The Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater
Have you heard the buzz about tankless water heaters? You may have even considered purchasing one for your home. While they are becoming more established in the marketplace, there is still some confusion about what you can expect from them. We’ll dive into what to look for when you are considering a tankless water heater and how they compare to tank-style water heaters.
What exactly is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters, also known as instantaneous, continuous flow, on-demand water heaters, are compact water heaters that instantly heat water coming through without the need of a tank (although some use a very small tank as a buffer). Apart from design and function, tankless water heaters also come with their own unique benefits not realized by conventional storage water heaters. Chances are you don’t have one in your Edmonton home - unless it's new or a tankless water heater was recently added to replace an older water heater. The team at Mr Rooter plumbing of Edmonton put together the top 7 reasons why you should consider replacing your water heater with a tankless model.
Why Use Tankless Water Heaters?
What is it that makes a tankless water heater better than traditional tank-style water heaters? Here are six factors that highlight the benefits of tankless water heaters compared to traditional systems, showing how tankless water heaters are far superior.
The first reason to go tankless is that of a tankless water heaters lifespan. While they haven’t been around long enough to truly know how long they will last, the industry expects a well-maintained unit to last approximately 25 or more years. Comparing this to traditional water heaters today and their 10-year life expectancy, it can be clearly seen that tankless water heaters are superior as they are expected to last 2 to 3 times as long.
#2 Efficiency of Tankless Water Heaters
The efficiency of tankless water heaters is where their superiority really shines. Tankless units are much more efficient than tank-style heaters because of 2 factors:
- the electronic ignition
- no storage of hot water needed
The use of an electronic ignition means that there is no pilot flame constantly burning. Although the pilot uses a small amount of gas, it can add up over time since it is burning all day long 365 days a year. Not exactly like leaving your car idling all the time, but you get the idea. It's not exactly the most efficient.
Keeping a tank of water hoe can require a lot of energy. Different water tanks have different insulating properties with some being superior due to the construction and materials used, however, water tanks don’t stay warm all on their own. Once a water tank is heated up, it won't stay hot for the entire day, and it's only a matter of time before it cools off enough that it will need to warm up again, even without any water usage. One of the biggest advantages of tankless units is that they are only heating water when there is a demand for hot water. This is not only environmentally friendly but can also save loads of gas and money over time. Edmonton homeowners looking to save money over the long run or trying to reduce their household’s carbon footprint should consider going tankless.
Imagine if you went on a holiday for a month, how many times would your old traditional water heater need to reheat your water to maintain the temperature setting during your vacation? Many times over, whereas a tankless water heater, wouldn’t fire even once while you were away.
#3 Hot Water Volume
As most of us are well aware, tank-style water heaters can run out of hot water and then take quite a long time to have hot water ready again. This issue is non-existent with tankless water heaters! With a tankless water heater gone are the days of racing to get into the shower first so you don’t run out of hot water with a head full of shampoo!
You can actually get hot water tanks in larger sizes which would make running out of water unlikely, but these units can get quite pricey due to size and lower production volumes when compared to standard 40 gallon (150 L) tanks. There is also a larger volume of water stored which needs to be kept hot when not in use. This all adds up to a more expensive and less green alternative than going tankless!
This may or may not be a big consideration for you, but for those that are looking to be kinder to the planet, tankless units are the way to go! Tankless water heaters are generally about the size of a mid-sized suitcase which is mounted on a wall. Comparing this to tank-style water heaters, you can really see the difference of free space in your utility room.
Many people don’t realize that tank style water heaters require some routine maintenance. Generally, the tank style units will continue to work fine for years without any maintenance but their lifespan will often be much shorter than it could have been ultimately ending in a failure of the tank itself.
In contrast, tankless water heaters will not generally survive for years on end without the recommended maintenance. We routinely get customers who’s tankless water heater have stopped working completely! The most common response we see from Edmonton homeowners it that they were never told by the original installer that the unit required maintenance. What generally happens over time is the components start plugging up with scale and hardness eventually causing a failure of those components. Most manufacturers recommend getting the unit serviced annually which should ensure a long life of the unit. You wouldn’t buy a truck or car and never change the oil, would you? Remember to protect your tankless water heater investment and perform maintenance as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Yes, Tankless water heaters tend to be more expensive to buy and install - but wait! Tankless water heaters actually help you save money in the long run. Not only does a tankless unit last almost 3 times as long as a tank style water heater, but the efficiency of the water heater helps save you money on your gas bills. Tankless heaters are about 30% more efficient while simultaneously being more convenient. What is even better is that for those of us living in Alberta, there may be some provincial government incentives available to you which can help offset the initial cost of tankless water heaters. For more information check out the Energy Efficiency Alberta here. Remember the cost savings in gas usage is also better for the environment because you are burning less gas than you would otherwise!
#7 Water Quality
For those considering going tankless, water quality should be an important factor in your decision. After all, water quality is very important in ensuring a long lifespan of your investment. Generally, homes in the Edmonton area on municipal water supplies have moderately hard water. If left untreated the hardness will deposit within the heat exchanger of the unit which will essentially plug it up over time. Small particles from your water can plug up the exchanger over time as well. If you would like your water heater to reach its full life expectancy, we recommend treating the water. This is done by softening and filtering your water with a water softener and water filter. This helps prevent deposits from collecting on the heat exchanger of your heater, allowing it to function as intended for years to come.
Looking to replace your water heater?
Choose the local Professionals at Mr Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton! Our courteous technicians will arrive on time to your scheduled appointment and will ensure you have all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your Edmonton home. Have more questions or thinking about going tankless, talk to one of our licensed Edmonton plumbers today! Give Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton a call at 780-429-3600 to request an appointment with a water heater specialist. Licensed, bonded, and insured plumbers at your service!