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These days everyone is thinking about how they can be more energy-efficient. Whether your focus is on saving money or saving the environment, the end result is the same. Technology continues to evolve and with it comes innovative ways to consume less energy without giving up the comforts that we already appreciate. One such invention is the tankless water heater, which helps reduce the amount of water and energy the average home consumes. In fact, it is estimated that they are over 20% more efficient than a standard water heater. With this in mind, you may be ready to call a Saginaw, TX plumbing service and make the switch, but before you do it may be helpful to look over a few pros and cons of the tankless heater.
Before we dive in though, for those who are not familiar with a tankless water heater- the concept is simple. The device is simply a box that has tubing that passes through it. When hot water is needed the device flips on and a surge of strong power heats the water directly as it passes through the tubing. Therefore, hot water is only warmed on-demand. While not in use, the heater sits dormant. Thus, while it needs more power when on, the appliance sends most of the day drawing none. This is a sharp contrast to the traditional water heater which draws energy all day to warm the tank at a steady and consistent rate. This is one reason why most plumbing service technicians will recommend the tankless tank option, but like most things in life, there are two sides.
In most cases, the tankless water heater makes the most sense, but pricing, overall water consumption, and other factors that affect daily life in Saginaw, TX also play a role. Here are a few of the top benefits and a few of the drawbacks to help you make an educated choice before calling a plumbing company.
Instant Hot Water
Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters are able to deliver hot water instantly. This means that at any time of the day you can access extremely hot water without worrying ab0otu whether you catch the tank in a cycle or not. However, along that same vein, some customers have complained that sometimes the water temperature is a bit inconsistent. This is more likely to happen if several people in a home are attempting to access hot water at the same time.
Also, the tankless heater does not always activate if the faucet is not turned all of the way on, so you may need to use slightly more water to ensure it warms up. If you have a tankless water heater and are experiencing these types of issues, it may be a good idea to call a plumbing professional for a tune-up to ensure there is nothing else going on.
A standard water heater generally has a lifespan of 10-12 years. Every once in a while with regular maintenance by a Saginaw, TX plumbing service a water heater will make it to 20 years. In reality, though, you can only expect a high-quality water heater to produce hot water consistently for about a decade. On the other hand, a tankless water heater usually easily lasts for 20 years and with regular plumbing service may even last longer.
Therefore, for every one tankless water heater a plumbing service installs, another customer will have to pay for two standard tanks. When you add up the costs of buying two water heaters versus one, it is easier to save the savings. Of course, the downside is that they cost more upfront also. In fact, a tankless water heater is almost twice the cost, but when you factor in energy savings they become more efficient. Thus, buying one tank, paying for one installation from a plumbing company, and lowered energy bills together make them the most cost-effective choice. It can be hard to plan that far into the future however if you are on a budget, which is why tankless tank heaters are not for everyone.
Lowered Monthly Water and Electricity Bills
With that in mind, it is worth reiterating that you will save in energy bills if you choose a tankless heater over a standard tank. Water does not sit around in a tankless heater tank, so right off the bat, you are not wasting gallons of water daily. Second, a standard hot water tank is effectively always on. Regardless of the time of day, it is either heating water or keeping the water it already heated warm. You would never leave the lights in your home all day, so it is a large waste of energy to leave your water tank on all day when you don’t need it. Tankless water heaters only turn on when you need them, which is one reason they last so long. They don’t use the energy or suffer the daily wear and tear of a standard tank. On average, a homeowner can expect to save a few hundred dollars a year on energy bills by opting for a tankless tank heater.
Of course, there is a flip side as any plumbing service would tell you, and that is a limited hot water supply. Since they do not have a reservoir of water to draw back on, there is a limit to how much hot water can be accessed at one time. If someone is running the dishwasher then they cannot expect to jump in the shower at the same time. The hot water heater simply will not be able to keep up. Even a larger tankless heater will probably not be able to handle two people in different showers at the same time or two major appliances running at the same time. This is one reason heavy water users or homes with large families may be recommended to stick to the traditional model by their Saginaw, TX plumbing service.
Gain Some Space Back in Your Home
Traditional water heaters are large and bulky. They take up a reasonably large area of space in your basement and neither a clever plumbing service nor a smaller tank will solve that problem. The amount of space it takes to store 30-40 gallons of water is set in stone. A plumbing professional might recommend a tankless tank heater to a family with a small home because of the fact that it solves some of the space issues. A tankless tank is just a flat box that hangs against a wall near the plumbing main. Since it heats water on demand it does not need a reservoir and can fit against almost any wall.
This is one reason why tankless tanks are also recommended for homes without basements. There are a lot of ranch-style homes in Saginaw, TX, so the idea of getting back some space can be very attractive. However, the tankless tank heater will probably need a water softener too so keep in mind that this will take up some space next to wherever you mount the tankless tank heater.
It is a good idea to talk to a technician from a plumbing service before deciding where to mount the tank because there are certain factors that need to be taken into consideration. The area you have in mind may not be the best place, and you don’t want to buy anything until you are certain it will solve your space issues. This is one reason it is actually beneficial to buy your new water heater through the plumbing service you intend to use for installation. They can cover the basics with you before any money is exchanged and if you buy through them will also probably cut the price a bit on the overall installation. Plus, any Saginaw, TX plumbing service has likely installed hundreds of water heaters. This means they know what will and won’t work, and can quickly stop you from making a mistake.
Special Green Tax Breaks and Financing Offers
If the increased costs of a tankless tank heater is the only thing stopping you from calling a plumbing service and going completely green, you may want to look at some of the federal tax credits that are available to homeowners. Tankless water heaters qualify for a handful of federal tax credits which can help make the initial installation of a tankless tank by a plumbing service more affordable. In fact, right now homeowners can get a 10% tax credit on the total costs of installing and purchasing a tankless hot water heater. If you still can’t make the leap, it may be useful to know that Energy-star certified traditional water heaters also come with the same 10% tax break.
Be aware though, you may need that 10% tax credit on your installation because tankless water heaters have a different setup. Sometimes the plumbing service may have to reroute an existing gas line or remove it completely to get a tankless water heater set-up. If you had an electric water heater before, then the entire setup in your basement will need to be changed to accommodate a new gas tankless water heater. If this intimidates you, call your local plumbing service and talk to them about what the additional costs would involve. Most plumbing services in Saginaw, TX will offer you a free quote or at least a ballpark figure of how much it would cost to fully make the switch based on your existing hook-ups.
Never Worry About Using Up the Hot Water
In most houses, no one wants to be the second person to take a shower in the morning, because it is common knowledge that the second person will probably have the length of their shower determined by how much water is left in the tank. If you are tired of running out of hot water during a bath, shower, or even while another appliance in the home is running a tankless water heater can solve this problem. While they may not be strong enough to supply water to two people at the same time, they can steadily provide hot water for multiple showers even if they are back to back. In fact, in theory, five people in a home could take a shower one after another and there would be plenty of hot water for each one which is unheard of in homes with a standard water heater.
This is because the tankless water heater does not need to recharge in between showers. It heats water on demand so if you keep demanding hot water, it will keep supplying it. This is the top benefit of tankless water heaters and one reason that a technician from a plumbing service may recommend making the switch.
Electric and Gas Tankless Water Heaters Are Available
Worried about changing your hookups if you switch from a standard water heater to a tankless model? With the help of your plumbing service picking out a new model, you shouldn’t have to be. Both gas and electric models are now available in the open marketplace so finding a unit that matches your current home’s infrastructure should not be a daunting task. Of course, if you want to be extremely green-friendly, you may want to jump one step further and take a closer look at solar water heating. This is only going to work with a standard water tank, but it is an excellent way to cut down energy costs across the board.
If you are looking at a tankless water heater or trying to decide whether one would be good for your home, call your local plumbing service to get some input. At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth – Saginaw, TX we are always happy to offer friendly advice. Give us a call today and set up an appointment to discuss the best options for your personal situation.