How Much Does a Tankless Water Heater Cost? – Guide For Buyers

When planning to buy a new tankless water heater price would be a major concern. Lately, tank-less water heating units are in high demand due to their better efficiency and running cost. These units seem to replace the old storage water heaters. This article contains information about the price of two types of tankless water heaters, their running cost and should you buy one or not. This detailed estimate regarding price will help you save money and make a budget accordingly. By having the right information you can decide whether you need a tank-less water heating unit or not.

Factors Determining the Cost of a Tankless Water Heater

A multitude of factors affects the cost of a tank-less water heater. The most important ones are the type of fuel used for energy by the unit, the size of the unit, and any wiring or Piping upgrade needed to install the unit. The installation cost of these units seems very high but the long-term running cost justifies the initial cost.

The first factor determining the cost of your water heating unit is the fuel type. It is an established fact the gas-fueled water heaters cost two to three times more than electric ones. An electric water heating unit along with installation will cost about $1000. A gas one will cost triple the amount which will be $3000. The difference in cost is huge cause gas heater units cost more than electric ones. A gas unit may cost $1100 on other hand an electric unit costs only $600.

Read Also: How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work

How Certain Factors Affect the Water Heating Unit Cost?

We have already listed a number of factors that can affect the price of your water heating unit. Now we will see how these factors affect the cost of a water heating unit. This also helps the user to make the right purchase according to their own budget.

Fuel Type

There are two types of water heating units based on fuel type. One heats water using an electric element and the other uses gas to raise the temperature of the water. The gas-fueled units typically cost thrice as much as the electric ones. This is due to many factors. When comparing the price of fuel, the electric-powered tank-less water heaters cost more than the gas ones. But the difference in fuel cost is negligible and so for the total lifetime of a water heating system, both types of fuel cost all almost the same.

If you live in a warmer climate you can use a solar panel to generate free electricity that will run your water heating system. This will further lower the running cost of your water heating unit. Looking at the future prospects the price of natural gas is expected to rise which will make it more expensive than electric ones.

Unit Size

The second most important factor that affects the cost of your water heating unit is its size. The size of a water heating unit determines the amount of water it can heat up. The size is measured as a gallon per minute. Higher the per minute water heating capacity higher will be the price of the unit. The GPM is mentioned on the unit by the manufacturer. It gives an idea about how much hot water your unit can produce per minute. However, this can be affected by many factors like the climate and groundwater temperature. A higher groundwater temperature means a higher GPM.

Installation and Up-gradation Cost

The need for up-gradation increases the initial installation cost. For example, if you need to rewire your home to fulfill the electricity requirement of your water heating unit or if you need a contractor to upgrade your gas line both these acts will lead to an increased installation cost. Do consult your local plumber to find out the real cost of the unit once installed. This will give the buyer a clear idea of how much the unit installation will cost. A water heating unit can be used to heat water for the whole house or just a few faucets. The whole house water heaters are usually gas type and have higher efficiency. For heating units connected to just a few faucets mostly electricity is used to power the unit. For high-demand homes, separate water heating units can enhance the water capacity.

Permit Cost

In some regions, you need to get a permit from the local authorities to install a water heating unit. This permit is issued by the authorities after assessing the safety of the unit. This looks for any safety hazards that may cause a hazard for others nearby.

Economical Benefits of Tankless Water Heater

Tank-less water heating units are about 8 to 50 percent more efficient than the traditional storage water heating units. The energy efficiency will depend on the water usage pattern and the system type such as whole house water heating unit or single faucet use. The reason for this higher efficiency is water heating only on demand. As the water is heated on-demand only so no energy is wasted. To have higher levels of efficiency it is advised to install a separate tankless water heating unit with each faucet. Installing many units at a time will be highly expensive but prove beneficial in long run. No matter how efficient your traditional water heating unit is, the tank-less water heaters are more efficient than the storage ones. According to an estimated tankless water heater save about 100$ per year as compared to the storage ones.

Payback Period of a Tankless Water Heater

The installation cost of a tankless water heater is much higher than the traditional ones. The fuel cost benefits will start showing few days after installing the unit. The higher installation cost of the tank-less water heating units means it will take time for the cost benefits to start showing. According to studies it can take about 12 to 25 years for the payback period to start. The gas-type units have a better payback period than the electric ones. The payback period of a water heating unit depends on the climate and groundwater temperature also.

Environmental Effect of Tankless Water Heating Units

Until now we have discussed the financial implications of installing a tankless water heating unit. But these water heating units have also amazing effects on the environment. Tank-less water heating units are more efficient meaning they will use less fuel to heat up water. This will mean less energy generated and thus fewer greenhouse gases emission. Using solar panels to power your water heating unit will further decrease the carbon footprint. Solar panels can be installed on the roof to power your water heating unit. Using solar panel-generated electricity reduces the dependence on fossil fuel-generated energy and thus provides a positive impact on the environment.

Cost of Replacing a Tankless Water Heater

Replacing an old unit would not be much expensive. The cost of replacing a water heating unit depends on many circumstances and is often much lower than the installation cost. Considering every possible factor that affects the price of the unit will help you get a good estimate of the total cost. If you are still not sure and want a confirmed estimate then contact a local contractor for the perfect estimate.

Annual Operating and Maintenance Cost

The yearly cost depends on the type of fuel used to run your unit. Water consumption is also a major factor. Higher the consumption is higher the running cost. The groundwater temperature also affects running costs. Higher the temperature lesser energy needed to reach the required temperature and thus lesser the running cost. All the water heating units need yearly de-scaling. Depending on the level of water hardness this needs to be done once a year. By installing a water softener at the water inlet you won’t need to worry about this. This maintenance will cost about $50 to $100 when done by a plumber.

How Long do Tankless Water Heating Units Last?

Gas-fueled water heating units last for about 20 years which is about twice or thrice the period a storage water heating unit will last for. The electric tankless water heaters have a shorter life span as compared to gas ones. They last for about 10 years.

Adam

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