For most of us in the Luxury Home industry the idea of a water heater should be left to the plumber. The type of water heater does not make much difference to us as far as the comfort of the home. As long as the hot water runs when you want to take a bath or a shower we are perfectly happy.
But the technology differences between the traditional water heater and the newer tankless water heater styles should be a consideration when you are building or buying your dream luxury home.
What is a Tankless Water Heater?
The traditional water heater has that white cylindrical tank in the basement that keeps a supply of hot water. These range in sizes and you know that you need a larger model if your home runs out of hot water before the family is done with their showers.
The tankless water heater works very differently. Water is not kept hot, but is heated on demand. This is a huge energy savings and also ensures that you don’t step into the shower to find that the hot water tank is already used up. There are many advantages of tankless water heaters. One of the best things is that there is no need to take up space with one of those large water tanks. As pictured below, these tankless water heaters can be tucked away by mounting in on the basement wall.
Why Doesn’t Everyone use a Tankless Water Heater?
There are a few reasons for this. First, the traditional water heaters have been in use for nearly a century. Tankless water heater technologies have only been around for a dozen years and have become prevalent in the past 5 years. So, any home that is more than a few years old will likely not be fitted with the latest in technology.
The other primary barrier to the Tankless water heater is cost. These units can cost 5 to 10 times more than the traditional water heater. But, this is just the up front fee. Because tankless models heat water on demand, they are much more efficient and the cost to run them is up to 30% less. Think about it – even when you are not home your water heater tank is always being heated. Going on vacation? unless you go down into the basement and turn off your water heater tank you will be spending money to keep your water hot.
So, the total cost of ownership of a tankless water heater is clearly lower than the traditional tank models. You will spend more up front for the heater and installation, but the savings over time will surely make it worth it.
Who makes the Best Tankless Water Heater?
There are many manufactures of tankless water heaters. There are two primary types available: Electric and Gas. If you have a gas available in your home then we would probably recommend that you use this type. But both types are much more efficient then the tanked models.
Some of the major manufactures of these units include:
When you are buying a luxury home from a builder be sure to ask about the water heater options that are available to you. If you don’t ask, you will likely be outfitted with the the standard water tank that will be much less efficient.