There are many reasons a homeowner may want to go tankless. On paper it just sounds good. It sounds cleaner and more efficient. In the mind of someone who grew up with clunky storage tank water heaters, a tankless water heater sounds almost like space-age technology. In addition to that there is the fact that these heaters often come with promises of saved money. In a bad economy with fluctuating gas prices, there is no one to whom a lower utility bill does not sound good. The big problem is that what sounds good on paper does not always live up to expectations in reality. This is not to say that tankless water heaters are always a bad idea, just that they may not always meet the needs of those who use them.
Tankless water heaters heat water only on demand. This means that it will heat the water to be used not stored. Lots of factors can impact how a tankless water heat does its job, those include placement, and the demand placed on it. There are settings where a lot of heated water may be required at one time, and in some of those cases the tankless system may just be unable to handle the demand.
• Less money spent on keeping water in the storage tank hot.
• Instant hot water
• More environmentally friendly
• Expensive, initially
• Require expensive servicing
• Limited ability to provide hot water
Storage Tank Water Heaters
The makers of tankless systems would characterize these as dinosaurs, but there is a reason that they have been around for so long. They work. Even a small storage tank water heater can provide ample hot water for multiple simultaneous tasks and can do it without an enormous upfront cost. In a rough economy this will likely continue to be the popular choice just because of the low initial cost. A tankless water heater, which will often cost upwards of four times as much, will have to work well for a long time to justify the amount of money paid for it.
• Limited hot water
• may be more expensive to operate