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Is An On Demand Water Heater Right for Your Home?

There are many reasons you might be considering upgrading to an on demand water heater, also known as a tankless water heater. Maybe you want to reduce your carbon footprint or enjoy longer showers and fuller baths. Or perhaps it’s just time to upgrade. Whatever your reasoning, it’s important to realize that tankless hot water isn’t right for every home. To help you determine whether an on demand water heater is right for your home, here are the biggest benefits and drawbacks to tankless hot water.

Benefits to an On Demand Water Heater

Considering tankless hot water? These systems have a lot of things going for them. Here are some of the top reasons people like them.

  • Instant and unlimited hot water. One of the biggest advantages to on demand hot water is the convenience. Because the hot water is heated when and as you need it, instead of coming from a tank that has a limited capacity, it will theoretically never run out.
  • Smaller size. If you have a small house or just not a lot of space for a huge water heater, tankless hot water is your friend. These water heaters take up considerably less room, and are usually mounted on the wall someplace inconspicuous.
  • More energy efficient. For a smaller household with a lower hot water demand, tankless water heaters are 24 to 34 percent more energy efficient. This means not just savings on your monthly utility bill, but also a reduction in your carbon footprint.
  • Longer lasting units. Another significant advantage is how much longer an on demand water heater will last over a conventional storage water heater. Your typical water heater only lasts 8 to 10 years, but tankless models typically last 15 to 20 years.

Drawbacks to Tankless Hot Water

This may all sound perfect to you, but don’t get too excited yet. There are several significant drawbacks that make an on demand hot water heater less than ideal for some households. Here are a few reasons why a tankless water heater might not be right for your home.

woman in bath tub

  • It’s not really “instant.” Yes, on demand hot water heats up very quickly, since it’s only heating the water in the pipes as it passes through. That doesn’t really mean instant hot water, though. The water in the pipes has already cooled, which means you’ll have to run it down the drain to get to the hot. If the thought of the delay or the wasted water doesn’t appeal to you, there are some workarounds, such as a circulation system that will get the hot water to you faster, but that will add to the upfront expense.
  • Can’t serve as many faucets at once. With a standard hot water heater, you can run that hot water out as many faucets as you want until it runs out. But because tankless water heaters are only heating the water in the pipe, they can’t serve as many faucets at once. The solution? Either limit your hot water usage to only one faucet at a time, or install multiple tankless heaters to serve individual faucets.
  • More expensive initially. An on demand water heater may present significant energy savings, but you’ll have to pay more up front. Tankless water heaters are more expensive to both buy and install.
  • More maintenance required. .A tankless water heater may last longer, but it will also need more maintenance to keep it running smoothly. For instance, on demand water heaters are extremely susceptible to hard water deposits, so you’ll need to run a water softener and flush the heater about once a year.

Is Tankless Hot Water Right for Your Home?

An on demand water heater isn’t the ideal solution for everyone, but if you have a small house, don’t use much hot water, or prioritize an eco-friendly lifestyle, it may be perfect for you. To determine whether tankless hot water is right for you, call Maeser today, and one of our expert technicians can help you decide.

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