Yes, it’s true, tankless water heaters definitely come with some advantages, especially at this time of the year, where you’re likely to find yourself with a houseful of family and friends.
No need to worry about running out of hot water; tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand. As for your electricity bill for heating all that water, the experts say that it will most like be a little bit less than what it would cost to heat water in a regular water heater.
According to an article at Consumer Reports, tankless heaters are about “22 percent more efficient” than regular tank heaters, and they can last about ten years longer.
But that’s about it, as far as the advantages go. Where it costs about $300 to install a regular heater, it can cost up to eight times more for a tankless because of the special upgrades you have to do to your gas lines and venting systems. Toss in the fact that a tankless heater by itself can cost between $800 and $1200, and you really aren’t saving much. Compare all this to the purchase and usage of a regular water heater, and it will probably cost you about 10 to 20 years to break even.
And, there’s one more thing. there’s what tankless heater users euphemistically refer to as the “cold water sandwich,”, a common characteristic of these heaters. The shower will start off with with nice warm water, followed by an icy blast of cold before it gets warm again. So, unless you have some extra money lying around and really like surprises, It’s probably best to wait until the technology improves (and become less expensive) with these promising devices.