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Is a Tankless Water Heater Worth the Investment? /Chicago Water Heater Replacement / Chicago Plumber

March 23, 2020


Chicago Water Heater Repair

Tankless water heaters are one of the many innovations that have come in the wave of new technology aimed at improving energy efficiency. What sets it apart is, instead of heat and reheating water to maintain its heat, tankless water heaters use gas burners or electric coils to heat water instantly. The process of instant heating requires slightly more power, but only for a moment since the water does not have to be heated repeatedly to maintain a constant temperature. This will ultimately save you both energy and money (very important, as water-heating is, on average, the second most expensive utility in the US). 

Consumer reports found that gas-powered tankless water heaters were 22% more efficient in their overall performance when compared to traditional water heaters. Despite the clear benefits of tankless water heaters, it is important to evaluate your living situation before investing in one of these units. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type, some of which we will discuss below. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Having a Tankless Water Heater?

The pros of having a tankless water heater over a traditional water heater include:

  • You will save money over time. Despite the initial cost of the unit and installation, the instant heating function of the tankless water heater will save you money in the long run since it does not have to constantly run to maintain a preset temperature. 
  • Longer lifespan. In part due to the greater efficiency with which they work, tankless water heaters have been known to last almost twice as long as traditional water heaters. 
  • Less storage space needed. Tankless water heaters tend to be much smaller than traditional ones, so you will be able to fit it into tighter spaces, freeing up space in your garage or another storage area.
  • Unlimited hot water. Water is heated instantly as needed, so you don’t have to worry about it running out for a few minutes as it slowly heats up again. This will allow you to use multiple appliances at once or even run more than one shower at a time without a concern that one of them will run cold. 

Even with all these benefits, it is important that you thoroughly investigate the potential disadvantages of owning a tankless water heater. Not everyone has the same living situation, and some may find that owning such a unit is more of a drawback than anything else (although such circumstances are few and far between). That said, here are a few potential cons of owning a tankless water heater:

  • Expensive to purchase. Although they will save you money over time, tankless water heaters can be quite expensive to purchase. This can be a difficult hurdle to face for many homeowners, especially if they are already dealing with expensive heating bills.
  • Price of installation. Depending on your area and the service you choose, the installation of your new unit can be quite pricey as well. This cost is also influenced by the degree of retrofitting needed.
  • Output challenges. If your maximum use of the water heater was miscalculated before installation, you could face difficulties in its functioning to the point that it may not be able to keep up with the amount of heated water you need. 

What to Consider When Shopping for a Tankless Water Heater

Now that you know the many advantages of tankless water heaters, you need to consider how this new unit would fit into your lifestyle. Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • What will you be using the unit for? The benefits of a tankless water heater may change for you depending on whether you want it to heat an entire household versus one bathroom, for example.
  • Do you have the proper storage requirements for the unit? There are several elements of the potential storage space that need to be in line for the best use of your tankless water heater: electric units will need a certain voltage, amperage, and a circuit breaker, while gas-powered models must be vented. They can be mounted on a wall if you prefer but must always be within approximately 50ft of a power source no matter where you choose to store it.
  • How long do you plan to stay in your current home? Tankless water heaters last for an average of 20 years – consider how much longer you will be living in your current home before you make such a long-standing investment. 

Once you decide that a tankless water heater is the right choice for you, you will need to decide whether you prefer an electric or natural gas unit. Each of them has its own challenges with regards to installation, especially when considering the process of retrofitting the unit to the home. Still, electric tankless heaters are 99% efficient in functionality compared to 60% efficiency for natural gas models. (Though that may sound low, even at 60%, natural gas tankless water heaters still operate at 23% greater efficiency than even the worst traditional electric water heaters.) 

Though you can generally expect tankless water heaters to be offered with long-term warranties (an average of 15 years versus a typical 6-year warranty for traditional models), electric tankless water heaters do not qualify for rebates or Energy Star ratings. Gas-powered units, on the other hand, qualify for federal tax rebates of up to $300, along with many state incentives. 

Get Your Tankless Water Heater Installed by an Expert Plumber in Chicago

If you are a resident of Chicago and have made the decision to purchase a tankless water heater, congratulations! This is a huge step in improving the energy efficiency of your home and a stronger financial future. Now that you've got your unit, the next step is to have it installed by an expert plumber. It can be difficult to pin down high-quality plumbers in Chicago, but Narwhal Plumbing has got you covered.

Not only do we provide water heater installation in Chicago - we also offer services including:

  • Drain cleaning
  • Sewer line repair and replacement
  • Fixing leaking or frozen pipes
  • Installation of water filtration systems

We also cover a wide variety of general repairs needed on the plumbing in your home or business. Our licensed plumbers are available 24 hours a day – so whether you need an emergency repair in the early morning or a simple afternoon checkup for preventative maintenance, Narwhal Plumbing is ready to help.  We are Top Rated Commercial and Residential Plumbing Company in Chicago and Northern Suburbs.

Call us today for your new tankless water heater installation and more at 773-653-0822.

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