Tankless Water Heaters, also known as "On-Demand" water heaters, can be an electric or gas powered unit that will provide hot water as it is needed. This makes them much more energy-efficient than a tank water heater, and means that you are significantly less likely to run out of hot water. With seemingly unlimited capacity and lower gas bills, it's easy to think these units are a dream come true to any homeowner. However, there are a few factors you might want to consider before jumping on the tankless bandwagon: Initial Cost, Vent Placement, Water Quality, and Regular Maintenance.
The cost to purchase a tankless water heater is going to be $1,000-$2,000 more than a typical tank water heater, depending on the models. These units are also known to have a longer life span, lasting 12 to 30 years depending on brand and use. A higher quality brand that is maintained regularly will last significantly longer than a lower quality brand that isn't cleaned and maintained. Another kick-back from these units is lower utility bills. They do not have to constantly heat gallons of water, thus only using energy when hot water is needed. The upfront cost is absolutely worth the investment if you're planning to care for the unit and make sure it gets proper servicing.
The tankless water heaters we carry do not have a power vent option. Thus, the vent system you currently have may need adjusted if you have a power vent water heater. Power vents are put in place for a reason, and it's mostly for your safety. Because the tankless units use gas to heat water, they have to have a way to vent the carbon monoxide to the outside of the home. If you believe you need a power vent, and would prefer a tankless water heater, we do have some options for you that are safe and reliable. We may recommend a different brand with either electric options or a power vent option, or a different vent path - whichever option makes the most sense for your situation.
The water quality in your home will have a major impact on whether or not you should even consider a tankless option. Tankless water heaters do not handle hard water very well at all. Mineral build up is a huge problem, and without regular cleanings, it could ruin your unit. If you have city water, you might be able to get away without water quality equipment, like a water softener or purifier. With a well, however, you may want to consider some serious water testing and treatment options before looking into a tankless. Tank heaters are much more durable when it comes to mineral-heavy water, and the life span isn't affected as much by hard water. Iron and sulfur are the most problematic in the Northwest Ohio area. With water softeners, or other treatment options, these issues can be mitigated, but it does increase the initial cost if these are not already in place.
Tankless water heaters are excellent options in many situations. If you're looking for something that will last a long time and save you money on your gas bill, or provide hot water without running out, this could be the next best investment for your home. If you do decide tankless is the way to go for you, you should be prepared to schedule regular maintenance for it every year. These units can last a long time when cared for properly, so if you want to make the most of your investment, we highly recommend either entering into an annual maintenance plan offered by a local plumbing company OR learning how to do the basic maintenance yourself and having it serviced every few years to make sure everything is working properly (if one part is going bad, it could put some major strain on other parts of the unit and cause a series of parts to need replaced). Regular Maintenance and cleaning will ensure that you get the most use out of your tankless water heater.
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