For decades, homeowners had one basic choice when it came to water heaters: storage tank water heaters. You know the type, because you probably have one working away in your house right now. The water heater stores a tank of water kept at the appropriate temperature, periodically running to replace lost heat so the water is ready for use when a tap comes on.
Today, there’s another water heater option that’s becoming increasingly popular: the on-demand water heater, also known as a tankless water heater. If you’re considering replacing your current water heater, you might be curious about making the leap to an on-demand water heater in Tampa, FL.
We’re glad to help you—starting with looking at whether an on-demand water heater is worth the investment.
What Makes an On-Demand Water Heater Different
The big difference between a traditional water heater and an on-demand water heater is that on-demand water heaters do not have tanks to store water. Instead, they heat up water as it passes through the unit, moving heat from gas burners via heat exchangers into the water flow. The movement of the water is what triggers the heating to start, so whenever a tap turns on in the house, the water heater starts to heat the water … on-demand, as the name explains. As long as demand continues, the unit will continue to heat up more water.
The Benefits of an On-Demand Water Heater
You can probably already guess some of the advantages that this type of water heater might have. We’ll break down the major ones.
- Unlimited hot water: If there’s no supply of hot water to deplete, the water heater can’t run out of hot water! An on-demand water heater will just keep heating up more water as you need it.
- Energy efficiency: On-demand water heaters come highly recommended because of how much they reduce energy consumption compared to storage tank water heaters. A standard water heater must regularly use energy to keep its tank of water at the right temperature, and that means running when there’s no need for water. On-demand water heaters only consume energy when there’s a need for water.
- Longevity: Lacking a tank removes much of the strain on an on-demand water heater. Combined with running less often, this gives on-demand water heaters a longer service life, sometimes lasting more than 20 years compared to the average 12-year lifespan of other water heaters.
- Small size: No tank means less space consumption. In fact, on-demand water heaters can often be mounted on the wall.
The Drawbacks of an On-Demand Water Heater
Are there any negatives? Yes, a few—although not all of them may matter depending on your situation.
- Cost: The upfront price tag for an on-demand water heater is higher than a conventional water heater, although the energy savings will eventually pay back the installation costs.
- Delay: It takes longer for the heated water from the water heater to reach taps because the system must start heating the water first.
- Adjustments: A home may need some adjustments made to its plumbing to accommodate an on-demand water heater and also have a water softener installed.
- Can Be Overwhelmed: An on-demand water heater can be overwhelmed with demand if multiple taps are on at the same time.