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Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Installing a tankless water heater - pros and cons

Tankless water heaters are a great alternative to traditional hot water tanks. For those looking to make their home more energy-efficient, tankless water heaters can offer energy savings and a reduced carbon footprint. However, as with any appliance, there are pros and cons of tankless water heaters.

Tankless units can be gas or electric and will heat water only as it’s needed. The water is rapidly heated on-demand using high-powered coils or burners. This is in contrast to a traditional hot water tank which continuously heats water and stores it for use.

While there are many benefits to installing a tankless unit in your home, we’ll be the first to tell you that tankless water heaters aren’t for everyone. As both professionals plumbers and homeowners, the team at ProSolutions PHAC has seen the good and the bad when it comes to tankless heaters. 

To help you decide if one is right for you, let’s take a look at some pros and cons of tankless water heaters.

Tankless water heater pros
Cons of a tankless water heater
Should I get a tankless hot water heater?

Tankless Water Heater Pros

When deciding whether a tankless unit is right for your home, be sure to consider both the pros and cons of tankless water heaters.

Here are some of the most significant tankless water heater pros and reasons why you should consider installing a tankless water heater in your home.

1. Hot Water on Demand

With the right tankless unit installed in your home, you’ll never have to worry about running out of hot water again. 

Everyone knows the feeling of jumping into the shower and turning on the hot water only to find someone has drained the hot water tank. Now you have two options – stand there in the cold and wait for the water tank to refill or get out and try again later. Not ideal, either way.

Unlike a hot water tank, tankless water heaters heat water on demand. This means that as soon as you turn the hot water tap on the unit begins rapidly heating water for you to use. Never again will you be stuck in the shower with nothing but cold water.

2. Lower Utility Bills

A tankless water heater can help you save a lot on your utility bills. In fact, a tankless unit can cost up to 50% less to operate than a traditional hot water heater. 

Opting for a high-end model can help you save even more by reducing your energy consumption by up to an additional 9%.

3. More Energy-Efficient

Many people choose to install tankless water heaters because of how energy-efficient they are compared to traditional units. Tankless heaters can be 35% – 80% more energy-efficient than standard hot water tanks. As well, unlike a typical hot water tank, tankless water heaters have no standby energy loss. As a result, they are a much more eco-friendly option. 

On average, you can expect a gas tankless water heater to be 85% efficient, with some as high as 98% efficiency.

4. Government Rebates

As a result of their increased efficiency, installing a new tankless water heater in your home can help you secure government rebates

For those who live in Edmonton, the new home upgrade grant program – the Home Energy Retrofit Accelerator Program – will give you the maximum possible rebate for installing an energy-efficient tankless water heater. Under this program, homeowners who install an ENERGY STAR gas tankless water heater can receive up to $415.

5. Longer Lifetime

On average, a tankless water heater will last 2x as long as a standard hot water tank. While a hot water tank will typically last 7 to 10+ years, a tankless unit can last 20 to 30 years!

6. Space Savings

Tankless water heaters are very compact and mount to the wall. As a result, you can fit a tankless unit into a smaller space. By minimizing the space required for your hot water appliance, you can free up room for more important uses.

7. Replacement Parts

When installing any new appliance in your home, it’s important to keep in mind future maintenance. Consider how easy (or difficult) it will be to get replacement parts for the product, as well as how easy it will be to find someone to service the unit.

Luckily, replacement parts for tankless water heaters are easy to come by in Edmonton. When it comes to water heater services for your tankless water heater, ProSolutions PHAC has got you covered. Our team of professional plumbers is familiar with tankless units and can handle installation and maintenance.

8. Smart Technology 

Many new tankless heaters include smart technology that monitors performance and efficiency, to ensure that your unit is running effectively at all times. This smart tech can also help with troubleshooting, potentially reducing costs for simple issues that arise.

Tankless water heaters are often WiFi-compatible. As a result, you can connect to your tankless unit via your smartphone. From there, you can monitor its performance and adjust the temperature of your water. 

Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

As you’ve seen above, there are many tankless water heater pros. But, no review would be complete without looking at both the pros and cons of tankless water heaters. So then, what are the cons of a tankless water heater?

Here’s why a tankless water heater might not be for you.

1. Upfront Costs

If you want to purchase and install a new tankless unit in your home, you’ll be looking at an initial cost that is 2 to 3 times as much as a traditional hot water tank. While a quality hot water tank will cost around $1,500 to $2,500 to buy and install, tankless water heaters can range from $2,900 to $5,000 or more.

2. Additional Installation Costs

Tankless water heaters are much more complex than traditional hot water tanks. As a result, they require professional installation. 

If you’re switching from a hot water tank to a tankless unit, you will likely need your gas lines rerouted, as well as a larger gas supply line. Both of these alterations will increase the cost of installation. Your water lines may also need to be altered and a plumber will need to determine if your water pressure will be high enough to supply the unit. This evaluation is especially important if you have several different locations in your home that require the use of hot water. This will ensure that enough hot water can be heated on demand to supply all sources but will also increase installation costs.

3. Maintenance Requirements

A tankless hot water heater may require more maintenance than a traditional hot water tank. For instance, depending on your water source, your tankless unit will need to have its pipes flushed every year to prevent a build-up of sediment. 

That being said, all of your household appliances should be maintained regularly to keep them in good condition and to extend their lifetime. To help with regular maintenance, ProSolutions PHAC offers a Service Partner Plan. This plan offers proactive maintenance so that you can ensure your tankless water heater is in top working condition and that it lasts as long as possible.

4. Edmonton Winters

Tankless units don’t always do well with extremely cold water temperatures. Therefore, cold Edmonton winters can be hard on tankless water heaters.

Should I get a tankless hot water heater?

After comparing the pros and cons of tankless water heaters you should get a sense of whether a tankless unit is right for your home. To help with your decision, here are some common situations where tankless units are helpful and when they’re not.

Tankless units are ideal for homes that:

  • Don’t typically use large quantities of hot water
  • Have limited space for a hot water heater
  • Want to reduce their environmental impact
  • Want to receive the maximum rebate from Edmonton’s Home Energy Retrofit Accelerator (HERA) Program

Tankless hot water heaters are not a great option for homes with:

  • Large tubs or jacuzzis that are used frequently
  • Showers with rain heads and/or body jets that are often used
  • Incoming water that is extremely cold most of the year
  • Large families – if you have a large family, your home will require a larger tankless unit. The larger the unit the more expensive it will be and at a certain point, the cost of a large and efficient tankless heater will outweigh the benefits.

Talk Tankless with ProSolutions PHAC

Considered the pros and cons of tankless water heaters and still unsure if one is right for your household? Contact your local tankless water heater services provider for assistance. The professional and friendly team at ProSolutions PHAC can help you make the best decision for your home. 

If you think a tankless water heater is right for you but you don’t have the funds to cover the upfront costs, ProSolutions can help. Along with Government Rebates, we can help you with home improvement financing options so you can enjoy the benefits of hot water on demand without having to worry about the bill.