If you are looking at installing or replacing a hot water heater, do you go with the traditional or with the new ‘tankless’ version?

Consumers are searching out ways to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. As with anything, there are benefits and drawbacks associated with the tankless heaters. They do however, deserve a closer look. While they are intended to save on water consumption and energy costs, they are not for everybody.Due diligence will ensure you make the right decision for you and your family.


* Hot Water on Demand–instant hot water at the source.

* Energy Saving–not spending money heating up a large tank of water. Tankless units can potentially save you up to 25% in water heating bills.

* Eco-Friendly–Electric heaters don’t produce ‘greenhouse gases’.

* Space Saving–take up much less space than a traditional holding tank.

* Water Saver–because of their size, they can be installed closer to source(ex: sink, dishwasher…) Less time in waiting means less water down the drain.

* Damage Control–no unexpected floods

* Life of Appliance–usually lasts 10-15 years longer than traditional tanks.

* Versatility–available in different sizes to accommodate space availability. Some have multiple settings and remote controls(bells and whistles are extra)

* Energy Star Savings–most tankless heaters are eligible for a federal tax rebate.


* Cost–this is a BIG one!! tankless heaters can cost up to 3 times as much as traditional models, however, they do last longer.

* Electric Installation–may require special installation as well as additional circuit in the breaker box.

* Gas Installation–may require installation of additional gas line for the unit. Gas heaters also require additional venting..both of these add to the cost.

* Eco-Friendly??–gas units emit some ‘greenhouse gases’

* Supply and Demand–more than 1 unit may be needed to meet your families’ needs. A minimum of 0.5 gallons per minute is required to trigger the heat exchanger.

If you are at decision making time, consider the Pro’s and Con’s of both tankless and conventional heaters. Compare as well, the financial impact of tankless vs. traditional…paying particular attention to installation and replacement costs in the future. Don’t forget, conventional heaters last about 10 years, while tankless will have a life of 20-25 years.