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Serving the Olympia, WA area since 1994



Is a Tankless Water Heater Worth the Cost?

Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 9:34 am

More and more people in the United States are discovering the many benefits of tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters were designed in order to alleviate the energy loss that comes along with owning a standard storage tank water heater. Storage tank water heaters use up a lot of energy throughout the day, resulting in high utilities and wasted natural resources. But with a tankless water heater, you won’t run into these problems, and you’ll save some money in the meantime.

But every now and then, someone raises the question of whether a tankless unit is really worth it. Tankless units tend to be higher in cost than storage tanks because they have more complicated machinery for operation. Traditional units, on the other hand, work under the simple natural principle that heat rises. Water feeds into the tank from the top through a long tube that leads to the bottom. A gas burner or electric heating element heats up the water, which then rises above the denser, colder water and reaches your faucets through a tube at the top of the tank.

But this means you have to leave the heat running all day even though you only use hot water every so often in the course of a day, an issue known as standby energy loss. With a tankless unit, a computer simply communicates to the unit when a hot water tap in the home has been turned on. Water heats up as soon as it passes by the heating element, and the heat shuts off immediately afterwards.

Yes, a storage tank water heater will eventually offset the cost of installation, and many feel that the initial investment is 100% worth it. However, a standard storage tank unit is still right for many homeowners. For some people, initial cost is simply too important a factor for them to worry about the future energy savings, especially since it will take many years to compensate for the expense. Besides, tankless units have been known to struggle when it comes to heavy heating loads in larger households, and you may find yourself needing multiple units at an even greater cost.

You don’t have to make the decision on your own. Call Brooks Plumbing to discuss tank and tankless water heaters in Olympia and to schedule professional installation or service.

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