The quest to reduce household monthly expenses is something with which most homeowners are familiar. You turn off the lights when you leave a room. You try to keep your thermostat set a degree or two warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter.
You may have even invested in CFL light bulbs and replaced all your traditional incandescent bulbs. But is there a place for savings that you’re overlooking?
A tankless water heater might sound like a great option for helping you reduce costs even further. They’re small, only use energy when hot water is needed, and offer several other benefits. But are they right for your home’s needs?
Do You Know Your Water Demand?
A tankless water heater can certainly be a very good investment, particularly if you have a smaller home with low demands in terms of hot water. If you have a large home with several children and a constant need for hot water, it might be a better option to stick with a conventional water heater for the bulk of your hot water needs.
Tankless water heaters are “on demand”, which means they heat water only when necessary. In comparison, a traditional water heater has a large holding tank. It warms that water and then maintains the temperature. When the tank is empty, it must be refilled, and the heating element must warm the water again, creating wait times. With a tankless system, that doesn’t happen.
Here’s the thing, though.
The average production rate for these water heaters is between two and five gallons of hot water per minute. That means it could produce all the hot water you need for a shower, or running your dishwasher, but chances are good it won’t be able to keep up if you’re doing both at the same time.
The more simultaneous uses of hot water your home has, the less this type of system will benefit you. Of course, you can install another tankless model in parallel, but unless you need to replace your unit with a larger one anyway it might cost more money than it would save.
Another way these systems could pay off is in supplementing a traditional tank system. Maybe the taps in your master bath take forever to warm up because it’s clear across the house from your large tank heater.
You could install a tankless water heater to supply instant hot water for immediate use for your shower, a dishwasher, or a clothes washer, but keep a conventional hot water heater for those instances when you need a lot of hot water at the same time for different uses.
New Kitchen, New Water Heater
Another instance in which adding a tankless hot water heater could be a wise decision is if you’re renovating your home. For example, if you’re finally getting the kitchen of your dreams, adding a dedicated tankless unit could be a very good decision in terms of efficiently meeting additional hot water demand (in the form of that snazzy new dishwasher drawer, perhaps?)
The same principle applies to bathroom renovations. Not only will your new tankless unit provide all the nearly-instant hot water necessary for that specific space, but it will also increase the resale value of your home if you decide to put it on the market down the road.
Leave it to the Pros
When it comes to tankless systems, it’s important to let a professional handle it. Installation can be tricky, particularly if you’re using a natural gas model. Gas supply lines, vent lines and other elements must be handled correctly. Electric models should also be installed by a professional to ensure safe operation.
When considering which company to choose, make sure you ask for cost estimates in writing. Also, make sure you get references from the company and check their reputation with the Better Business Bureau. Three Rivers Services can ensure that you get the ideal system for your needs, professional installation, and a price tag you can live with. Call us today!