Has your current tank water heater reached past its lifespan? Maybe you noticed the hydro bill has been climbing, or maybe water is just not heating like it used to. Whatever it is, you’ve reached the point where it’s time to research new water heaters, and you may have now reached a fork in the road: Should I get another tank water heater, or switch to tankless?
What is a tankless water heater? And how does it differ from a conventional water heater?
First, let’s start with explaining what a tankless water heater is.
You may hear it called: on-demand water heater, or an instantaneous heater. Like these names suggest, a tankless heater heats the water as needed, or on demand, or instantly, rather than heating the water preemptively and then storing it into a tank for later use like it’s conventional counter-part.
Once the hot water tap is turned on, a tankless water heater works by using a gas burner or an electric element to heat the water. The water is instantly heated, and then it flows to the area it is needed. Once the tap is turned off, so is the heating mechanism.
Conventional or tank water heaters work by heating the water and then storing it into a tank for later use. When you turn on your hot water tap, the hot water flows from the tank to the area it is needed. The water that has left the tank is replaced with new water and heated back up.
Tankless water heater
Traditional tank water heater
What are the pros and cons of a tankless water heater?
They Are Compact
A huge bonus with tankless water heaters is their size. They are super compact, wall mounted, and do not take up any floor space. With a conventional water heater you are looking at a 40 – 65 gal drum that sits on the floor, with tankless, you are looking at a 10” by 7” to 30” by 20” box attached to the wall
A Longer Lifespan
Tankless water heaters last about 20 years, whereas tank water heaters last about 10-15 years
Instant and Endless Hot Water
Ever run out of hot water mid-shower? With tankless, you will never have to worry about that again! Once the hot water tap is opened, the water is heated on demand and ready for use. Keep in mind, if you have other appliances running the hot water (dishwasher, multiple bathrooms being used, etc) then this will affect the hot water supply.
FortisBC offers rebates of up to $1000 on tankless water heaters in B.C, conditions apply. Please visit FortisBC for more info.
More Energy Efficient
Conventional water heaters store hot water in a large tank, if that water is not being used it experiences heat-loss and has to keep reheating the water to maintain its temperature. A tank that has to reheat the water is less energy efficient than a tankless water heater that heats on-demand rather than storing the heat.
Power outages = no hot water
A power outage means you instantly lose your on-demand hot water.
Expect to pay $1000 – $5000 plus installation fees for a tankless water heater.
Installation might not be straight forward
In order to install a tankless water heater, your contractor might have to make some changes to the home, including: rerouting the gas line.
So, should you go tankless? It really depends on your situation. If you could really use the extra space that the tankless heater provides and like the idea of on-demand and efficient heat, and if that up-front price is not too scary. Then it could be a great option!
Or maybe you want to keep it simple and switch the old conventional heater for a new conventional heater, that works too!
On the fence? Ask friends, and get a quote from your local contractor.
Give us a call, and we can answer any further questions you have.
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