No matter what kind of home you own or where you live, your water heater has an important job to do. Without your water heater, you would be taking some pretty cold showers, and your dishes and clothes would never get clean.
If you have not checked the status of your hot water heater lately, now be the time to act. Water heaters do not last forever, and if yours is getting a bit long in the tooth, you may want to think about its eventually replacement.
Existing or Traditional?
When it comes time to replace your current water heater, you will have two basic choices. You can replace your existing water heater with a traditional model, one that keeps a supply of hot water on hand at all times and stores that heated water in a roomy tank. Or you can go with a tankless water heater, a design that provides on-demand hot water when you need it and operates without the need for a storage tank.
Both designs have their place, and choosing between the two means looking at how your family lives, what you prefer and the amount of money you have to spend. The traditional tank design water heater provides instant access to hot water, with little to no warm-up time. If that is a consideration, the traditional water heater may be your best choice.
A traditional water heater may also be the best choice if your budget is limited. Tankless water heaters are great, but they also tend to be more expensive. If cost is a major consideration, you will probably get more bang for your buck with a traditional design.
If you can afford to spend a bit more up front, however, a tankless water heater could save you money in the long run. That is because tankless water heaters require less energy than their tanked equivalents, resulting in lower utility bills and savings month after month.
Since there is no tank filled with hot water, tankless water heaters operate more efficiently, and that means a lower overall cost of ownership. Instead of keeping a tank full of hot water around just in case, the tankless water heater provides on demand hot water only when you need it. You may need to wait a little while for the stream of hot water to begin, but once the water is flowing, it will be just as hot – and cost you less money.
Choosing a water heater can be difficult, and there are a number of factors to consider. Once you know what to look for, you can choose a water heater that is cost-effective, efficient and ready when you need a steady stream of hot water.