Installing a Tankless Hot Water Heater in a Condo
LESLIE: Sue in Florida’s up next and you want to talk tankless water heaters, which Tom and I love. So what’s your question?
SUE: Well, hi and thank you for taking my call. I’m a condo dweller and the tank that is in my house has been there ever since the condo was built like 25 years ago. So I know it’s time to start thinking about replacing it.
LESLIE: It’s overdue.
SUE: Yes, and I’m happy about that. And everybody’s talking about this but I don’t know anyone personally that has a tankless hot water heater and so I went to my local home repair place and found out that you can buy it but no one is interested in installing it there and I’m thinking, “Geez, maybe this is, you know, something that isn’t really a practical thing.” I don’t know what the upsides of the – you know, everyone says, “Oh, it’s going to save you a lot of energy and …” you know. Do you have an opinion about that?
TOM: Well, we do. We like tankless water heaters and it’s unfortunate you haven’t found a referral to somebody that can install them. But rest assured …
SUE: Oh. Oh yeah, I’m sure that I can find somebody …
SUE: … but you know what I mean. They don’t install them where they sell them.
TOM: No. No, I do think they’re a very good piece of equipment. You know, the way it works is it basically heats the amount of water that you need on demand and that gives you a lot of advantages. A usual – a typical water heater is pretty dumb because it basically heats the water to where the thermostat’s set and keeps it heated even if you’re not using it.
LESLIE: Well, all day long …
LESLIE: … when you’re not even wanting it.
TOM: The tankless water heaters are much smarter in that they only heat the amount of water that you need and when you need it and that’s what makes them so much more efficient. Now, they are more expensive but they do last longer and they also take up a lot less space. So I think that tankless water heaters are a grand idea and I think it’s definitely something you should consider.
SUE: Well, do you think that the initial cost of installing it is, you know, worthwhile in the long run? How long do you think that one would last?
TOM: I think that one is going to last a good 15 or 20 years.
TOM: Now, the cost benefit question really gets in to how long you’re going to live in that condominium. You have to measure the savings against how long you actually have it but, generally speaking, it’s a very smart thing to do. They’re also, by the way, Energy Star rated and you might be able to even qualify for an energy tax credit by buying one now.
SUE: Well, that sounds good. I’ll do a little more investigating. Thank you.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Alright, Sue. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.