If you are selling an older home, there is always a possibility that you may be asked to upgrade an old appliance or two. And even if you are planning to stay in your home, one appliance that may be in need of replacement is a water heater, as most models have an expected lifespan of about 10 years. While you may be tempted to buy the least expensive model available to serve your needs, there is a new option worth considering: a tankless water heater.
What are tankless water heaters?
Traditional water heaters work by filling a large tank with cold water, which is then heated using gas or electricity. These heaters work well, and have been around for years, but waste a considerable amount of energy.
Tankless water heaters work by heating water as it is requested. When you turn on the hot water tap to take a shower, the heater detects the requested flow of water, calculates the amount of heat necessary to take cold water almost instantly to the desired temperature and uses electricity or gas to produce that heat.
A traditional water heater must keep the water in the tank hot 24/7, meaning that a lot of energy goes to waste while the water is just sitting there. They also need to keep water in the tank much hotter in order to kill bacteria – not an issue with tankless water heaters.
Standard water heaters often run out of hot water, forcing one to wait for more to be heated. Tankless water heaters never run out of hot water as they can produce it at a constant rate on demand.
Because of the increased energy efficiency of tankless water heaters, water heating costs can be reduced by between 8% and 40%, depending upon the age of their previous heater and the average local groundwater temperature.
First and foremost, tankless water heaters are expensive. A traditional water heater might cost a few hundred dollars – significantly less than the $1,000 to $2,000 price tag for tankless water heaters. Over time, these heaters may pay for themselves with energy savings, but the payback period is usually significant.
While tankless heaters never run out of hot water, they can be overtaxed. Only high-end models can produce five gallons of hot water at once – enough to take a shower and run the dishwasher concurrently, but not enough to do laundry at the same time.
Finally, tankless water heaters require more maintenance, especially in areas with hard water.
The bottom line
Whether you are selling your home or planning to stay for a while, if it’s time to replace your water heater, you may find yourself weighing the pros and cons of replacing with a tankless water heater. In some areas, particularly those in which home owners care about their carbon footprint, you may be able to see a return on your investment.
If you do opt to purchase a tankless water heater, a home warranty plan is a good option for further increasing the desirability of your home to potential buyers.
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This article is courtesy of Sibcy Cline’s preferred partner, HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more, go here.