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The Pros And Cons Of A Tankless Water Heater

Approximately 17 percent of the average household's energy usage goes to heat water, according to the U.S. Department of Energy,, more than all other household appliances combined. That's partly because most households use traditional water tanks that heat water 24/7 so that it will be ready when you need it. That process results in a lot of wasted energy.

One way to curb that waste--and save money on your utility bills--is to install a new tankless water heater. These appliances heat water on demand via a network of super-heated coils, so there's much less energy loss compared to a traditional water tank. However, a tankless water heater isn't the right choice for every family. It's important to weigh the pros and cons before making the investment.

Advantages of a tankless water heater

1. Energy efficiency. As we discussed above, tankless water heating systems are more efficient since they only heat water as it is needed, not while you're at work or asleep. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the average household could save $100 per year by making the switch.

2. Takes up less space. While a traditional water tank takes up a considerable amount of floor space, a tankless system is about the size of a suitcase and hangs on the wall.

3. Unlimited hot water. Because a tankless system heats water on demand, you'll never run out of hot water in the middle of your shower or when you're doing dishes.

Disadvantages of a tankless water heater

1. Not good with multiple water demands. Tankless water heating systems work best when there are just one or two simultaneous demands for water. If you have a large household, where someone may be showering while another person is washing dishes and another doing laundry, this probably isn't the best choice for your household.

2. Cost. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of a tankless water heating system is the initial cost of the system and its installation. The average cost of a tankless water heating system is $800 to $1,150. That compares to between $300 and $480 for a traditional water tank. Installing a tankless system is also more expensive. Budget an additional $1,452 for the installation.

While a tankless water heating system can help save energy and energy dollars, this type of system isn't the right choice for every family. Make sure you carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of such a system before you invest in a new water heater. Visit websites like for more information.