Tankless water heaters have advantages for homeowners, especially in the Las Vegas area where water costs can skyrocket, and energy efficiency is so important. Most attractive is the long-term savings. The initial investment in a tankless water heater is greater than that of a conventional storage water heater, but tankless water heaters will typically last longer—they have a life expectancy of more than 20 years, compared with 10 to 15 years for conventional heaters. They also have easily replaceable parts, which can extend their life by many more years.
Tankless water heaters have lower operating and energy costs, which can offset its higher purchase price. Homeowners in Las Vegas Valley can recoup some of the initial cost via tax credits for residential energy efficiency and installation costs. There also may be Energy Star incentives and rebates available.
A homeowner wanting to “go green” will be as interested in the energy and water savings as the financial value. The United States Geological Survey Water Science School estimates that the average person uses about 80 to 100 gallons of water per day.
According to Energy.gov, for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, tankless water heaters can be 24 percent to 34 percent more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. Even in a home that uses more than twice that—86 gallons per day—a tankless heater can yield an eight percent to 14 percent energy savings. A homeowner can achieve even greater energy savings of 27 percent to 50 percent by installing a tankless water heater at each hot water outlet.
Tank-style water heaters’ efficiency—already lower than a tankless heater—decreases over time due to sediment buildup. As a result, a homeowner pays higher utility bills that continue to increase over the life of the tank heater.
And there’s no need to worry that a home won’t have enough hot water without a storage tank. Even though the tankless water heater is saving energy by not keeping water constantly hot, it will zap water to the right temperature on demand—no more worrying about running out of hot water if there are multiple people showering in a row or if the dishwasher is running, as long as the homeowner has purchased the appropriately sized heater for his or her needs.
The water will also be fresher: Because of the on-demand nature of the heaters, hot water isn’t sitting in a 50-gallon tank for an extended amount of time.
Not to be forgotten is the extra space a tankless heater can give a home or condo. Tankless heaters are generally small and wall mounted, meaning they take up a much smaller footprint than a regular heater, which usually needs its own closet. Models designed for outdoor installation free up even more space.
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