Tankless water heating units are considered the best in the market nowadays. What’s so unique about them? You might be wondering the same. This article aims to list the benefits and disadvantages of tankless water heaters. Why you need to replace your older traditional storage water heater with a tankless one will be discussed too. The users of these units seem to be highly satisfied with their functioning and an endless supply of hot water. This has caused a surge in the demand for these water heating units. Before making the decision of our purchasing this unit you must have some basic knowledge about what are the parts of this unit and how it functions.
What is a Tankless Water Heater?
It is a water heating unit that heats water on demand. The traditional water heaters have a storage tank that’s filled with water and then that water is heated over time. In case if the heated water is not utilized by the owner then it causes standby heat loss. This makes the unit less energy efficient. Energy efficiency affects the long-term running cost of a unit. This energy efficiency is obtained by the tankless water heating units. These units don’t have a storage tank. When the owner turns on the faucet, Coldwater starts flowing through the pipes. This cold water then passes through the heating element and is heated. When the water reaches the needed temperature it runs towards the faucet and is thus then supplied to the owner.
The tankless water heating units either function with electric power or gas. Gas is supplied through a gas valve. The energy efficiency and power of both these types of energy differ. It demands upon your personal needs and demands that which sort of power supply you should opt for. The traditional units have a low installation cost than the tankless ones. When comparing the running cost the scenario changes. In long run, the tankless water heaters save energy and thus minimize wastage of money. The units do need monthly maintenance for optimal function. This monthly maintenance helps avoid any mineral buildup. The minerals one accumulated can damage the important parts of the unit. This thus affects the functioning. Such irreversibly damaged parts then need to be replaced.
The tankless water heater has a gas valve to control the amount of gas flowing into the unit and they have a vent valve too that controls the release of combustion gases from the unit. If the gas pressure is not as needed or if the vent system is blocked the unit will stop functioning. This detailed information about a tank-less water heater is enough for you to get an idea of how this unit functions. Installation cost can be higher but when comparing the running cost benefits are immense.
Here we have briefly described the Pros and Cons of the tankless water heater after analyzing the customer reviews and testing the products in detail.
Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters
The huge demand for this type of water heater indicates that these units perform brilliantly. But to know specifically about what’s so special about them we will list the points and explain the benefits.. Look for these benefits and then judge yourself if you want those from your water unit or not. If you want them then purchase the same unit. The list of benefits with a brief explanation is next.
- Higher Energy Efficiency
One of the most important concerns of a buyer is the cost of the unit. When a unit causes a reduction in monthly bills it improves energy efficiency. These units are up to 30 percent efficient if you own a small family. For bigger families even then the energy efficiency of this unit is an important feature. Never invest your money in a unit that consumes a lot of energy cause in the long run the number of energy bills will be huge enough and you might not be able to pay them. As you are saving dollars each year it can prove a great treat for the family.
- Longer Lifespan
We all want the units we purchase to perform for long. The shorter life of a unit means that you will need to replace it soon. If you are planning to replace your tank storage water heater with something new then start learning about tank-less water heaters. These units have double the life of the traditional ones. Lower running cost and longer functioning life are two main plus points of this unit.
If you own a home and plan to live at this place then this fact will be important for you. The people who travel from place to place are not much concerned about the life of the unit. They need to get a new unit wherever they settle for a time. But if you own your own place and you want to add a heating unit to it to make it more comfortable then this sort of unit must be your first preference.
- Less Waiting for Hot Water Supply
Sitting and waiting for the storage tank to fill the water can start heating can be pretty painful and irritating. In today’s age of technology, we all tend to be busy. Everyone’s in a hurry to reach their destination. And in this case, when a water heating unit takes too long it affects the mood and energy. This need for waiting has come to an end. Now you get instantaneous hot water. This is done by a tank-less water heater.
These types of water heaters heat water on demand. The effectiveness with which the unit heats water is very important. The happy news here is that the tank-less water heaters function optimally even with higher energy efficiency and less space. You won’t even now have to complain about cold water running through the tap once the stored heated water is all used up. This causes the tankless water heaters to heat the water continuously so you have enough hot water available at all times for all your needs.
- Less Space Required
Do you live in an apartment? If yes you surely don’t have enough room for more appliances. Most people own a small space that becomes congested and suffocating due to these appliances. Tank-less water heaters don’t have this issue. Thus this aspect will be appealing for you if your home is already full and there is no space for a big unit. A tankless water heater size is comparable to a shoebox. Yes, you read right a shoebox. This means instead of wasting energy by heating water prior to need the same space can be utilized for any other purpose. Bulky units are hard to manage. The monthly maintenance becomes a hard job too. The small size of tankless water heating units makes them comfortable for all to handle.
- Safer Than Traditional Ones
Safety is a major concern with appliances at home. Children can harm themselves unknowingly. This concern won’t bother you if you purchase a tankless water heating unit. Traditional units could often overheat the water and this overheated water can cause the storage tank to explode. As no water is stored in a tankless water heater so you won’t have to worry about any explosion. Water leakage is another major concern with traditional water heating units. As an enormous amount of water is stored in the tank it can leak and cause damage to the whole building. Leaks are not a huge concern with Tankless water heaters cause they don’t store water.
Disadvantages of a Tankless Water Heater
No unit is perfect. So is the case with a tankless water heater. Some issues can arise with the unit. To make a decision you should be aware of both the pros and cons of this unit. When you are aware of the issues with the unit beforehand it helps you make a better decision for your family. The disadvantages are listed next with an explanation for easy understanding.
- High Installation Cost
If you planned on replacing your traditional unit with a tankless one and went to purchase the unit without any research, you will surely face a shock. The purchasing cost of a tank-less water heater is much much higher than a traditional one. The good news is that although the price is high initially in long run it turns out to be more economical. These units are very complex to install thus you need to take help from a professional. Moreover, there is a need for special modifications like venting pipes and gas pipes. This raises the cost of installation to pretty high. The benefits start appearing after a year of use when the difference in energy bills between the two is apparent. Don’t worry about upsetting your budget after buying this unit. It’s only the initial cost that is high. Later the cost of running becomes economical.
- Simultaneous Water Heating Less Efficient
If multiple faucets are turned on at a time, the functioning of the unit will surely be affected. The water coming out of the faucet will be cold and not according to the needed temperature. The water is heated on demand in such a unit so the use of multiple taps makes it hard to supply hot water to every faucet. If you open dishwashing, washing, and bathing taps at once then the water coming out of the tap will be cold. This issue can be resolved by installing separate water heating units with each faucet. Connecting multiple water heaters in a row can also help improve the water temperature.
- No Hot Water if Power Supply Suddenly Abrupted
Sometimes the electric supply can be cut off due to weather changes. In this case, you will have no hot water supply. The traditional units have hot water stored in a tank so even if the power supply is disconnected you will have a hot water supply for some time before you use it up. The gas tankless water heaters also have an electric panel thus they need electricity to function. So no matter you have a gas tankless water heater or an electric one. The hot water supply will be discontinued power outrage.
- Coldwater Sandwich
This happens when a hot water stream is interrupted by cold water and then again hot water comes out of the faucet. This cold water in between hot water is termed cold water sandwich. This is not an issue with the unit rather a normal phenomenon. It can be irritating for some buyers but overall it does not affects the unit functioning. When the tap is turned off quickly some hot water remains in the pipes. Then when the tap is turned on the hot water from previous use flows followed by cold water cause heating elements to need some time to heat the incoming water.
- Long Wait for Hot Water Delivery
The traditional units have hot water stored ready for use so as you turn on the tap hot water comes out. This is not the case with a tankless water heater. To avoid the energy loss happening due to standing water there is not preheated water in a tankless water heater. To heat water, you need to turn the tap on. It will take some time for the unit to heat the cold water in the pipes. This need to wait can be irritating for some. This is a normal feature of the tank-less water heating units.
- Inconsistent Temperature When Multiple Faucets are Turned on at a Time
The water heating units have a temperature setpoint according to which they heat water. The temperature is adjusted by the user. The water temperature matches the need of the user. This might not be the case when you turn on more than one tap at a time. If you start washing dishes and doing laundry at the same time then the water temperature coming out of the faucet will fluctuate. This happens cause the unit is not able to keep up with the water demand. The problem is due to increased demand. Thus when purchasing your tankless water heater look for its flow rate. It is the amount of water a water heating unit can heat at a time. The unit is a gallon per minute. The flow rate of the unit should match your demands or else you won’t be able to get the desired hot water supply.
Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heater
The principle of operation is the same for both. The difference is in the source of power. If your home has no gas supply then getting an electric-powered unit will be more suitable for you. The houses that are already fully wired have an easy installation of the electric tank-less water heating unit. However some times it can happen that bills rise and efficiency declines. Thus one can choose between an electric tankless water heater or a traditional one. The energy efficiency of a gas-run and electric tankless water heater isn’t the same. The gas-powered tank with less water heater has higher energy efficiency than the electric ones.
The choice of the right unit for your home depends on the water demand of your family, budget, and personal preferences. The purchasing cost of an electric tankless water heater is much lower than a gas one. Installing a gas tank-less water heater is highly complicated and more expensive than the electric one. To fulfill the gas and venting needs of such a unit the owner needs to make certain modifications in their space. These modifications can be costly and thus cause a higher installation price for a tankless water heater.
Should one Purchase a Tankless Water Heater?
After going through the benefits and disadvantages of tankless water heaters, We can easily say that these new units are highly efficient than the traditional ones. They have a compact size so you can easily fit them into any corner of your house. Also, they won’t leak or cause the release of harmful metals into the tap water. The tankless water heaters last for double the life of traditional ones. When considering the bad side they can’t provide hot water in case of a power outage. Water temperature can become inconsistent at times. Whether you should go for such a unit or not depends on your condition. If you have a new home and enough money then this purchase will be beneficial for you.
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