No appliance is built to last forever, especially your water heater. It’s easy to ignore the appliance that sits in your basement, but a damaged or aging water heater is more than just a nuisance, it’s a safety hazard. Storage tank water heaters are common in most homes, but they’re inefficient and dangerous when poorly maintained. Water heaters wear down with age, and whether you’re in need of a new water heater or still have a few years of use left, a tankless water heater can be a drastic improvement.
Why You’re Better Off Tankless
Like its name, a storage tank water heater works by heating up a tank full of water before distributing it throughout your home. The upfront installation cost of a tankless water heater may cost more than a storage tank water heater, but there are six benefits that make the expense worthwhile.
•You save money. Despite the pricey installation cost, a tankless water heater is energy efficient and makes up for the expense down the line. Since there is no tank, a tankless water heater works by providing heated water on demand. Instead of paying for any unused heated water, you only pay for the heated water you actually use. You can save over $100 on your utility bills each year, and most tankless water heaters come with a tax rebate.
•Longer warranty. While most storage tank water heaters generally last 10-15 years, a tankless water heater almost doubles in warranty with a 20-year lifespan. With fewer parts to maintain and easier maintenance, tankless water heaters are built to last longer.
• Compact by design. Besides the money saved, another great perk of a tankless water heater is the lack of a water tank. Tankless water heaters are much smaller in size and can be installed just about anywhere such as in closets or even under cabinets.
• Clean water guaranteed. No tank also means there is no risk of contaminated drinking water. Water heaters wear down with use, but storage tank water heaters can be especially problematic. Over time, the minerals naturally found in water can build up sediment deposits which not only clog or break down the water heater but can cause it to rust and leach into your drinking water.
• No safety hazards. Safety should always be a top priority, and the issue with storage tank water heaters is the risks that can happen down the line. Storage tank water heaters are more complex in design and have more parts susceptible to damage. A tankless water heater prevents plumbing catastrophes such as a flooded basement from a busted tank, contaminated water, and other types of water damage.
• Easy maintenance. Home maintenance can be enough of a chore on its own, which is why another perk of going tankless is the easy maintenance involved. With no tank and easily replaceable parts, a tankless water heater is easier to maintain by comparison.
What to Consider When Going Tankless
A tankless water heater is a great investment for your home, but it’s important to think it through before you start shopping. When looking for the right model, here are a few factors to consider.
• Your hot water demand. A tankless water heater can heat up your entire house or just a room. It’s up to you whether you’re interested in entirely replacing your water heater with a tankless unit, or installing something smaller for something more point of use, such as a faucet or a shower stall.
• Fuel type. Each fuel type has its own set of requirements, which can add up installation costs. An electric model needs the right voltage, amperage, and electrical panel, while a gas model needs a proper ventilation system.
• Location. Where you install your tankless water heater is another important factor to consider, as it can potentially be installed anywhere as long as it is within 50 feet of a power source.
• Installation. An appliance as important as your water heater should be installed right the first time, which is why it’s important to carefully select who installs your tankless unit. Always make sure the plumber installing your tankless water heater is properly licensed. If you have a tank, it’s time for an upgrade.
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