Water Heaters: Should You Go Tankless?

Whether you’re purchasing your first home or moving somewhere new, you’ll quickly want to address the question of a water heater. If you’re looking to replace an older model or to purchase your first one, don’t think you have to immediately commit to a traditional water heater. Tankless water heaters, comparatively, can save you money on your bills while quickly delivering hot water to your facets.

Does that mean that tankless water heaters always outstrip their more traditional cousins? Take a look at the differences between the two.

All About Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are more frequently referred to as on-demand water heaters. Where traditional water heaters store the water you’re meant to use, tankless water heaters send water straight to an active faucet after running it through a heat exchange. This way, you can have hot water at your fingertips – literally – in a matter of seconds.

If you’re concerned about the energy efficiency of a traditional water heater, tankless heaters may seem like a welcomed economic relief. Not only do gas and electric-powered tankless heaters consume less energy while heating your water, but they can lower your water bill, too! You won’t have to wash gallons of water down the shower drain, for example, while waiting for your water to heat. Instead, you can jump straight into the task at hand.

The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

On their own, tankless water heaters stand as a strong addition to most households. The many benefits of these water heaters include:

  • Their improved energy efficiency
  • Their longer lifespans
  • Their space-efficient build
  • Their quick response to your need for hot water
  • Their speed of water delivery, transporting up to three gallons of water within a minute

Effectively, tankless water heaters can quickly get you the hot water you need at a lower cost than most traditional water heaters. If you live in a smaller home, you won’t have to worry about a traditional heater’s bulk getting in the way of your other utilities or home appliances.

The Drawbacks of Tankless Water Heaters

That said, tankless water heaters are far from perfect. While you’ll be able to enjoy all of the aforementioned benefits, you may also find yourself contending with:

  • Higher purchasing and installation costs
  • Longer installation times
  • Difficulty using water in two places at once

Put another way, tankless water heaters are ideal for heating water in a one-person home, as long as you have the budget and patience for a proper installation. If you have multiple people living in one home or need to manage a larger household, it may be in your best interest to invest in a more traditional water heater.

Tankless Water Heaters Versus Traditional Water Heaters

Traditional water heaters are designed with an older style of home in mind. These water heaters tend to take up a fair amount of space in your basement or utility closet. Even so, they’ll consistently heat up the water in your home without too much delay. They can also help you multitask, providing hot water for the laundry and the dishes, for example, at the same time.

That said, traditional water heaters don’t have the same lifespan as tankless heaters. Similarly, you’re far more likely to run out of hot water when you’re using a traditional water heater – which makes showering last in a multi-person household a bit chilly!

Even so, traditional water heaters are less expensive to install than their tankless cousins. They’re also a little simpler to maintain, even if you have to replace them more often than you will a tankless heater.

Choosing the Best Water Heater for Your Home

Does this mean a traditional water heater is automatically the best water heater to work with? No. The best water heater for you is the one that’ll meet the needs of your home. As mentioned, homes with more than one or two people in them may need the power of a traditional water heater to keep their water warm. Comparatively, if you’re living on your own or think you can cut down on your water usage, you can use a tankless water heater to your advantage.

When in doubt, you can always consult a professional in the Virginia Beach, VA, area to determine what kind of water heater may best suit your home. After a home inspection, they’ll be able to provide you with a free quote on installation services.

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