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Is a Tankless Water Heater Always a Better Replacement Option?

tank-water-heaterWe may be in the height of summer here in Chicagoland, but there’s one heating system in our homes that must always work on a regular basis, day in and day out: the water heater. The water heater accounts for the largest amount of heat energy used in most homes, and that’s because it serves so many functions around the year. You’ll always need hot water for morning showers and to handle doing dishes and cleaning clothes.

Because of the 12-months-a-year operation of a water heater, a system can start to give out on you at almost any time. There’s no “season” for water heater repairs and water heater replacement! If you find yourself with a failing water heater and are ready to have it replaced, one of the options you’re probably considering is putting in a tankless system. These alternatives to the standard storage tank water heater receive a lot of good press—including from us!—so you might think that going with a tankless water heater in Evanston, IL is automatically the best choice for a replacement.

But it isn’t necessarily! Let’s take a close look at what may be the best option for your home’s water heater.

Sometimes a Tankless Water Heater Isn’t a Good Pick

The tankless water heater advantages are numerous: an unlimited supply of hot water, lower energy expenditure, small size, extended lifespan. But there are a few things to consider when choosing a water heater, and sometimes the tankless system doesn’t match your specific needs:

  • Initial cost: A tankless water heater offers energy savings over its lifetime thanks to its efficient operation (it only needs to run when there’s a demand for hot water). But it’s also a more expensive unit than a tank water heater. It may not fit your short-term budget to have a tankless system installed, and current storage tank systems have better efficiency than ever before.
  • Tankless systems can be overwhelmed: The idea that a tankless water heater can’t run out of hot water is an exciting one for people. However, even though a tankless system can always heat up more water when needed doesn’t mean it can’t be overwhelmed by demand. If multiple taps are on, a tankless system can start to lose energy efficiency. For homes with high water use, more than one tankless system may need to be installed to meet demand—and perhaps the better choice is to have a single storage tank water with sufficient volume installed instead.
  • Gas line expansion: If you power your current water heater with natural gas, you may need to have an extended natural gas line installed to provide sufficient fuel for a tankless system.

There Is Also the Heat Pump Water Heater to Consider

If you currently have an electric-powered water heater, you may wish to replace it with a heat pump water heater rather than a tankless system. Heat pump water heaters are electrically-powered systems that use much less energy than either an electric tank or tankless water heater.

For the professional advice that’ll ensure you end up with the best possible water heater for your home, contact our experts today. They’ll guide you to the right model and have it installed correctly.

Malek Heating & Cooling has served the Chicagoland area since 1998.

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