Below are some facts to consider when purchasing tankless water heaters.
They're more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters. If you currently have a traditional water heater, replacing it with a tankless heater could save you roughly 25 percent in annual water-heating costs.
They have a long life span. Tankless water heaters are built to last about 20 years. This gives them a much longer lifespan than traditional water heaters, which last 10 to 15 years.
They're relatively compact in size. Tankless water heaters are smaller than traditional heaters. This makes them much more versatile in where they can be placed.
They can be installed outdoors. With a traditional water heater, you're limited to indoor installation. Tankless water heaters can be installed outdoors, which is handy if you live in a smaller home short on storage space.
They're expensive. Tankless heaters can cost up to three times as much to purchase and install as traditional water heaters. On average, it costs about $3,000 to buy and install a tankless unit, versus roughly $900 including installation for a traditional heater.
Both gas and electric units are available. If you're shopping for a tankless water heater, you’ll need to choose between gas and electric. Electric units have certain limitations when it comes to output. If need enough hot water for a family of five or more, a gas unit may be the most appropriate choice.
They're a poor choice for homes with high hot-water usage. If you live in a home in which multiple people need hot water at the same time, a tankless unit may not be able to heat the water quickly enough to meet demand. You can install more than one tankless unit, but you will lose out on the energy savings that make tankless heaters so attractive. For homes with high hot-water usage, a large traditional water heater may be the best bet.
Installation can be time-consuming and complicated. Installing a tankless water heater can sometimes require the home to be completely retrofitted to accommodate the new heater. Special piping and venting might need to be installed, and the process can take as long as 10 hours. A traditional water heater is simple to install, and the process takes just two to three hours.
How to Choose a Plumber for Tankless Water Heater Installation
When selecting a plumber to install your tankless water heater, start by consulting the Better Business Bureau's website to see which service providers in your area have the best ratings. Choose a plumber who is licensed, since this will help ensure that the professional you work with has the skill and training to handle the job. Select a plumber who is bonded and insured, so you have financial protection if there is property damage or injury on the job.
Make sure to get all cost estimates in writing to help ensure the plumber honors the estimate on completion of the installation.