Tankless vs. Conventional Water Heaters: The Pros and Cons

Energy costs got you down? Are you thinking about making the switch from your conventional water heater to a tankless model? Arguably, there are a plethora of reasons to consider taking the plunge and investing in a tankless water heater. According to Consumer Reports, gas tankless water heaters are approximately 22 percent more energy efficient on average than conventional water heaters.

For homeowners considering a tankless water heater installation, this sounds like a no-brainer. However, despite the promise of long-term energy savings, there are a handful of drawbacks one must take into consideration, including higher upfront costs, complicated installations, and inconsistent water temperatures.

Despite these initial drawbacks, rest assured that technology continues to improve. The latest generation of tankless water heaters were recently on display at the Design and Construction Week Expo– in Las Vegas earlier this year. It was at the event that manufactures claim to have addressed these early growing pains.

Decide for yourself which water heater is right for you in our head to-head comparison—may the best water heater win!

Round 1 – Cost

  • Many tankless water heater units come with a federal tax rebate of up to $300.
  • You can save up to 20 percent on your bill and use less energy because tankless water heaters only need enough power to heat water as it’s being used.
  • Even though tankless water heaters can save you money on your energy bill, they cost more initially. Additionally, the cost of installation can fluctuate depending on the specific pipework of your home.

Round 2 – Installation

  • A tankless water heater takes up less space and can be installed under cabinets, in closets, on walls or even outdoors, with the use of an anti-freeze kit.
  • If you choose a tankless unit that requires gas, you may have to add a secondary natural gas line to supply your water heater with enough fuel.
  • Venting for gas or propane units requires stainless steel tubing, which is expensive.
  • Electric units may require an additional electrical circuit.

Round 3 – Long-term Customer Satisfaction

  • A tankless water heater provides you and your family with a never-ending supply of hot water.
  • Tankless water heaters can last longer than storage water heaters—sometimes as much as five to ten years longer.
  • Tankless water heaters are more efficient and don’t experience standby heat loss.
  • Electric tankless water heaters don’t produce greenhouse gases.
  • You don’t run the risk of flooding due to a ruptured tank with a tankless unit.

If you do decide that it is time to invest in a new water heater, we encourage you to compare your options and consider tankless technology. Refer to the yellow Energy Guide stickers on your current water heater and the tankless model you’re considering—this will help you decide which one will suit your needs better. Weigh all expense factors, including possibly adding a gas line or electrical circuit, and any environmental concerns you have.

If you have any questions about tankless water heaters, call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Dallas at (972) 895-7775. Our experts can answer your questions, as well as provide professional water heater installation services. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing offers financing options with approved credit to keep your initial out-of-pocket expenditures to a minimum when you’re considering a tankless water heater.