If your water heater is getting old or you want something better, you might be thinking about installing a tankless water heater in your home. You may have heard that the cost is higher and that you might need to upgrade your plumbing. To determine whether or not it’s a worthwhile decision, you’ll want to consider these factors and more.
Tankless water heaters take up less space and can increase your energy efficiency. They’re not a perfect fit for everyone, however. With this information and assistance from Precision Air & Plumbing, you can make a choice that works best for you.
A tankless water heating system heats the water on demand and delivers it right to your faucet, usually within a few moments. To understand how this works, it’s often easier to compare it to what you have now. With a tank system, you’re heating the water in advance and then keeping it hot until you use it. Tankless models don’t keep a reserve, so they’re often a lot smaller in size.
The major piece of the puzzle is energy. When you turn on the faucet to hot water, the water heater kicks a gas burner or heating element into gear. For most systems, you can expect 2-5 gallons per minute. Heaters that run on natural gas tend to work faster and more effectively than those that run on electricity.
With this kind of system, it’s pretty easy to see the benefits:
It also takes much less space than a traditional water heater. If you’re looking at new construction and you’ve got to maximize every square foot, tankless can significantly cut down on the footprint.
Of course, how well a tankless water heater works for you depends on your living environment and habits. This design is meant to provide an unending source of hot water. But there’s a big difference between running a quick shower and running one while also washing dishes and filling a hot tub outside.
As such, tankless systems work best in a house with moderate hot water needs. If you’re going to be constantly taxing it, you’ll need to consider one with higher output. Some electric models can’t handle more than mild to moderate usage. This means that if you’re trying to get hot water to more than one faucet, the system might not be able to deliver.
Tankless systems cost more, but the price of the equipment and installation aren’t the only parts of this equation. For example, some homeowners want this style because it means they can put it somewhere else. But in order to do that, you’ll need to reroute or install new plumbing to go to the new water heater. If your pipes are old or already in need of replacement, you may need to do this at the same time.
Tankless options also command a high amount of electricity, particularly the ones running exclusively on electric power. Homes that are more than 10-20 years old might only be able to support equipment that draws 100 amps of power for the whole house. Some tankless models use 120 amps. Similarly, if your outlets run on 120 volts, you might need to convert to 240 volts to make this upgrade work.
The cost of a tankless heater depends on a variety of factors. These include the type of system, what kind of energy you’re going to use, and what else you have to do to install it. It can run anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000, including installation. This is compared to a range of $800 to $1,600 to replace a traditional water heater.
The energy efficiency and convenience can be a big plus. It’s important to ensure that you’re likely to get those benefits with the way you plan to use it. Before you schedule installation, be sure to get estimates from professional plumbing experts like Precision Air & Plumbing.
Tankless systems are certainly the hot trend for water heaters, but they’re not the only option for your property. If you really need to replace your existing setup and your hot water usage isn’t huge, tankless might be the best way to go. On the other hand, if you’re trying to stick to a tighter budget or you know you’ll be using it a ton, it might be time to consider some alternatives.
For example, you can usually get a bigger tank than the one you have now. Adding a water heater blanket and pipe insulation can help prevent heat loss through the system. For targeted uses, you can even install a smaller tank right next to the faucet. This helps ensure that you get the hot water faster to the spot where you need it most.
There are many aspects of homeownership that you might feel comfortable handling by yourself, but this isn’t one of them. Replacing a water heater is not just heavy work. It’s extremely precise. Once you factor in the need to adjust your plumbing and ensure that your vent stack is placed at the proper angle, you can recognize it’s easier to let a professional handle it.
The good news is that when you call Precision Air & Plumbing, you can get professional service that makes your investment a priority. We’re happy to provide an on-site consultation that takes your current system into consideration. We’ll help you consider your options, including alternatives, and make a choice that helps you achieve your goals for the upgrade.
Making a decision about your water heater is a much bigger decision now than it was 10-15 years ago. To ensure that you make the right one, you’ll need a pro like Precision Air & Plumbing. To learn more about tankless water heaters or arrange for a consultation, schedule an appointment online.
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