Tankless Water Heaters: Pros and Cons
LESLIE: Robert in Texas is updating his energy system. What can we do for you?
ROBERT: I have a question. Down here in deep south Texas, we do not have the best quality water. And I would like to get some information about tankless water heaters. I’d like to install one at the house. Want to get the pros and cons of this thing.
TOM: Well, I don’t think there’s any cons of it except for, perhaps, the cost. It is more expensive than a standard water heater – as we call them, the dumb water heaters because they basically hold water, they heat water and they do that 24/7 whether you need it or not. The nice thing about tankless water heaters, Robert, is that they are on-demand units, so that they only heat the water you need when you need it. So they are not very wasteful. And that’s why they’re a little more complicated to build and a little more expensive.
In terms of the installation, unless you’re a pro, it’s not a do-it-yourself job because there’s a lot of things to consider. First of all, you have to size it right so you have enough hot water for the entire house. It has to be located safely, vented properly and wired properly. So those are generally jobs that are best left up to the professional. But I don’t really see a downside to having one. In fact, some of the models actually have what I think – what I think is very cool; a remote control that actually tells you what the temperature of the water is at any one time and allows you to control it. So for example, if you have a family with kids and you want to send Junior up to take a bath by himself, you can actually dial down the temperature, say, from standard 120 degrees down to a 100 degrees, so he can’t possibly scald himself. And then, after Junior’s done, you could dial it back up to 110 or 120; wherever you like it. So there’s a lot of advantages and not too many disadvantages.
ROBERT: That’s pretty good. That’s good to know. Is there – do you know if there are any replacement filters or anything of that nature?
TOM: No, and there’s no water heater to drain or anything of that nature. They need very little maintenance once they’re installed. So I think it’s all good stuff, Robert.
ROBERT: Excellent. Well, I appreciate it, guys.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.