Tank Or No Tank? That Is The Question

by Dave Logan


Energy costs are on the rise, and many consumers are always on the lookout for ways to cut energy costs. In this economy and with environmental consciousness top of mind, let’s take a look at an item growing in popularity: the tankless water heating system.

What’s the big idea? Well, the whole idea behind a tankless water heater is to heat water as it is needed, or “on demand.” Now you don’t need a storage tank so you obviously save room and ENERGY!

But what are the costs of heating water in your home anyway? It’s a good question and certainly varies from home to home. Generally speaking, 25-30% of your home’s energy use likely comes from heating water for things like showers, laundry, cooking, etc. We all use a lot of hot water, and you could be spending more than $500 per year to use it for you and your family.

What are some advantages the tankless water heating system? Since there is no standby loss in using tankless water heating systems, they essentially are more energy efficient than standard systems that use tanks. Another obvious advantage is that you don’t waste water. A great advantage in my opnion is that you won’t run out of hot water in the middle of a nice, hot shower! Finally, there are some tax benefits by going tankless from what I understand, and the lifespan of a tankless water system is more than double that of its counterpart’s.

What are some disadvantages of the tankless water heating system?One obvious disadvantage of going tankless is the initial cost. It will likely cost you hundreds more to go tankless. Also, if you’re using a gas heater, keeping the pilot light continuously lit may reduce its efficiency. Finally, you may require more service calls with a tankless system due to calcium buildup that can reduce efficiency and water flow.

Talk to your plumber to find out if going tankless is the right decision for your home.