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Are Tankless Water Heaters More Efficient?

December 13th, 2021 | Plumbing, Water Heaters

Whether you live in Orange County, CA, or Manhattan, NY, tankless water heaters are a popular option these days. When the need for a new water heater arises, the first question is: tankless or traditional? However, the same choice isn’t right for everyone.

One of the biggest things people compare when looking at different water heaters is their efficiency. Many factors determine the most efficient water heater for your home. Tankless water heaters are generally more energy-efficient, but ultimately the right water heater depends on your usage pattern. 


Understanding How Tankless Water Heaters Work

Tankless water heaters don’t hold standing water like traditional water heaters. Your typical water heater comes with a big tank that always contains water. The water is kept warm throughout the day and heated to the desired temperature whenever it cools. 

Tankless heaters produce hot water instantly, so they don’t need a tank of standing water. Instead, they contain a gas burner or electric coils and heat water almost immediately when it’s needed. 

Tankless water heaters have many benefits and some drawbacks as well. If you’re deciding between the two options, you’ll want to consider all factors before making your choice.


How Do Tankless Water Heaters Compare?

When deciding on the right water heater for your home, you’ll want to look at a few things. First, you need to understand the initial and long-term costs and savings. You should also consider energy efficiency based on your use. Finally, you need to understand the benefits and limitations regarding usage. 

Let’s look at each area in more detail to determine the efficiency of your two choices:


Comparing Energy Efficiency

One of the most important things to look at when comparing water heaters is energy efficiency. Indeed, tankless water heaters are generally more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters. They require less energy (and money) to run in your home, but the amount of savings depends on your usage. 

Tankless water heaters require less energy than their traditional counterparts because of how they work. Conventional water heaters continuously use energy to heat the water in the tank even when it’s not being used. This constant heating translates into wasted energy. 

However, tankless water heaters only use energy when they’re in use, so they’re not using power or fuel for no reason. 

Depending on your usage, you could save a lot of energy with a tankless water heater. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if you use fewer than 41 gallons of water each day, a tankless water heater is 24% to 34% more energy-efficient. Using around 86 gallons per day, a tankless heater is 8% to 14% more energy-efficient.


Comparing Costs

A tankless water heater will cost you more upfront than a traditional one. However, tankless water heaters come with many benefits. Along with increased energy efficiency, they also save you space because they don’t have that large water tank. 

Additionally, tankless water heaters generally require less maintenance and fewer repairs. A traditional water heater usually lasts around ten years, and a tankless one may last 20 or more. 

This difference in lifespans means investing in a quality tankless water heater will cost more upfront, but it may last you as long as two traditional water heaters and save money on regular maintenance. Because tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient, you’ll also save money on your monthly bills. 


Comparing Usage

Finally, you must consider your usage before deciding which kind of water heater is best for you. Tankless water heaters produce hot water almost instantly, but there are some limitations. 

First, it may be difficult to generate lukewarm water with your tankless heater. Because of how it works, it may produce water that’s too hot for your needs. Additionally, a tankless water heater has an unlimited supply, but only if you’re not using it for multiple purposes at the same time. 

If you are using hot water for your shower and dishwasher simultaneously, you may not have enough hot water to serve both functions with a tankless heater. As long as you use the hot water back-to-back and not simultaneously, its supply should be endless. 

Still, the question on everyone’s mind is: Are tankless water heaters more efficient? The answer is, yes, the way they operate is more energy-efficient than traditional models. 

However, their efficiency also depends on your usage model, so a traditional water heater may end up being better for your home in some cases. 


Your Source for Expert Tankless Water Heater Installation

If you’re looking for a water heater replacement in Orange County, CA, look no further. Our Moffett Plumbing & Air team has the skills to handle your job the right way the first time. Don’t waste time searching the web for “plumbers near me.” Reach out to our trusted HVAC experts today!

Moffett Plumbing & Air is a full-service, family owned & operated plumbing & HVAC company based out of Orange, CA. Follow our blog for valuable homeowner tips, and updates from your favorite team of plumbing professionals.