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Tankless vs. Storage Heaters: Pros and Cons

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When the engineers at Stiebel-Eltron developed the first “coil immersion” water heater way back in 1924, they knew they were on to something.

Now, nearly a century later, leading companies like Rinnai have taken the high efficiency “heated water on demand” concept to new levels, offering performance from water heaters that their German engineering predecessors could only have imagined.

If you haven’t experienced the tankless water heater difference for yourself, here are five reasons to consider adding one to your Connecticut home:

  1. They produce unlimited hot water – A tankless water heater produces hot water on demand; as long as your equipment’s flow rate meets the water heating load of your home, your tankless water heater will keep pumping out hot water for your taps and appliances.
  2. They operate with much greater efficiency – A tankless water heater works on demand, doesn’t use a pilot light, and never has to reheat water. By working this way, it can improve water-heating efficiency by as much as 40 percent.
  3. They’re built to last – Most water heater tanks don’t last much more than a decade or so, but because it doesn’t store water, a tankless system can last twice that long or more. In fact, the average life expectancy of a tankless water heater is about 20 years! Components in a tankless water heater system are also top quality, so they fail less often and can often be repaired rather than replaced.
  4. They give you more placement flexibility – Since it lacks a storage tank, a tankless water heater is small – 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.
  5. They can make your house more valuable – A tankless water heater will improve your Home Energy Rating System (HERS) and LEED scores, which means your home will be worth more if you plan to sell it down the road.

What are the cons of purchasing a tankless water heater?

As you can see, the advantages of a tankless water heater are clear. So what’s the downside?

For most people, the decision not to install a propane tankless water heater comes down to the up front cost: a tankless water heater can cost twice as much as a storage water heater or more. They also require routine maintenance every year, which may not be true of storage water heaters.

But when you consider that a tankless system lasts twice or even three times as long as a storage model (about 20 years on average, compared to 8 to 10 for a storage water heater) and can save you as much as 40 percent on your heating bills, the difference in cost becomes negligible. And when companies like Rinnai offer specials on their water heaters to drop their price even further, the scale tips even more towards tankless.

A tankless water heater can be a great option – as long as it’s the right choice for your Connecticut home, and as long as it is sized and installed by professionals. Contact the water heater pros at Hocon today to see if a new Rinnai tankless water heater is right for you!