7 Essential Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

When it comes to keeping your home warm and cozy, nothing is more important than hot water. After all, you can’t take a shower or get clean in any other way. But traditional water heaters, compared to tankless water heaters, are energy-intensive appliances that use about 20% of the natural gas consumed throughout the country every year. Moreover, they are prone to maintenance issues and shorter-than-expected lifespans. So if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly alternative to a standard gas water heater, a tankless version might be perfect for you. In this article, we are going to explore the pros and cons of tankless water heaters and show you how they work.

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heater is a device that heats up water as it is being used. It doesn’t store water in a tank, so it can be an excellent solution if you have a limited amount of space in your home. It can also be a great option if you want to save energy and money because tankless water heaters use less energy than traditional models. A traditional water heater stores water in a tank until it’s needed. It then gives off that water at a steady temperature. A tankless water heater only heats up water as it is being used, so it can’t provide hot water for a group of people at once. But that could be a good thing, as it can reduce the risk of scalding accidents.

Pros of Using a Tankless Water Heater

– Smaller Footprint – Since a tankless water heater only heats up water as it is being used, it has a smaller footprint than a traditional water heater. This can be useful if you don’t have a lot of room in your home for appliances.

– Less Waiting Time – With a traditional water heater, you have to wait for the water to heat up before using it. You don’t have to do that with a tankless option. You can get clean water as soon as the heater starts heating up the water.

– Eco-Friendly – Traditional water heaters use natural gas, which releases carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide can trap heat in the atmosphere, which can cause global warming. A tankless water heater, on the other hand, uses electricity. Electricity can also contribute to global warming, but a tankless option uses much less electricity than a traditional water heater.

– Save Money – Traditional water heaters use a lot of energy, which can cause them to increase your energy bills. Tankless uses less energy, so it can help you to save money.

Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

– Higher Initial Investment – Since a tankless water heater uses less energy than a traditional water heater, it doesn’t use as much electricity. That means it doesn’t generate as much money for your utility. To make up for that difference, the tankless water heater costs more than its traditional counterpart.

– Smaller Capacity – While a tankless water heater can heat water faster than a traditional water heater, it doesn’t have as much capacity. That means you will have to wait longer for enough hot water if you have a big family.

– Can’t Handle Huge Amounts of Water – Some tankless water heaters can’t handle large amounts of water all at once. That could be a problem, especially if you have a big family. A tankless water heater simply can’t heat up that much water in a short period of time, so it might fail to keep up under the pressure.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Tankless Water Heater

– Amount of Water You Need – If you have a big family, you might need a tankless water heater with a large capacity. If you live alone or have small children, a smaller-capacity tankless water heater might be more than enough for you.

– Source of Electricity – If you buy a tankless water heater, you will want to make sure your utility provides electricity. If your utility uses natural gas to power your home, you won’t be able to use a tankless water heater.

– Plumbing – The plumbing in your home could be a problem if you decide to buy a tankless water heater. You have to have the right kind of pipes to make the tankless water heater work properly. Otherwise, it might not draw water properly and could break down.

How to Install a Tankless Water Heater

– Mark the Location of the Water Heater – The first thing you should do is mark the location of the water heater. In most cases, the water heater should be placed in a warm spot above the ground.

– Keep the Water Line Clear – Water tanks use a pipe to connect to the water heater. That pipe should be kept clear so that water can flow through it easily.

– Install the Water Heater – You can now install the water heater. Simply follow the instructions on the water heater box to do so.

– Connect the Water Line – You can now connect the water line to the water heater. If you’re unsure about how to do it, you can call a professional to do it for you.

Final Words

Tankless water heaters can help you save money on your energy bills. They also help to reduce water waste since they only heat up the water that is needed. However, you have to consider some factors such as the amount of water, the type of electricity, and the plumbing in your house.

Trust Palo Alto Plumbing

Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning is a company that is proud to serve our California customers and provide top HVAC services. We understand that all customers have different concerns, so we will be there to make sure your home is comfortable. Our team of professionals will quickly arrive to help with troubleshooting that solves all of your problems. Please call us today!

Holiday Energy Savings: How to Save More this Season

The holiday season one of the happiest times of the year. Between spending time with family and friends and participating in your favorite winter activities, there is so much to be joyful about and thankful for during the holidays. While you are enjoying the holiday festivities, there are a few ways that you can work to cut down on your energy usage so that you aren’t greeted by a shocking utility bill in the new year.

Energy Saving Tips for the Holiday Season

Though energy usage may be the last thing on your mind, it’s important to pay attention to how much energy you are using during the holidays. To conserve more energy during this busy time of the year, use the tips below:

Holiday Energy Savings

Looking for more ways to save energy in the new year? Check out our post on seasonal tips to reduce HVAC costs.

Reducing HVAC Costs Year-Round

The holiday season isn’t the only time that you should be keeping an eye on your energy usage. Don’t forget to call Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating, and Air for your routine HVAC maintenance visit. We recommend getting a tune-up at least twice a year to make sure that your heating and cooling system is running smoothly and efficiently throughout the year.

Call today to schedule a service appointment: (650) 856-3400.

Home Appliance Updates That Are Worth the Investment

A lot of appliances have made incredible leaps over the past few years towards energy savings, so now is a smart time to replace them. If you are deciding whether or not to upgrade your home’s major appliances, think about the following figure: Major appliances are responsible for about 13% of your household’s total energy cost. This means that investing in newer, energy efficient appliances is a smart way to save money in the long run.

Below, we’ve outlined a few of the top picks in home appliances that are worth the upgrade.


Dishwashers are often overlooked for their potential energy usage, but the older the model the more water and energy it will use. An Energy Star dishwasher uses approximately 5 gallons of water per wash cycle, whereas as an older dishwasher can use up to 10 gallons of water. And, since a dishwasher uses energy to heat the water, a newer energy efficient model can save money on that cost as well. On average, a new Energy Star Dishwasher can save approximately $40 per year on energy bills, and approximately 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime! Cost for upgrade: $500.

Washing Machine

Older washers use a top load function, where water fills up from the bottom of the unit, but a newer energy efficient model—which is loaded from the front–uses approximately half as much water and over 30% less energy. With a newer energy efficient washer, you could save approximately $150 per year on electricity and water. Cost for upgrade: $500 to $1000.

Hot Water Heater

If you have an older water heater, a replacement could be beneficial to you for energy savings. A typical water heater uses about 15 to 20% of home energy consumed yearly and newer energy efficient gas models can save you up to 30% a year in energy costs, while a tank-less or gas-condensing water heater could save approximately $100 per year. Cost for upgrade: $300 to $1200.

Air Conditioner

Whether you are using a central air conditioner, or a window unit room by room, these appliances are known to use a lot of energy. If you are using an older system—one that is older than ten years old—this is even more true. Air conditioners are measured with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), and the higher the number, the more efficient the system. The lower the number, the less efficient your A/C, not to mention, it becomes a money sink for energy costs. These days, energy efficient models can boast a SEER rating of 20+, which is far more efficient than most older systems that hover around 13. Cost for upgrade: $3,000 to $7,000.


There are there different types of furnaces available on the market, and like an A/C, the older the unit, the less efficiency you’ll get out of it, which leads to higher energy costs. Low efficiency furnaces feature a continuous pilot light, and mid to high efficiency models have an electronic ignition and better management of heat storage and exchange. If your furnace is older than 15 years, it’s smart to consider an upgrade in addition to having your ductwork insulated, which can further benefit energy efficiency. Cost for upgrade: $2500 to $6000.

For both air conditioner and furnace replacement, check out this handy Energy Savings Estimator to see how much you can save with an HVAC upgrade.

Convinced You Could Benefit from an HVAC System or Water Heater Upgrade?

Give us a call today. We specialize in air conditioners, furnaces, and water heaters and can help you determine the best, most energy efficient comfort solutions for your home while staying within your budget. Call today to find out more: (650) 856-3400.