We’ve all seen splashy newspaper ads and television spots urging homeowners to replace standard water heaters with tankless models, gushing that tankless devices save money and never run out of hot water. These “on demand” systems can indeed reduce energy expenses during operation because they don’t keep steaming water at the ready in a tank. But standard hot water heaters are still, well, standard for many excellent reasons. They beat tankless models handily for cost, installation ease, hot water supply and emergency preparedness.
Tankless systems make hot water only when sinks, showers, washing machines or dishwashers ask for it. When a gas or electric-powered tankless system receives this “demand,” it switches on and funnels cold water through the unit, flash heating it in just a few seconds before sending it out through the plumbing to fulfill the request. The unit continues heating water until the demand ceases: the homeowner turns off the tap, for example, or the washing machine fills.
Standard water heaters, which keeps 40 to 50 gallons of water hot in an insulated tank at all times, are often better options because they:
Cost Less to Install: Tankless water heaters are expensive pieces of equipment, costing up to $3,000 per unit. Standard water heaters cost less than a third of that price. Got hard water at home like most Floridians? You’ll need a water softener to protect the tankless unit. Finally, tankless installation requires the expensive services of plumbers, gas professionals and electricians.
Easier and faster to install: Service America installs standard water heaters in about half a day. Tankless system installs, on the other hand, can be multi-day endeavors. Electric tankless models may require major changes to the typical household 200-amp electricity service, particularly if home heating is electric. Gas tankless units require metering, piping, venting and supply. Many areas also charge permitting and inspection fees for tankless installations, too.
Better Hot Water Supply: Standard water heaters keep hot water ready at all times, even through temporary power outages. Tankless systems usually can’t live up to the “instant hot water” hype. They can fall behind if several showers run simultaneously. If it took several minutes for a tap to run hot before the tankless unit, that wait won’t change. Finally, tankless models guarantee cold showers during power outages.
Convinced that a standard water heater works best for you? Service America offers same-day installations for high-efficiency units as well as money-saving coupons and free removal of the old unit.