When you are in the market for a new water heater, first weigh the pros and cons of standard hot water heaters vs. tankless hot water heater systems. This is especially true if you are in need because your water heater is old, overtaxed, and/or constantly running out of hot water when you need it most.
Choosing the type of water heater that will supply your home with sufficient hot water is essential to avoid throwing in a load of laundry and jumping in the shower only to find the water is ice cold, especially when winter arrives.
Selecting the Right Hot Water Heater
When you consider, choose, and install a hot water heater system in your home, you want to make sure it covers the needs of your household and budget. Consider these things when making your selection between a standard and a tankless water heater:
- Your average water use
- The need for one or multiple units (if choosing a tankless hot water heater) to meet your home’s daily water usage
- The fuel type appropriate for your home
- Any codes/laws for proper installation that must be followed
Standard Tank Water Heaters
Standard water heaters, the traditional large tank systems, have their value and advantages including a selection of 40, 50, 75, and 100-gallon hot water tanks available. This range of storage capacity makes them ideal for households that have a high water usage (~86 gallons/day) and a modest budget. If your home typically runs a load of laundry, the dishwasher, a shower, and a hot faucet on and off several times a day each day, you have high water use and should consider this in your decision.
Other advantages for standard water heaters include:
- Lower installation and initial costs
- Low maintenance and repair costs
- 12+ year lifespan with proper water heater maintenance or 7–10 years without it.
Tankless Water Heaters
What is a tankless water heater? A tankless water heater, also called an on demand water heater or endless hot water heater, is exactly what it sounds like – a water heater that does not require a tank to store hot water. Instead, this hot water system uses electricity or natural gas to heat water when you need it and only when you need it.
An endless hot water heater brings hot water to your shower, washer, sink or dishwasher through the following process:
- Water enters the heater.
- The water flow sensor detects the strength of the water flow.
- The water heater’s computer automatically ignites the burner.
- Water is forced to circulate through the heat exchanger.
- The exchanger heats the water to the set temperature.
As soon as you turn that hot water tap off, the system turns off. It’s that simple.
Benefits of Tankless Water Heater
But is a tankless water heater worth it? These benefits will allow you to answer that question for yourself.
- Life Expectancy: 15–20+ years
- On Demand Hot Water Heater: means endless hot water – no waiting for a tank to heat up the next batch in storage. Luxury line tankless water heaters are available and offer:
- Endless hot water for up to 4+ showers at a time
- Quick-connect systems
- Two tankless units can be linked together to meet the high demand
- Dual flame burner, redesigned heat exchanger, and 25% thicker copper piping
- Up to 40% more efficient than a 50-gallon tank water heater
- Could save at least $100/year in energy consumption (fuel types can affect this significantly), essentially paying for themselves within 10 years
- Compact & Convenient: small unit, able to be mounted on a wall or installed outside
- Incentive: Utility companies often offer incentives and rebates for installing a tankless water heater system.
When you have a water heater on your mind, weigh your options and talk to a professional about what system is right for your Nashville home and your budget.
When To Consider a Water Heater Replacement
Also keep in mind – it is time to consider a replacement and/or an upgrade, if your hot water heater is:
- Improperly installed
- Functioning erratically
- Making rumbling/rattling noises
- Tinting the water or rusting (visible on parts and pipes)
- Increasing your energy costs
Get your important questions about hot water heaters answered by the experts at Hoffmann Brothers. Call us in Nashville at 615-515-3015.