Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth the Money?
Tankless water heaters are one of the newer tools for creating a more energy efficient home. Unlike standard hot water heaters, which continuously heat and reheat water so that it is always hot, tankless heaters generate warmth instantly with high-powered gas burners or electric coils. Yes, this instant heating requires more power, but because the water does not have to be reheated again and again, tankless systems use less energy overall. So are they worth installing?
According to Consumer Reports, gas-powered tankless water heaters are approximately 22% more efficient when compared to traditional water heaters. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates gas-fired tankless heaters save an average of $108 in energy costs per year over their traditional tank counterparts, while electric tankless heaters save $44 per year.
However, tankless water heaters do cost up to three times more than storage heaters. Also, not all homes are ready to support tankless water heaters. For homeowners with electric-only utilities, their electrical system may needed to be upgraded, which means hiring an electrician. Gas-powered tankless systems perform much better overall, providing efficient energy usage when heating.
Besides the significant energy savings, a considerable advantage of tankless units is their longer lifespan. A standard, high-quality water heater will last roughly a decade, whereas tankless models function for twice as long. Opting for the longer-lasting tankless model can save a homeowner from needing a replacement every 10 years. Tankless water heaters are much smaller than bulky storage models. Installers usually mount them on a wall in an inconspicuous place in the basement. In smaller homes, the space savings is a welcome benefit.
Because they are more efficient, tankless heaters qualify for federal tax credits, which help offset the steep installation cost. As of December 2016, the federal government offered a 10% tax credit on the overall cost of buying and installing a tankless hot water heater. Energy Star-certified traditional storage heaters also qualify for the same 10% tax break.
Contact Total Plumbing today, and we can help you break the decision down for your home or business!