Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for Your Edmonton Home?

Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for Your Edmonton Home?

Water heating can account for up to 20 percent of a home’s utility costs. Given the severity of an Edmonton winter, most area residences probably experience bills on the higher end of that equation. To combat this, many homeowners look to alternatives to the typical tank water heater, which requires heating 24 hours a day. One of the more economical heater designs is the popular tankless model. Also called an “on-demand” unit, these heaters take up much less space and only heat water when required. There are several benefits to installing a tankless water heater in your home, but before you decide on making the switch Always Plumbing & Heating has created a list of pros and cons. If you decide that you’re ready for tankless technology, our plumbing experts can help you with selection, installation and service.

Benefits of Installing a Tankless Water Heater

  • Rebates: Most tankless water heaters come with a tax rebate of $300.

Energy Efficiency Rebates and Incentives

  • Longevity: A tankless design will last five to 10 years longer than a typical tank unit.
  • Efficiency: Tankless models don’t keep a constant supply of water heated, so there is no standby heat loss. This makes their design much more efficient.
  • Convenience: Unlike a tank water heater, a tankless will never leave you in the cold. They are also called “on-demand” because they provide hot water exactly when you need it.
  • SpaceSaving: Tankless designs are much more compact than tank models. They can be installed on walls and confined spaces – even outdoors (with the help of an anti-freeze kit).
  • POS: There are small tankless units that can even be installed underneath cabinets, which are ideal for point of use (POS) connections.
  • Green: Electric versions of tankless designs don’t produce toxic greenhouse gasses.
  • Flood Proof: Tank water heaters have been known to leak and sometimes flood. With the tankless design, there is no chance for destructive flooding.

Disadvantages of a Tankless Water Heater

  • Cost: The cost of a tankless unit is up to three times as much as a typical tank water heater.
  • Venting: Gas and propane tankless units require stainless steel tubing, which can be expensive.
  • Gas Line: A larger natural gas line might be needed to ensure enough fuel for the unit.
  • Fixture Split: The hot water output on a tankless unit is split between all of the fixtures in a home.
  • Lag Time: There is a lag time required to get the water hot, which increases the waste factor.
  • Flow Rate: A tankless water heater needs a minimum flow rate of .5GPM in order to activate the heat exchanger.
  • Electric Units: Electric tankless units require a lot of energy to run.
  • Annual Maintenance: Gas tankless units require annual servicing, which can also be expensive.

If you are in the market for a new water heater and are considering a tankless model, there is more research that you can do to ensure that it is right for your home. Comparing the yellow “Energy Guide” sticker on your current tank model to any tankless units that you are interested in buying is a good start. Comparing guides will give you an indication of the monthly energy consumption.

You will then want to weigh in all the other expenses involved in installing the tankless unit; venting, electricity upgrades and additional gas lines should be factored in. The total costs of the purchase and how much time it will take to make back that amount in savings is referred to as the “payback period.” An Always Plumbing & Heating technician can also assist you in finding the ideal design for your household needs. Give us a call at 780-489-8118 to schedule an appointment today!

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