Modern homes need hot water, and an endless array of water heaters strive to provide for that need. The water heater that’s right for your home depends on your overall hot water needs and how many people are in your home. In Florida, the options usually come down to either the traditional storage tank water heater or a tankless water heater.
Why should you consider buying a tankless water heater? If you’re like many homeowners, you have a large water tank sitting in the garage or a spare closet, faithfully warming and dispensing water for your every need all day long. Chances are, you’ve experienced impromptu cold showers or had to put off washing the dishes because the washing machine was already running. These aren’t simple facts of life that you have to just put up with; they’re signs that your current water heater just isn’t up to the task. Compare these differences between tank and tankless water heaters to find a better fit for your home.
Use Less Energy
The biggest selling point of any tankless water heater is that, gallon for gallon, it uses a lot less energy than a traditional tank heater. The primary reasons tankless uses less energy include:
- No standby energy consumption – Tankless water heaters don’t keep large amounts of water heated whether you need it or not; they provide only on-demand heating.
- Less energy loss in the pipes – Single-tap tankless water heaters can be installed within a few feet of the point of demand, so there’s less cold pipe to sap the energy.
- Much less buildup over time – Traditional tank heaters develop a layer of sediment at the bottom of the tank from minerals that settle out of the water as it heats. This sediment blocks heat from the burners so water takes longer to heat. Tankless heaters don’t have this problem because they don’t operate with standing water.
Estimated cost savings on a tankless over the traditional tank heater is as much as 50 percent, depending on the tankless system you choose. This results in a significant bite out of your water heating bill.
Take Less Space
As the name states, a tankless water heater doesn’t have a standby tank. In other words, there’s no space hog that requires precious square feet in your living space or garage. The tankless heater takes up about the same space as a standard suitcase and can be placed virtually anywhere along the hot water pipes.
Lower Maintenance Demands
The wear and tear caused by constant contact with heated water leads to maintenance requirements in tank water heaters. Tanks need to be drained regularly to flush out built-up sediment. Corrosion is a common problem in the pipes and inside the tank itself, though it’s not easy to detect and correct.
Tankless water heaters should have annual maintenance checks, especially with gas-powered units, but require little else to stay in good working order.
Reduce Carbon Monoxide Dangers
Carbon monoxide poisoning presents a huge risk in modern living, especially as homes get more airtight and the heat and humidity of Florida summers drive people indoors. Gas-powered appliances and HVAC equipment pose the biggest danger. Tankless water heaters burn a lot less gas – or no gas, if you opt for an electrical unit – than tank heaters with standby heating, virtually eliminating a potential source of household carbon monoxide.
Hot Water Doesn’t Run Out
Home comfort takes a step in the right direction when you no longer have to worry about running out of hot water. The tankless heater heats water on demand indefinitely, limited only by flow rates. This means that as long as you stay within the abilities of the tankless heater – usually one or two points of demand at a time – you won’t run out of hot water. Because it’s in-line heating, there’s also no wait time to let the hot water rebuild after extensive use.
Busy households may choose to place several tankless heaters so that each tap or section of the home has an independent hot water source. This setup takes a little more installation work, but it allows things like multiple showers, dishwashing and laundry to run simultaneously without going cold.
Learn more about the differences between a tankless water heater and a conventional tank heater, and check out Aqua Plumbing & Air’s tankless water heater solutions, or call 941-306-3715 to schedule an appointment for your home.