New technologies have made tankless water heaters very popular. However, some people are reporting problems with their tankless heaters. Although this new technology works well and offers many benefits to homes and commercial buildings, there are disadvantages as well. By understanding how tankless systems work, and being an informed consumer, you can choose the water heater that is best for you.
The Traditional Water Heaters
One advantage of storage water heaters are that people are familiar with the technology. Also, the larger the tank, the more hot water you have available, even during power outages. Storage heaters are also cheaper and easy to install in many cases. Many homeowners have no problems installing a new storage water tank. More plumber and HVAC contractors are familiar with servicing storage heaters.
The main disadvantage is that older storage heaters are not energy efficient, thereby increasing your energy bills, The tanks also take up a large amount of space in your home.
The Tankless Water Heaters
The main advantage of this new technology is energy efficiency. The water is only heated as it is running through the system. Without a tank, there is no limit to the amount of hot water available. In commercial buildings, some models allow for several units to be connected to provide a higher volume of hot water on demand. Tankless unit are also compact and take up little space.
The disadvantages are that the tankless units require a gas valve and power for the control panel. When there is no power due to a blackout or storm, there is no hot water available. With some models, when turning on the water in short spurts, there may be a “cold sandwich” effect. Also, there is a limit to how many hot water faucets can be used simultaneously.
Before purchasing or upgrading to a tankless system, learn about the pros and cons of both types of water heaters. In both instances, you get the best results if you buy a quality water heater, and hire an experienced plumber or HVAC technician to install the unit.
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