As you decide what type of hot water heater to install in your home, make sure to also check a relatively recent option that has entered the playing field: the tankless water heater.
These fascinating machines heat your water instantaneously as you turn on your tap. This is why they are sometimes called “on-demand” heaters, because they spring into action when water is turned on; they are not heating water when you are not using it around the house.
No matter how wonderful an invention might be, there should be consideration of its cost. The same is true of tankless water heaters. Before opting for modernity, you need to calculate how much a tankless heater will cost you compared to the more common storage (tank) units.
It should be noted that tankless hot water heaters, just like storage heaters, come in both electric and gas models.
Costs to Expect for Tankless Heaters
Any consumer watching his/her energy bill needs to make a careful decision about the cost of heating water in the home, so here are a few facts to help you make your decision:
- Tankless heaters are said to last longer than other types. However, the data on this is still incoming because these heaters are a relatively new entry on the market.
- As a matter of common sense, tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient because there is no water losing heat in a tank. If you have a family that is constantly using water, this will not be much of a factor. But if you live alone and are not taking hot baths constantly, this increased efficiency can make a big difference.
- Because of that greater efficiency, tankless models typically cost less to heat water than varieties with tanks. The estimates on those savings vary, from $4/month to $10/month. If you are planning to be in your home for a long time, this is a significant savings, of course:
If you plan on being in your home for 15 years, for example, then any tankless heater that is less than $900 more expensive to buy and install should be considered (based on standard savings of $5/month).
- Several costs are higher for tankless heaters: initial investment, installation, maintenance and repairs. Just do the math and check if the additional cost is still less than $900 (from the example above).
- How much does endless hot water mean to you? That should be factored in as you compare costs. There is no tank to empty with this type of heater.
- Other questions to add to the mix: what can you do with the increased space that a tankless unit can bring? How much is that worth to you?
In general, tankless gas water heaters are cheaper to operate than electric heaters because gas is not nearly as expensive as electricity at this time.
But tankless electric water heaters have lower up-front costs than gas heaters, and they are relatively easy to install.