A tankless water heater can provide unlimited hot water to your home, but it also comes with some downsides. Use these tankless water heater pros and cons to help you decide if this type of unit is right for you.

Tankless water heater pros

  • Unlimited hot water. An unlimited supply of hot water is the number one benefit of tankless water heaters. Standard water heaters rely on a tank of hot water that is sent to all of the fixtures in your home. Once the tank is dry, you no longer have hot water. With a tankless unit, water is heated as it passes through the system, so the amount of hot water you receive is endless.
  • Long-term energy savings. Because water is heated on-demand with tankless water heaters, energy is not wasted on heating a tank of water at all times. As a result, the annual operating costs are often less with tankless units. However, as you’ll see below, the energy-savings are not huge and will take a long time to offset higher installation costs.
  • Space-saving design. Tankless water heaters are much smaller than standard water heaters and therefore use up much less space. These units can be mounted on the wall and blend in with your building’s structure.
  • Less maintenance worries. The life-expectancy of a tankless water heater is about 20 years, which is longer than normal water heaters. With tankless units, you can also avoid the risk of tank leaks and water damage.

Tankless water heater cons

  • High installation costs. Tankless units are much more expensive than standard water heaters. According to a Consumer Reports study, when you add up the annual energy savings it can take as much as 22 years to break even with a tankless water heater.
  • No limit to hot water. Although unlimited hot water is a benefit of tankless units, it also takes away the self-imposed limits that standard water heaters have on hot water. As a result, you might end up using more water than you would if you didn’t have endless hot water.
  • Longer wait for hot water. With tankless units, water isn’t heated until you turn on a faucet. As a result, there is a longer delay in getting hot water to its source.
  • Difficult for intermittent use. Anytime you’re using hot water intermittently, such as at your kitchen sink, the water is heated and reheated every time you turn your faucet on and off. Often times, this means you’ll have to wait for hot water over and over each time you want to use it.

If you have any questions about tankless water heater pros and cons, or if you’d like a water heater serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your San Francisco plumbing, heating and coolingcompany. We service the San Francisco area and surrounding cities like Orinda, Pacifica, Palo Alto and Portola Valley.