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Ready to Replace Your Water Heater With a Tankless Model? Here’s What You Need to Know

tankless water heater installed

Are you tired of running out of hot water during your morning shower or experiencing high energy bills due to your traditional water heater? If so, you’re not alone. Many homeowners are opting for tankless water heaters to enjoy continuous hot water access and reduce energy costs. However, before making this choice, it’s important to address several key considerations.

This write-up will explore some key considerations before choosing to switch over to a tankless water heater.

Understanding the Basics

Let’s first define what a tankless water heater is. Unlike traditional heaters that store and continuously heat a large volume of water, tankless or on-demand/instant heaters (also referred to as instantaneous or on-demand water heaters) heat water straight as it passes through, eliminating risk and energy waste while cutting costs by not having hot water stored within their units. This translates to quicker hot water availability when necessary while decreasing energy losses from standby energy loss.

To replace your water heater with a tankless system, it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of how they operate, their advantages, and the most common problems associated with tankless water heaters. With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right choice for your home. 

Factors To Consider Before Going Tankless

Sizing Your Tankless Water Heater

One of the most critical aspects of replacing your water heater with a tankless unit is ensuring you choose the right size. Tankless water heaters come in various sizes, measured in gallons per minute (GPM) of hot water output. The size you need depends on your household’s hot water demands.

To determine the appropriate size, consider factors such as the number of bathroom appliances that use hot water and the flow rates of these fixtures. It’s crucial to consult with a professional plumber or tankless water heater expert to size the unit for your specific needs accurately.

Gas vs. Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters come in two primary types: gas and electric. The choice between these two depends on your home’s infrastructure and your preferences.

Gas tankless water heaters are usually more powerful and provide a higher flow rate, making them suitable for larger households with high hot water demands. They require a gas supply line and proper ventilation, so installation may be more complex. Electric tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are more energy-efficient, easier to install, and better suited for smaller households with lower hot water needs.

Installation and Costs

Installing a tankless water heater may prove more complex than replacing a traditional unit, so professional water heater services should be sought to install this type of appliance. Improper installation could cause performance and safety concerns and may require retrofitting your plumbing system in order to accommodate its presence – which adds costs overall.

To make the transition smoother, it’s essential to get multiple quotes from reputable plumbers and consider financing options if necessary. While the initial investment may seem steep, the potential savings and benefits over time make it a worthwhile decision.

Maintenance and Longevity

Most of the time, tankless water heaters last longer than standard water heaters with tanks. A tankless unit can last up to 20 years or more with proper care, while a regular water heater only lasts about 10 to 15 years.

Maintenance for tankless water heaters is relatively straightforward. Periodic flushing of the unit is necessary to remove mineral buildup, which can affect performance. It’s a good idea to have a professional plumber perform this maintenance annually. Some tankless models come with self-cleaning features, making maintenance even more convenient. Regular maintenance can help avoid early water heater repair or replacement concerns.

Energy Efficiency and Savings

One of the most compelling reasons to replace your water heater with a tankless system is the potential for significant energy savings. If you only need hot water when you need it, a tankless water heater will only use energy.

If you move to a tankless water heater, you can use less energy, which will lower your utility bills. Additionally, tankless models are more environmentally friendly, as they produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Rebates and Incentives

To encourage energy-efficient upgrades, many government agencies and utility companies provide rebates and incentives for homeowners who replace their water heater with a tankless system. These financial incentives can offset some of the upfront costs, making the transition more affordable.

Before making the switch, research local and federal programs that may provide financial assistance for installing a tankless water heater. Take advantage of these incentives to make the transition more cost-effective.

Water Quality and Scale Buildup

Water quality is another important consideration when replacing your water heater with a tankless unit. Hard water, which contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, can lead to scale buildup in the tankless system.

To mitigate scale buildup, consider installing a water softener if your water source has a high mineral content. Water softeners can help increase the lifespan of your tankless water heater and maintain its performance.

Cold-Weather Considerations

In regions with cold winters, it’s important to consider how your tankless water heater will perform. These units are more sensitive to incoming water temperature, and extremely cold water may require the heater to work harder to reach the desired hot water temperature.

To ensure your tankless water heater functions well in cold climates, choose a model with a higher temperature rise capacity. It’s also a good idea to insulate your hot water pipes to reduce heat loss and maintain hot water delivery during winter months. Moreover, getting in touch with a plumbing professional can provide you with an informed decision on the best options and installation practices for your specific situation.

Navigating the Tankless Transition: A Final Contemplation

The transition to a tankless water heater offers numerous benefits, including energy savings, continuous hot water, and a longer lifespan. To make this upgrade a reality in your home, consult the Howell, MI, water heater experts at Brock Mechanical. Benefit from our expert guidance on transitioning to a tankless water heater and enjoy the advantages of energy efficiency and reliable hot water.

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