Tankless is Expensive
No one likes spending money (unless it’s someone else’s). This is especially true when an appliance breaks. All of a sudden you have to dish out the cash for something unexpected, meaning you must spend less on that vacation to Fiji, a new car or even that elaborate talking wristwatch-type gizmo.
No wonder then that many people balk at replacing their broken tank water heaters with a tankless model because of the perceived higher cost. It’s true that tankless costs more—up front at the time of their installation. What many do not realize is that tankless is a long-term investment. You may pay more now, but you will save money over time from Day 1, all while enjoying the benefits of hot water on demand.
Here are six reasons why the higher initial cost of tankless water heaters really doesn’t mean much:
- Energy savings add up:
Tank-type water heaters are the second highest source of a home’s energy usage. After all, the water stored in the tank has to be warm when you need it, meaning that throughout the day it’s being heated and reheated even when not in use. A tankless unit heats the water on-demand only when needed. That’s energy savings right there and, multiplied over many years, these savings will help recoup the extra money you spent going tankless.
- Tankless costs are falling:
The costs of installing a new tankless water heater are now less than even a couple years ago. For example, the EZTR40 tankless water heater from Noritz has drastically simplified this process. Using two-inch, flexible polypropylene tubing threaded directly through the old tankless water heater’s existing B-Vent, the EZTR40 does not require a new vent. Its top-mounted water connections allow for quick and easy reconnections, without the need for new plumbing. Lastly, EZTR40 reduces labor time by up to half by utilizing the old tank unit’s half-inch gas line. These savings have resulted in tankless units costing as little as 300 dollars more than tank-types in some instances.
- Tank-type costs are rising:
In contrast to falling tankless prices, the costs of installing a tank type unit are increasing. New federal energy efficiency standards, effective this year, require a higher Energy Factor (EF) for all residential storage tank-type, gas, electric and oil water heaters. This means that tank-type manufacturers must implement expensive product-design changes that will inevitably increase manufacturing costs. Fortunately, tankless technology already meets and exceeds the demands of the new guidelines and does not need to change.
Many states and utilities have been offering rebates or tax credits for those who purchase energy-efficient products, including tankless water heaters. Depending on the amounts, these rebates can reduce, close or even exceed the cost gap between tank-type and tankless. Explore various energy rebates and credits here.
- Tankless lasts longer:
While a standard, tank-type water heater typically lasts 10-12 years, the life expectancy of a tankless unit can be 20 years or longer. So it’s not inconceivable that you may have to buy two tank-type units during the lifetime of one tankless unit. So, what was that about tankless costing more?
- It’s overall superior technology:
Tankless water heaters are more expensive than tank-type water heaters. Do you know what else? Blu-Ray is more expensive than VHS. Smart phones are more expensive than flip phones. Computers are more expensive than typewriters! You get my point. The world moves on and technology improves. It costs money to design state-of-the-art tankless water heaters that are more reliable, advanced and energy-efficient than their tank-type predecessors. You’ll pay more up front, but in the long run, you should not only recoup the extra costs, but actually spend less on hot water for your home.
Read Tankless Myths 1 in this series about Tankless Myths.