Is Purchasing a Tankless Water Heater a Smart Move?

Remodeling contractor in duluth

One of the simplest ways to dramatically lower your utility bill is to purchase a tankless water heater. A traditional hot water heater holds about 80 gallons of water and constantly works to keep the water heated, whether or not you’re using it. This means that the entire time that you’re at work, while your vegging out on Netflix, and while you sleep at night, your hot water heater is chugging away, rolling up your utility bill’s meter.

In contrast, when you purchase a tankless water heater, energy is only used when you actually turn the faucet on. A tankless water heater works by running water through heated coils, similar to the ones that heat your stove, and only when the water is actually running. As the water runs through the hot coils, it gets very hot. When it reaches you, you’ll experience no difference than hot water that runs through your traditional hot water heater (except perhaps that you won’t run out if you take a really long shower).

Where you will notice a big difference is on your energy bill. Studies show that approximately 30% of your energy bill is comprised your hot water heater running around the clock. When you purchase a tankless water heater, you improve efficiency by about 50%. In other words, if your utility bill is typically $200, $66 is probably made up of your hot water heater, and using a tankless water heater would reduce that by $33. Over the course of one year, you would save about $400!

Consideration for Installing a Tankless Water Heater
A few things that you should know before deciding to purchase a tankless water heater include:

  • Gas tankless heaters tend to be more efficient than electric, but cost equally more. The cost of the gas tankless water heater might be two to three times more than the cost of an electric tankless water heater. On the plus side, gas powered tankless water heaters generally qualify for energy efficiency tax credits.
  • An electric tankless water heater is more suitable for small areas of your house, such as heating water in just the kitchen or the bathroom, rather than the entire house.
  • Traditional water heaters are generally not setup to be retrofitted with the tankless heater, and so intallation can be tricky. Unless you have HVAC experience, you will want to bring in general contractors for the construction. This can add a little to the up-front investment of a tankless water heater.
  • Installing a tankless water heater in your home often requires building permits. You will want to contact your local permitting office to find out requirements in your county. If you hire a general contractor, they will know the requirements and will likely take care of it for you.
  • Not all tankless water heaters are created equally. Do your research on customer reviews and product features before you make a purchase. This is not the type of investment to cut corners on, you will save money from day one with a good tankless water heater, the savings might not be worth it if you buy the least expensive one on the market lose the efficiency throughout the life of your tankless water heater.

Depending on your hot water usage and your home’s setup, a tankless water heater could save you a ton of money. The best way to determine if a tankless water heater is best for you and how to proceed is by talking to a plumbing expert about your particular arrangement and what your options are.

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