Seems like tankless water heaters have become the ‘it’ appliance. Want to save energy costs? Get a new tankless water heater. Need hot water on demand? Get a tankless water heater. Jonesing for a cheeseburger? Get a tankless water heater. Ok, maybe that last one is a stretch but, seriously, these updated water heaters are well… hot.
As newer technology, tankless water heater systems are more energy efficient and heat water much faster than conventional systems. Also, the newer tankless water heater systems are smaller which allows them to be placed closer to where the heated water is needed. But, new technology also brings issues.
- Complicated repairs. Think about the fancy schmancy computer system in your car (for example- think BMW’s computer systems) and how often you’ve wished for the old, easier-to-work car that you had in high school. Tankless water heaters are the new cars of water-heating systems.
- Maintenance costs. Hard water, improper installation and corrosion are just the beginning. As tankless water heaters more and more in demand, fly-by-night plumbing companies showed up to charge a lot of money for shoddy work and left homeowners with bogus warranties or huge repair costs.
- True efficiency. Comparing the efficiency of tank heaters to tankless is difficult since no industry standards exist. Homeowners expecting a much more efficient system might be disappointed.
As with any new purchase, buyers should be aware when looking at tankless water heater systems. Upgrading from your tank water heater might not be the money-saving investment you expect. Be sure to ask your local plumbing contractor to breakdown your initial installation costs versus long-term savings.