Is a Tankless Hot Water Heater Right for My Home?

We’ve all experienced it. That moment when the hot water runs out. One minute you are enjoying a steady stream of soothing hot water—usually mid-lather, of course—when  things suddenly take a icy turn. It’s the worst! There you are, shivering and covered in suds, debating whether to wait for the hot water tank to replenish itself or risk hypothermia by rinsing off in ice-cold water.

If you’re faced with this dilemma often enough, you might be thinking about switching to a tankless hot water heater. With the interest in ‘on-demand’ hot water on the rise, many homeowners are choosing to update their water heating systems with a tankless water heater. In addition to being one of the top energy efficient additions you can make to your home, the appeal of continuous hot water is hard to ignore.

The benefits of tankless hot water heaters

  • Endless hot water – If everyone in your household is competing for showertime in the morning, then you are likely very aware that a traditional hot water tank will only have so much hot water to accommodate the demand. The beauty of on-demand hot water heaters is that they can provide continuous hot water to meet your family’s needs.
  • Energy efficiency – Traditional hot water tanks waste energy by maintaining the temperature of all that water sitting in the tank. Tankless hot water systems are much more energy efficient as they only heat the water you need, when you need it. In fact, the Navien® Condensing Tankless Water Heater we install provides an energy efficiency rating of up to 97%, which means lower home energy bills and a reduced impact on the environment. Now you just need to convince the teenagers in your home to cut back on the 25-minute showers so you can reduce your water consumption at the same time!
  • Long lifespan – Without a large tank that is prone to leaks or needs complete replacement over time, a tankless hot water system—with proper water heater maintenance and timely repairs—will last a long time, typically with minimal upkeep and ongoing investment. A hot water tank will typically last between 10-15 years, whereas a tankless system can last 20 years or more.
  • Space-saver – Instead of a 60-gallon hot water tank occupying space in your storage or utility room, a tankless hot water system is extremely compact and mounts on the wall, freeing up plenty of space for your inflatable Christmas nativity scene and your food dehydrator.

The cons of going tankless

  • Installation costs – There is a higher upfront cost associated with switching to a tankless water heater. Both the tankless hot water system itself and the installation will cost you more initially than you would pay for a new standard hot water tank. However, with a reduction in energy consumption, those higher initial costs will be recovered in energy bill savings over time.
  • Venting requirements – Because on-demand hot water heaters have high-powered burners, they require a dedicated, sealed vent system, which requires professional installation. You may also need to add a dedicated gas line to supply your unit. DIY-ers beware! Installation of a tankless hot water heater is better left to the pros.

Find out if tankless is the right option for your home

While on-demand hot water heaters have many benefits, depending on your needs and budget, they aren’t always the best option for everyone. At First Call, we install a variety of hot water systems including tankless options, as well as traditional atmospheric vent hot water tanks and high-efficiency power direct hot water tanks.

Give us a call at 780.464.3337 or contact us online to learn more about tankless hot water heaters and find out which water heating option makes the most sense for your home.