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  • Writer's pictureBob Condon

Tankless Water Heater

Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

On a recent job we installed a Tankless Water Heater and we have to admit that the technology is pretty cool.  Would we want replace every water heater with a Tankless Water Heater, or an On Demand Water Heater?  No, obviously not.  There are pros and cons to everything and while something is right for one situation it is not going to be right in all situations.

First, the benefits of a Tankless Water Heater.

For homes that use up to 41 gallons of water a day, an on demand system can be somewhere between 24% and 34 % more energy efficient than a traditional storage tank system.  If you use a lot of water per day, up to about 86 gallons, the efficiency drops, but there is still a savings of between 8% and 14%.

The initial cost of a Tankless Water Heater is higher than that of a storage tank system, however, the average life of a tankless system is longer and the operating and energy cost savings over time will have you coming out ahead.  While the life span of a storage tank is about 10 years, a tankless system has a life expectancy of 20 years.  Maintenance on a tankless system is also easier since a lot of the parts are replaceable extending the life of the system.  The part of the storage system that generally goes bad is the tank itself, which cannot be changed.

A Tankless Water Heater is an on-demand system meaning that the water isn’t heated until it is needed.  With a tank there is a lot of stand-by waste of energy.  All of the water in the tank is heated, but may not be used right away, so the tank has to maintain the heat of the water even when it is just sitting there.

So how is the water heated on-demand?  There are gas-fired systems and there are electrical systems.  The gas-fired systems tend to have a better flow rate than the electrical systems.  However, with a gas-fired system, there is a pilot light that is constantly burning.  Gas consumption for the pilot varies greatly from system to system, so  you will want to make sure you aren’t losing your saving through the use of gas.

When selecting a Tankless Water Heater, you have several things to consider:

  1. Size

  2. Fuel Type

  3. Energy Efficiency

  4. Cost

If you decide a Tankless Water Heater is right for your home, we will help you through the maze of choosing the system that is right for you.  We will also the installation is done in a way that can optimize your efficiency.

If your current system is 10 years old or more, contact BBC Mechanical and let us discuss your options with you.  We will help you make the right decision for your situation and your family.    Contact us through our website at or call us 516-809-7222.

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