can save you on your energy bills as well as tank replacements.
Interested in switching to a tankless water heater? Pick up the phone and call the experts at Guardian Plumbers! Dial (951) 338-9774 to request a consultation for your tankless water heater system.
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