Should You Go Tankless?Brian Simpson | Feb 19, 2016
If you have owned your home for ten years or more, you might have already replaced your hot water heater. And if you haven’t, beware because your time is coming. Conventional systems like the bulky one that you probably have in your home only last 12 years at most. And unless you like having cold water come out of your faucets, tankless water heaters are perfect solutions for having hot water on demand.
We don’t recommend waiting for your water heater to be on its last cycle and break. Not only will you run out of hot water, but when it breaks you could be looking at a messy leak. So prepare to replace it beforehand. Besides preparing yourself to choose from the different water heaters available today, the cost of purchasing and efficiently running a water heater can vary greatly. It’s worth spending some time to review your options since they could save you water and energy costs.
When you decide it is time to replace your water and is ready to look at your options, here are three reasons why you may want to go tankless:
The modern conventional storage tank systems have better energy ratings than in the past, but they haven’t gone through many technological changes. Water still needs to be heated and then stored in the tank until it is ready to use. A temperature gauge helps to make sure the water stored in the tank stays at the present level so it’s ready 24/7. That means it wastes energy to keep the water in the tank hot.
In contrast, a tankless unit doesn’t store water. Instead, it heats it when you are ready to use it. When water is heated, cold water travels through a pipe, is heated by an element that is either electric or natural gas, and then routed to your taps or appliances. This makes it more energy-efficient and can reduce your energy costs by about 10 to 30 percent.
Even an efficiently running conventional tank has capacity limitations as well as a long timeframe for heating up inflowing water. Some sources recommend a 30-gallon tank as a minimum for a home with only one bathroom. For homes with two full baths, a 50-gallon tank should do. But if you use a few appliances simultaneously that require hot water, you might not have enough water heated for when you need it. It can take an estimated 30 minutes after the last shower or wash load to allow the water heater to generate more hot water.
With a tankless system, your water is heated on demand. So you don’t have to wait. You can have all the hot water you need for a shower at the same time you are doing laundry and running the dishwasher. There is no capacity limit.
A tank unit is needed for conventional water heaters. If you have one of these already in your home then there is already space for it. It is probably in a closet-sized area but it might be nice to use that space for something else. A tankless unit requires significantly less space. An electric tankless system can fit underneath a cabinet or mounted on a wall. The gas tankless systems are a bit larger but still much smaller than conventional systems.
Energy efficiency, unlimited capacity for hot water, and small storage requirements – these are all great reasons to consider installing a new tankless water heater. High Priority Plumbing can help you select the best water heater for your home and install it. If you have questions or are ready to get an estimate, contact our Atlanta office at 770.860.8110.