Most Katahdin Cedar Log Home owners are enthusiastic about energy efficiency and saving money. So, when it comes to selecting tankless water heaters, high efficiency water heaters with tanks — or even a combination of the two, it’s important to understand your household’s hot water demand.
In your new Katahdin home, you may have specified a fabulous master bath suite with multi -head showers and an oversized soaking tub. Or you may have two teenagers who have mastered the art of the endless shower. You may be upgrading to water efficient appliances, such as new dish- and clothes washers. The common thread here is that your hot water demand may be changing in a new home. But first some essentials about the water heating options out there.
How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?
Unlike traditional tank water heaters, which store and heat large amounts of water continuously, tankless water heaters use propane, natural gas or electric element to provide instant hot water. Because you’re heating just the right amount of water needed, the savings on energy can be substantial over time.
What are the Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters?
Tankless water heaters offer five key benefits when compared to traditional tank-style water heaters.
Instant Hot Water
If you’re tired of wasting water while waiting for the cold water to warm up, then the instant hot water of a tankless water heater is a terrific solution.
Eliminate Water Flood Potential
Because tankless water heaters store no water, the potential for flooding is minimal. With 30 to 50 gallons of water in a domestic tank water heater, a leak can cause substantial damage.
Lower Energy Costs
Because you’re not using energy to maintain a full heated tank, each month you gain some savings, which can really add up over time.
Never Run Out of Hot Water
There’s nothing worse than that cold blast of water in the shower! With an instant hot water heater, you’ll never be surprised by a shower that suddenly goes cold again.
Because they don’t need to store water, tankless water heaters require a lot less space. They are typically hung on a wall and are about the size of a suitcase.
What are the Downsides of Tankless Water Heaters?
There are other factors to consider when researching a tankless water heater for your Katahdin Cedar Log Home, including:
Limited Water Supply
While a tankless unit can produce a continuous supply of hot water, the amount is limited by the flow. Often this can be compensated for by sizing the tankless water heater capacity to meet excess flow demands. Often, pairing two or more smaller units in series can work seamlessly to deliver the right amount for low and high demand conditions. An average tankless water heater will provide enough hot water for an adult shower or running the dishwasher but may have trouble keeping up with multiple draws to the water stream, such as laundry and showers simultaneously. If your home has long water line runs, it may be wise to install two on-demand water heaters for different zones in the home to reduce heat loss.
Higher Initial Cost
Tankless water heaters have a higher initial investment cost. On-demand water heaters cost about $1,000 when compared to a standard tank style water heater which averages about half that. Tankless water heaters are a little more complex to install. If you’re drawing your water from a private well, you may need a water softener to keep the tankless water heater functioning properly.
Traditional Energy STAR® Water Heaters Offer Efficiency Too!
If you’re seeking energy efficiency, it’s certainly worth noting that Energy STAR® rated water heaters also provide highly efficient hot water for your home. Their 50- to 80-gallon units provide an abundance of hot water at very low energy levels.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Are tankless water heaters worth it? For some families with smaller households and lower demands for hot water volume, tankless water heaters provide instant hot water and great efficiency. For busier households with larger hot water demands, a combination of multiple tankless water heaters or a single high efficiency hot water heater will offer plenty of energy savings and generous supplies of hot water. Consult with your plumbing contractor to determine which option best suites your custom Katahdin Cedar Log Home’s water appliances and your family water usage.