The question is this: Are tankless water heaters the right choice for my Murrieta home? Did you know that heating water accounts for 30% of your home’s energy cost on average? At least that’s the claim made by the makers of tankless heaters. So is it time to switch to a tankless water heater? After Consumer Report did their testing, they found that a gas tankless water heater is 22 percent more energy efficient.
According to Greenbuilder.com, the average savings per year on energy cost is $178. But again, the article didn’t take into account the amount of water saved. The article went on to say that the savings per year would not cover the cost of the equipment and installation over the life of the product.
One of the savings the report didn’t take into account was the amount of water that is saved by going tankless and if you’re in a drought-ridden area like Murrieta. This could have a small impact on your water savings.
Many studies have been done on the tankless water heaters vs. storage heaters. After pondering over many articles, I found that Consumerreport.org has the comparison you might be looking for. None of the comparisons spoke regarding the amount of water you would save or the benefits to the environment. The focus was on energy costs, installation costs, and not on water conservation.
Run A Test In Your Own Home
I decided I would run my own test. We have a home of 3500 square feet; our four bedrooms are upstairs and our guest bedroom is downstairs. Each morning I wait for the water to heat up in the shower. I took a five-gallon bucket and held it over my shower head till the water became warm. I measured it. The amount of water being lost was over two gallons, in the master bedroom alone. Now I understand this is not a perfect science, every home will be different. I could take a reasonable guess and say that the loss of water in my home with two teens and two adults is 6 to 8 gallons per day in showering. That equates to 2172 to 2896 gallons of water per year.
The Pros to Tankless Water Heaters:
- Instantaneous hot water
- Save time – No more waiting for water
- Save on water – No more H2O running down your drain
- Save on space – Takes up less than half the space
- Save on energy – Helps our environment
The Cons to going Tankless:
- The cost is double that of a storage water heater
- Installation cost varies depending on your home but could run between $1200 to $2000
- May require more maintenance depending on how hard your water is
What this boils down to is this: If you were strictly basing your decision on cost, I would get a conventional storage water heater. If I was basing my decision on the environment, convenience, and water conservation I would go tankless.