Choosing whether or not to replace an aging water heater parallels the decision to end a relationship on its last legs. Making a choice sooner or later will save you unnecessary anguish. In the case of your water heater, a quick choice will also help you stop overpaying for hot water as quickly as possible. There's no point retreading your path in terms of water heaters, especially if your previous model fell into routine disrepair just a few years after it was purchased. This goes double if you and your family are settled into your current home, and you're looking for a more long-term relationship with your water heater.
Electric tankless water heaters can deliver highly efficient performance for 20 years of operation, far outpacing the life expectancy of most standard water heaters, which normally begin to see their efficiency decline about 10 years after the initial purchase. The following factors contribute to the reliable extended service life that make tankless water heaters such a smart investment for homeowners interested in making their homes as cost-effective as possible.
On-demand design limits energy waste and overuse
A 20-year service life is only as good as the performance of the appliance over that period, and electric tankless water heaters are capable of delivering above and beyond a homeowner's expectations. According to the Department of Energy, tankless water heaters can help you save up to 50 percent of your water heating bill each month. Considering that water heating makes up the second largest utility expense in your home, the ability to halve your expenses by going tankless translates to a big opportunity to free up discretionary income.
One of the ways that tankless water heaters are able to achieve this high efficiency level is on-demand heating. Instead of keeping a large volume of hot water at a high temperature at all times, tankless water heaters simply heat water as it is needed. You can make hot water heating even more efficient by reducing the distance between the water heater and points of use. The compact size of tankless models makes this a practical possibility.
Eliminating mineral buildup helps preserve performance
One factor that leads to efficiency loss in standard water heaters is the buildup and movement of metallic minerals and calcium on the inside of the tank. Tankless water heaters circumvent this problem completely by eliminating the tank from the equation. Some are even equipped with built-in scrubbing systems that ensure the interior remains as free of debris as the day it was installed. In addition to improving efficiency, eliminating the mineral buildup issue will also help you avoid the additional maintenance visits required to flush the tank and repair damage done by calcium and other materials scraping across around the sides of the reservoir.
"High-end tankless models may serve to bump up your asking price."
An extended service life delivers additional savings
In some cases the upfront cost of a tankless water heater may exceed that of a standard model, but the overall savings make going tankless the right choice in the long term, according to the Orange County Register. Life expectancy, limited maintenance issues and ease of installation all favor tankless models, especially for families that plan to stick around in their current home.
Even homeowners interested in a change of scenery can benefit from tankless water heaters because of their efficient performance. Green, resource-saving appliances like tankless water heaters offer an extra incentive to sustainability-minded families interested in purchasing your property. A high-end tankless model may even serve as leverage to bump up your asking price.
Smaller tankless models offer extra space efficiency
Energy efficiency isn't the only type of savings that tankless water heaters offer your home. They can also be used to make more effective use of your home's square footage. Standard models are roughly ten times larger than compact heaters, so homeowners who upgrade gain access to a considerable amount of space from their garage or storage closet. Tankless water heaters are so light that they can be mounted on the wall, freeing up even more space inside the home. Consider these reasons to go tankless as the efficiency of your current model begins to fade.