Unless you like showering, bathing, or washing clothes and dishes in freezing water, you’re going to need a water heater. Whether you’re buying your first water heater or replacing an old one, there’s going to be a lot to decipher when it comes time to make your purchase.
However, there’s no need to get overwhelmed. Using this tankless water heater buying guide, you can find everything you need to understand how tankless water heaters work, how they compare to tank-style water heaters, tankless water heater advantages and disadvantages, how to choose the right one for your home, and more. Plus, we’ll show you how the plumbing professionals from Honest Plumbing & Air. can help with your water heater repair, replacement, or installation project, as well as any other plumbing emergency in the Austin, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Hutto, Leander, Pflugerville, or Round Rock, TX area.
How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?
Put simply, when you turn on a hot water faucet, your water heater recognizes the need for hot water and begins the heating process accordingly with either an electric heating element or a gas burner. When the water exits your tankless water heater, you’re treated to hot water that usually takes the same amount of time to deliver as your current tank system. A few additional seconds can be reduced depending on the type and brand of unit you install.
After you shut off the hot water faucet, cold water will stop entering your water heater, and the electric heating element or gas burner will also shut down.
Tankless Water Heater vs. Tank-Style Water Heater
While tankless and tank-style water heaters provide you with hot water, they work very differently. Take a deeper look into how they contrast:
|Tankless Water Heaters
|Tank-Style Water Heaters
|Only operate when there is a need for hot water
|Store hot water inside the tank to be used later
|Bigger up-front investment with modifications needed for installation
|Affordable purchase and installation prices
|More eco-friendly and energy efficient
|Energy is continuously used even when there’s not a need for hot water
|More compact and can be mounted to a wall
|Space on the floor is needed or in the attic
|Proper sizing is needed
|Storage can range from 20 to 80 gallons
|System lifespan expectancy exceeds 20 years with the proper maintenance
|System life expectancy is 8 to 12 years (Can be extend with proper maintenance
Advantages & Disadvantages of a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters are a popular choice for most homeowners around Austin, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Hutto, Leander, Pflugerville, & Round Rock, TX because of their many advantages. However, these systems aren’t perfect. Take a look at the pros and cons:
|Energy Savings: Since how water is available on-demand instead sitting idly in a tank, you’ll be saving on energy and operating costs year-round.
|Cost: When purchasing a tankless water heater, it’s important to consider the higher upfront costs, especially when facing different installation requirements.
|Extended Service Life: Just like every system out there, your tankless water heater will need service at some point. However, these systems are designed to be repaired and almost every part can be easily replaced with another, giving them an extended service life.
|Upgrading Your Electrical Supply: Electric tankless water heaters need a lot of electricity for hot water. If you have an older home, you may have to upgrade your household’s electrical supply to properly support the water heater. Also, Gas water heaters require a 120-volt power supply – usually this is not near the existing water heater tanks.
|Unlimited Hot Water Supply: Your tankless water heater, if sized correctly, will provide you with an unlimited supply of hot water.
|Costly Ventilation: Non-condensing gas tankless water heaters require expensive venting material to operate.
|Fresh Water: Since the water in a tankless heater isn’t sitting idly, you won’t have water that has been sitting around and potentially picking up rust or other minerals.
|Limited Output: Without a storage tank, a household will only have as much hot water as the tank can heat up at any given time.
Gas vs. Electric Tankless Water Heaters
Neither gas nor electric water heaters have inherent advantages over each other. Although the two are very different from each other, they both provide the same result: hot water on demand. So, deciding which type of tankless water heater is right for your home depends on a variety of household factors and preferences, including hot water demands, budget, and installation requirements.
More often than not, gas tankless water heaters are very complicated to install but installation price may be comparable to an electric system depending on pre-existing tank system. Since a home’s existing venting ducts and gas lines are rarely compatible and gas tankless water heaters have a complex ventilation system, homeowners that choose this option can expect to pay a hefty price for professional installation and home modifications. For longevity of your home water heater system, it is dependent on the water conditioning and water quality of your home. Still, gas tankless water heaters can deliver more hot water than electrical units, making them appealing to large families with high hot water demands.
Unlike their gas counterparts, electric tankless water heaters are much easier to install and have relatively less expensive operating costs due to their minimal maintenance needs. Plus, electric heaters are much smaller in size than gas units, making them perfect if you want to hide your system in an out-of-the-way space. However, compared to gas systems, the colder the water flowing into your system, the lower the gallons per minute (GPM), which you might notice when your hot shower suddenly turns into a freezing one.
Choosing the Right Tankless Water Heater
If you decide to upgrade your home with a tankless water heater, it’s crucial to pick the right one. If you select a unit that’s too small, your tankless water heater won’t be able to heat fast enough for your household’s demands. If your tankless water heater is too big, you’ll be paying more than you need to. With these variables, how do you choose the right water heater for your needs?
When choosing the best tankless water heater, consider the flow rate, which is the water flow measured in GPM, and the temperature rising, which is the difference between the groundwater temperature and the hot water output temperature. By calculating these numbers, you can get an idea of which size tankless water heater is best for your home. It’s also a good idea to look at sizing charts as an added guide when making your purchase.
Contact Honest Plumbing & Air. for Water Heater Services
Purchasing a water heater is no simple feat. But, once you do make your decision, make sure you rely on the plumbing contractor of choice, Honest Plumbing & Air., for a full slate of water heater solutions. From water heater installation to repair and replacement, our plumbing professionals have years of experience providing our local Austin, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Hutto, Leander, Pflugerville, & Round Rock, TX communities with all their tankless water heater needs.
We invite you to get in touch with our team today to schedule your professional service.