by Paula Leslie, Owner, Mankel Mechanical
When my old washer started acting up, I decided to replace it — but then I had to replace the dryer so I would have a matching set. And, as I never liked the layout of my laundry space in my garage, it became a washer-breakdown-turned-remodel project.
My two sons (Vaughn and Shea) and their Two Brothers Plumbing did an amazing job redesigning a functional space. But, as the project went forward (still a work in progress), I started rethinking my water heater.
I pass this on in hopes of helping others facing a water heater decision.
I decided on a tankless water heater to free up space for the laundry sink but mainly for continuous hot water. On average 16% of your energy costs for your home go to heating water. Tankless models are 30% on average more energy efficient.
Our favorite tankless gas water heater is the Rinnai Sensei, which can now be more easily retrofitted to your home’s venting and piping.
While a tank-style water heater remains the more popular choice for heating water in a home, know how it works. Cold water enters the tank, is heated and pushed up to the top of the tank. When you have a 50-gallon tank and a 60-gallon soaker tub, you run out of hot water because the tank cannot keep up with the demand.
Kind of like when you’re in a shower and someone starts the dishwasher.
Tankless models heat water as water is being used so there is continuous hot water, and the unit is only firing up as hot water is needed — not continually maintaining a temperature for the holding tank.
As with any major purchase, I weighed the pros and the cons.
Tankless water heaters use less space (so you can install that cool, useful laundry sink), have a lower risk of leaking because most don’t hold water, and typically have a longer lifespan. The initial costs for one is still almost quadruple the price of a tank-style water heater, but if you can fit the cost into your budget, I highly recommend a tankless water heater.