An effective and efficient HVAC system is an essential part of home comfort. If you’re looking to upgrade the water heating side of things, you have a choice to make. Should you opt for a traditional tank water heater or a more modern tankless unit?
Both have their place, but five key advantages should make you consider installing a tankless water heater as the central part of your next home renovation project.
Perhaps the most important benefit of a tankless water heater is its better energy efficiency compared to a traditional tank heater. In typical family homes, water can be heated using 25-30% less energy than tank heaters, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars each year as well as benefiting the environment through lower emissions.
As homes get larger, the savings slowly become less dramatic, but an expert water heating contractor will be able to assess your home’s energy requirements and advise on how much you could potentially save—they may even offer financing so you can upgrade sooner to help save on energy costs.
Today’s tankless water heater models boast an impressively long lifetime, typically lasting for up to two decades before needing a replacement. By contrast, a storage heater may need replacing after only ten years on average. What’s more, tankless heaters require very little regular maintenance to keep working at peak efficiency, unlike storage heaters, which need to be serviced up to twice a year.
Everyone who’s used a storage water heater knows that if the hot water runs out, either through a power outage or overuse, reheating a full tank can take a frustratingly long time. With a tankless heater, the water is warmed only when needed, with almost instant results even if the power has recently been out. What’s more, as the water is heated in a constant stream, you don’t need to worry about limiting your usage to ensure there’s still some left in the tank for other needs.
The more hot water you use in a day, the larger the storage tank you’ll need, and this of course means you’ll need to find the room for it. A typical cylinder storage tank measures 150 cm high by 60 cm across, taking up a significant amount of space, whether it’s in a dedicated closet or the corner of a basement.
By contrast, a standard tankless water heater measures around 70 cm by 50 cm, and is only around 20 cm deep, making it a highly attractive option for smaller homes or apartments where space can be better used for other things. And as an extra benefit, a tankless water heater can be mounted high on a wall, freeing up valuable floor space underneath.
Lastly, tankless heaters are in some ways safer as they contain less hot water at a time than regular storage heaters. Although faults in any kind of well-maintained system are rare, a leak of large amounts of hot water from a regular tank can be disastrous. A tankless system is under less pressure and stress, and therefore less likely to fail catastrophically, and will cause much less damage even if it does spring a leak.
As with all areas of equipment and home renovations in general, there are downsides to go along with the benefits. There are two potential disadvantages of tankless water heaters to take into account when deciding whether they’re right for your renovation project.
First, installation can cost up to twice as much as a regular heater, thanks to the higher unit price of tankless models. However, the greater energy efficiency can quickly make up the deficit, so in a few years you should come out ahead. If you don’t want to pay for an upgrade with a lump sum upfront, you can easily opt for low monthly payments with financing, instead.
Second, larger families in larger homes may find a single tankless heater can’t keep up with demand. If you often expect to have showers, heating, laundry, and so on all running at the same time, you may need to install more than one tankless heater to handle the load. One of our recommended contractors would be able to help you decide in advance whether this would be cost-effective compared to a traditional heater.
To get an idea of how much upgrading to a tankless water heater would cost, use our free renovation calculator to get a clear estimate. Then connect with one of our recommended contractors or speak to our team of home improvement experts for free and friendly advice. Start renovating like an expert today!
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