Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for Your Wilmington Home?
A tankless water heater permanently eliminates the longstanding drawback of conventional storage heaters — the tank. In storage-type models, heated water will tend to cool in the tank, often requiring multiple reheating cycles before it’s finally used. Because of this, storage tank models are “always on” and are always consuming energy. Additionally, once the tank empties during high demand, there may be an extended wait (or a cold shower) while another tank heats. “No tank” means continuous hot water without interruption.
However, like all systems, a tankless water heater has several advantages, as well as a few drawbacks. Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons:
- Reduced energy consumption. Tankless heaters produce hot water by flash-heating the flow only when a hot water tap is opened. Since no hot water is stored, there’s no standby loss and less wasted energy. A typical tankless heater uses 30 percent or more less gas than a storage tank model.
- Handles greater hot water needs. Changing household demands often exceed the finite capacity of standard storage tank heaters. However, tankless models have no fixed capacity limit.
- Lasts longer. With an expected service life of just 10 years, a storage tank heater is the most frequently replaced major home appliance. The service life of a tankless model is about 20 years.
- Higher upfront purchase price. The low cost of mass-produced storage tank models means you’ll still pay more for a tankless heater.
- Proper sizing is critical. As long as your tankless model is accurately sized by a qualified professional, your hot water supply is theoretically unlimited. However, DIY “guesstimates” and unprofessional installation techniques may result in disappointing performance and higher operating costs.
- Other considerations. You may need to retrofit a larger gas line to feed a tankless heater. Additionally, venting requirements are more stringent for a tankless water heater than a storage tank model.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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