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Tankless water heaters

Not a good investment

tankless water heater

Please take a moment and let us educate you with some facts about tankless water heaters.  The reason as to why we do not suggest tankless systems is our long time experience dealing with these units.

For their own personal profits, many companies are not straight with you when it comes to tankless water heaters and they like to keep more than a few key points hidden from you.

Below, you can find some very useful information you would want to review before even considering tankless water heaters for your home or business.  You can also have a look at the performance evaluation which was done by CONSUMERREPORTS.ORG and check out some more factual and experimental data.  For further reference, you can read this Toronto Star article THESTAR.COM.

1. There is NO big saving on tankless heaters

This is a proven fact that the average gas savings with a tankless water heater for a regular-sized house is only about $60 - $80 per year. However - unlike most storage heater models that only operate on gas - tankless units also operate on electricity and you can count on higher electrical charges, with some models dramatically reducing your gas savings.

2. Upfront costs are too high

The cost of installing a tankless water heater is almost three times that of a regular conventional water heater.  Considering the little annual savings on gas, it will take MORE THAN 20 YEARS to pay off this difference.

3. High cost of maintenance

Traditional hot water tanks need almost no maintenance.  The tankless ones, however, need to be maintained – at the very least – every two years.  When you boil water, there is a high chance of calcium buildup.  In a tankless water heating system, this happens inside the heat exchanger tubes, inhibiting water flow, dropping the water pressure and reducing system efficiency.  To remove this buildup, you need to pay the technician at least $200 - once every two years – to flush out your system with some sort of an acid and using special valves and other relevant equipment.

Taking the maintenance costs into account, not only you are left with no savings but you actually have to pay from your own pocket to have your system run properly.  And do keep in mind that if you do not keep your tankless water heater maintained, the tubes will eventually become clogged and not only does the water pressure drop drastically, but so does the system efficiency!!

4. High cost of repair

Tankless water heaters are complex systems that use many complicated and delicate mechanical and electronic elements.  As compared with storage water heaters, there is a high chance of system breakdown and obviously they cost much more to fix.

5. Not much saving in space afterall

To be completely frank, if you are replacing your old storage tank with a tankless heater, you are not likely to save much in space with the way many technicians go about their installations.  To make it an easy job, the installer chooses a wall very close to the location of your old tank and he will use 2 one-piece plastic pipes from the old to the new water line connection.  Then he will hook up the gas line and the new wires as well as the new venting system and you are left with very little – if any, in fact – saving in space.

6. Inconvenient

The supply of hot water might be endless but dealing with inconsistent water temperatures is among tankless owners’ top complaints. 

Tankless water heaters do not deliver hot water instantaneously, either. It takes time to heat the water to the set point, and cold water in the pipes still needs to be pushed out.  Ignition of the burner will also not take place, if only a small amount of water is needed.

7. Location of installed tankless heater is key

When it comes to hot water tanks, you do not need to choose a specific installation location in the basement.  However, tankless units have to be installed as close to both the water and gas meter as possible as their performance greatly depends on their location.

8. Tankless heaters need both electricity and gas to operate

90% of storage water heaters work with only gas and even in case of a gas interruption, you still have access to a tank full of hot water.  With tankless models, however, not only during gas interruptions but even in times of power outages, you will not have a single drop of hot water and that can be something to consider as well.

The reality of the matter is that there is no question in the fact that a tankless water heater operates more efficiently than a tank model does (about 15% that is), but since you are paying around $30 a month to operate a 50-gallon tank, your annual savings will not exceed $60 in this case. Now take into consideration the higher hydro charges and your maintenance fees - exceeding $100 annually and think to yourself whether it is economically justifiable. Afterall, one thing remains a FACT. Whatever your reason for going tankless, do not even consider tankless water heaters if you are under the assumption that you will end up saving ANY money. Installing a tankless water heater is one of the quickest and easiest ways for hvac contractors to maximize their profits. We at Air Makers strongly recommend for you NOT to trade your hot water tank with a tankless water heater and hope to make business with you on products that we do back and believe in - especially economically.