Understanding Tankless Water Heaters: Benefits, Costs, and Installation

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Understanding Tankless Water Heaters: Benefits, Costs, and Installation

When it comes to providing hot water for your home, traditional tank-style water heaters have long been the go-to choice. However, in recent years, tankless water heaters have gained popularity due to their energy efficiency, space-saving design, and on-demand hot water delivery. In this blog post, we'll dive deep into tankless water heaters, exploring their benefits, costs, and the installation process.

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

1. Energy Efficiency

One of the most significant advantages of tankless water heaters is their energy efficiency. Unlike traditional heaters that constantly heat a large tank of water, tankless units only heat water as needed. This means they don't have to work to maintain a reservoir of hot water, which can result in significant energy savings. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, tankless water heaters can be up to 34% more energy-efficient than traditional tank-style heaters.

2. Space-Saving Design

Tankless water heaters are compact and space-efficient. They can be mounted on walls, inside closets, or even under sinks, freeing up valuable space in your utility room or basement. Their smaller footprint makes them an excellent choice for homes with limited space.

3. Continuous Hot Water

With a tankless water heater, you'll never run out of hot water. As long as your unit is appropriately sized for your household's needs, you can enjoy a continuous supply of hot water. Say goodbye to cold showers or waiting for the tank to refill.

4. Longer Lifespan

Tankless water heaters typically have a longer lifespan compared to traditional tank-style heaters. While tank-style units may last 10-15 years with proper maintenance, tankless heaters can last 20 years or more.

Cost Considerations

1. Upfront Cost

It's important to note that tankless water heaters tend to have a higher upfront cost than traditional tank-style heaters. The initial investment includes the cost of the unit itself, any necessary venting or gas line modifications (for gas units), and installation labor. Electric tankless units are generally less expensive than gas models.

2. Long-Term Savings

While the initial cost may be higher, tankless water heaters can result in long-term savings on your energy bills. The increased energy efficiency and reduced standby heat loss can offset the upfront investment over time. Consider the total cost of ownership when evaluating your options.

Installation Process

Installing a tankless water heater is a job best left to professionals, as it involves electrical or gas connections and plumbing work. Here's an overview of the installation process:

  1. Sizing: The first step is to determine the appropriate size of the tankless water heater for your home. Factors such as the number of hot water fixtures, their flow rates, and your local climate play a role in sizing.

  2. Location: Choose a suitable location for the unit, considering factors like proximity to gas or electrical connections, venting requirements, and access for maintenance.

  3. Gas or Electrical Connections: If you're installing a gas tankless water heater, it will require a gas line connection. Electric units will need an appropriate electrical circuit.

  4. Venting (Gas Models): Proper venting is crucial for gas tankless water heaters. Vent pipes must be installed to exhaust combustion gases safely.

  5. Plumbing Connections: Connect the hot and cold water supply lines to the unit, as well as the pipes leading to your fixtures.

  6. Professional Installation: It's strongly recommended to hire a licensed plumber or HVAC technician for the installation. They will ensure that the unit is installed correctly and safely.


Tankless water heaters offer several benefits, including energy efficiency, space savings, continuous hot water, and a longer lifespan. While they come with a higher upfront cost, the potential long-term savings and advantages make them a compelling choice for many homeowners. To get the most out of your tankless water heater, consult with a professional for proper sizing and installation.

If you're considering a tankless water heater for your home, weigh the benefits against the costs and consult with a qualified installer to make an informed decision that suits your specific needs and budget. Enjoy the benefits of energy-efficient, on-demand hot water with a tankless water heater in your home.

Find a professional in your area!

Ready to enjoy endless hot water and energy savings? Look no further! Find a licensed tankless water installer right here on Thumbtack.com.

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