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Is It Time to Replace Your Water Heater?

Published on: December 27, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Going Tankless

water heater options virginiaYou don’t give it much thought until it breaks down, but your water heater works extremely hard for you day-in and day-out. Between bathing and showering, washing dishes, laundry, cleaning and other tasks, the typical American household uses between 60 and 65 gallons of hot water a day! And that nonstop workload can take a toll. The life expectancy for a conventional water heater with a tank is between 8 and 10 years.

If you have a traditional tank-style water heater that’s approaching—or already has surpassed—the ten-year mark, you may be seeing higher energy bills, or water that just doesn’t seem to get as hot. And we all know that a lukewarm shower is not the best way to start the day.

Thinking it’s time to replace your water heater? You should also weigh your options when it comes to going tankless!

What’s a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless propane water heaters—also known as on-demand water heaters—instantly heat water when you need it, rather than keeping a large tank hot all the time. Imagine having virtually unlimited hot water, while seeing lower fuel bills. It’s possible, with a high-efficiency tankless water heater. In addition to whole-house models, smaller versions can be installed where they are needed to generate hot water for an addition or for a spa tub, for example.

Here are the pros of going tankless

  1. Unlimited Hot Water: Traditional tank heaters can run out of hot water if you use a lot at once. Tankless water heaters use an electric pilot and a hot propane flame to heat water instantly, on-demand. There’s no tank, so it can’t hit empty!
  2. Savings: Tankless water heaters save energy by instantly heating water when you need it, rather than keeping a large tank hot all the time. All that efficiency means you’ll also save money by lowering your energy costs by as much as 40%.
  3. Flexibility: With no storage tank, a tankless water heater is small—even whole-house sizes take considerably less room than a 55-gallon tank. Most are about the size of a suitcase. It can also be wall-mounted, which means a tankless water heater can be placed just about anywhere in the house, including closets and crawl spaces.
  4. Longer Equipment Life: The primary culprit in the limited lifespan of a conventional water heater is the corrosive water stored in its tank. Because it doesn’t store water, a tankless water heater will last 18 to 20 years.

Are There Downsides of Going Tankless?

Although they save you money in the long run, tankless water heaters are more expensive to buy and install. In addition, they require a little maintenance, particularly if you have hard water. Deposits and minerals can reduce performance and efficiency if you don’t flush the tank at least once a year and clean the filters.

Sticking with a Tank Style Water Heater

A traditional tank-style water heater is inexpensive to replace but costs a lot more to run. And it can’t really deliver enough hot water for more than two or three showers in a row, assuming no one is washing dishes or using hot water for anything else.

If your home has a basement, space may not be an issue. But if you don’t have a basement, that big tank uses a lot of valuable real estate in your home. Imagine what you could do with that closet space…

Don’t Take Hot Water for Granted!

Whether you decide to stick with a traditional tank-style water heater or update with a highly efficient tankless model, don’t wait for your water heater to fail to replace it! Like other essential equipment in your home, such as your refrigerator, you don’t want to go long without it.

Want to learn more about the benefits of a tankless water heater for your southwestern Virginia home? The pros at SWVA can help you choose the best option for your needs. Enjoy energy efficiency and all the hot water you need with a new water heater! Contact us or visit our Radford showroom today to get started.