Thinking of switching out your water heater for a different model? Maybe your current heater is close to its final days and you’re researching all possible replacements? If you’ve somehow stumbled across the advantages of a tankless water heater and now you’re curious, it’s definitely worth looking into a little more—especially if you’re after durability and longevity.
That being said, it’s important to note that there are cons to balance out the pros with this particular model (as is the case with every model, actually). More and more homeowners are switching to tankless, but should you follow suit?
Here are three things to consider when selecting the best tankless water heater for your home:
Tankless water heaters have two different sources of power: electric and gas.
Compared to electric, gas-powered heaters pack more power. They are also the more commonly-used power source for many residential water heaters. But remember; don’t just blindly follow the bandwagon. Natural gas might not be the best option to suit your needs.
Here are some questions to help you decide. First, how much gas is needed to satisfy the needs of your whole home? Second, how far from the water meter will you have to place the unit? And lastly, how large is your existing gas line?
You can certainly do the research to get answers on your own. However, you will need the help of a certified plumber or your gas provider to properly utilize that information. This will also help you decide how much you need to upgrade or optimize your system, should you switch over to tankless.
Electric tankless water heaters require a lot of work, but they are still as efficient as their propane-powered counterparts. However, there is some serious calculation needed to properly measure the load that will be placed on your home’s electrical system every time you use the heater. You’ll also need to know the technical aspects of the equipment—like wire or cable size—required to safely power the unit.
Overall, electric water heaters work nicely, but most experts generally avoid them for residential, whole-house applications. The main reason behind this is the high cost of electrical upgrades that would possibly be needed for the electric tankless water heater to work for your home.
As mentioned earlier, a tankless water heater is generally more durable and will last much longer than other models. It can typically get 20 to 30 years lifespan—almost twice the life of a regular tanked water heater.
In terms of maintenance, lack of a tank means you won’t have to worry about replacing huge parts or cleaning out the storage on the regular. Of course, this isn’t to say that tankless water heaters don’t need maintenance. For instance, limescale build-up or deposits of hard water can seriously affect your unit’s heating performance, which could consequently lead to more damage.
You’ll need to descale your heater regularly to make sure you have maximum performance. It could be every year, or every six months, depending on your property’s water quality.
In the end, a tankless water heater definitely has a lot of benefits. However, they’re not going to fulfill your specific needs if you don’t choose correctly. Use the above tips to guide you throughout the decision-making process and you should be plenty happy with the result.