Tankless water heater pros and cons

Tankless water heater

When making home improvements, one of the best investments you can make is a purchase that makes your home more energy efficient. It’ll save you money and it’s better for the environment… what is there not to like? One consideration you may look into is the tankless water heater.

What is it?

The name explains it all. This is a water heater that doesn’t use a tank. Instead, it uses gas burners or coils to heat the water instantly. Because it doesn’t require repeated heating, it can cut your energy use by over 20 percent. But is it worth it? Let’s look at the pros and cons.


You Get Hot Water Instantly

Isn’t it frustrating to have to wait for hot water? Alternatively, isn’t it annoying to run out when you just want to take a hot bath? With a tankless, you don’t have to worry about either, for the most part. We’ll discuss that later on in the cons.

It Lasts Longer

A tankless water heater could last up to 20 years, while a traditional water heater is half of that, if that. If you’re looking for something that you won’t have to upgrade for the long-term, a tankless is for you. As long as you take care of it, it’ll last a long time.

You’ll Be Paying Less in Energy Bills

As we mentioned, your energy bill may be cut by a fifth because of this heater. This adds up over time, especially considering its 20 year lifespan. For many, this makes it worth the investment, especially if you love your hot water.

It Takes Up Less Space

A tankless, because it lacks a tank, isn’t as bulky. If your home needs a little more room, why not toss that tank? You’ll be glad you did. With that said, if your tankless heater needs a water softener, this may make this pro null and void.

Tax Breaks

You may qualify for tax credits when you purchase a tankless heater. This can make the initial price even more worth it. You can get around a 10% tax break, which can add up. With that said, consult your accountant. We aren’t tax gurus.

They Use Either Gas or Electric

If you don’t have a gas line, you don’t have to worry about adding one. Some tankless heaters use electricity, and they’re just as powerful as gas. A professional can look at your home and see which one is the most appropriate for your household.

Warranties Are Longer

Isn’t it frustrating for something to break down and then you find out that the warranty has long since expired? With a tankless heater, they can last around the same time as the lifespan of the product. That’s right; some may have two decades of warranty. Meanwhile, you’re lucky if other products give you a year.


With that said, tankless water heaters aren’t perfect. Since they are newer, time may make these cons less valid, but right now, the cons are worth considering.

It Costs More Initially

As we said, the energy savings make a tankless heater more worth it, but there’s an initial cost. It can be nearly double a traditional heater, making it over $1,000 in cost. Of course, if you’re saving hundreds every year, it will make the investment worth it. Also, there is installation to consider. There are other costs as well, which we’ll discuss later.

The Temperatures Can Be a Little Inconsistent

If you are using it heavily, the tankless water heater may not be able to keep up, and thus the water may be inconsistent in temperature. If you’re using multiple devices at once, that can be problematic. Always make sure you buy a tankless that can handle your needs.

You May Need More Equipment

There may be extra costs and extra space in your home as well. You could need a water softener, which can take up space. Of course, you don’t always need this. You will need to consult with an expert to see if you need this.

In addition, if you get a gas unit, you may have to worry about rerouting your gas lines. This applies especially if you can’t, for whatever reason, to purchase an electric water heater. Always consider how much it’ll cost to install before you make the purchase.

Sometimes, You Don’t Need One

If your goal is to save money, you may benefit from a traditional heater if you change how you shower or if you upgrade other equipment, such as purchasing a dishwasher that uses less water. It’s something you do need to think about. Sometimes, you may just need to upgrade your traditional heater to get savings.

You May Need More Maintenance

While the warranty is long, sometimes the owner may have to perform maintenance annually. This allows the warranty to be valid. You also need to flush out your system to remove deposits. Maintenance can cost money and time, so that’s also something to consider.

Consider Other Options

Your choices aren’t only tankless and tank. If you are thinking about going solar, there are solar heaters, which do not require any rerouting of electric or gas lines. These heaters are compatible with every climate as well. This isn’t really a con of tankless, but instead it’s to tell you there are other options if you’re considering upgrading your water heater.


Tankless water heaters can make your home much more energy efficient and convenient, but they are not without their downsides. The future may bring tankless heaters that are cheaper, more consistent with heating, and require less maintenance. However, depending on your home, these heaters may be worth it.

Our recommendation is to talk to an expert. You can see if your home and lifestyle can benefit from a tankless heater, and you can get an estimation of how much it may cost. This can help you determine whether or not the tankless water heater is for you. We hope this post has made making the decision to go tankless easier.