Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth It?

ask yourself if tankless water heaters are worth it for you

If you're in the market for a new water heater, it's essential to do your research. If you're trying to decide if you should go with one of these new-fangled tankless water heaters, then you must ask yourself specific questions. One of the most important to consider is, are tankless water heaters worth it? Let's start with a more fundamental and straightforward question:

Do Tankless Water Heaters Save Money?

The answer is most likely "yes," but it depends on a few things. The US Department of Energy found that the average homeowner saves over $100 per year with gas-fueled tankless water heaters. Natural gas (or liquid propane for people living off the grid), like this Noritz EZ111DV-NG is the most efficient way to heat water. If you're not hooked up for natural gas, you face savings of about $44 per year with electric tankless units.

That being said, the initial cost of a tankless installation is more expensive than going with a tank. If you're planning on moving soon, or it's a rental where tenants pay utilities, then it may not be worth that extra investment. However, tankless units have a long life expectancy. If you can make it last you 20 years, then you will likely come out on top.

Why Doesn't Tankless Save Everybody Money?

save money with tankless water heaters

When tankless fails to offer savings for a household, it usually comes down to habits. Let's say we have household #1 where everyone showers and then runs off to school/work. This family is a prime candidate for tankless. Nobody's using hot water for long periods, and they should expect significant savings. That same family is wasting money and energy by running a burner on a storage-tank water heater all day.

However, household #2, where people are home all day and consistent hot water activity (cooking, laundry, dishes, showers), will not see the same savings as household #1. They might even be losing money, especially if they're dealing with an electric installation. A tank is probably better suited for constant hot water use than a tankless. 

And even if a tankless unit would save you money, that is no guarantee it's going to be able to perform the way you want it.

Should I Get a Tankless Water Heater?

This is a question that you'll have to put a little more time and effort into answering yourself. There are too many factors to consider for us to tell you a simple yes or no answer. Just know that the average family does save in the long run when they buy a new tankless water heater. For more general information about water heaters, try our Water Heater Buyer's Guide.

Related resources:
How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?
How Long Do Tankless Water Heaters Last?
Tankless vs. Tank Water Heater (Infographic)
Tankless Water Heater Sizing

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