Pros/Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are an innovative appliance for creating an ultra-efficient home. Unlike standard units, which continuously heat and reheat water so that it is always hot, tankless water heaters generate hot water on demand. Is there a catch to all this extra efficiency? Yes and no. In the right situation, a propane-powered tankless water heater is the best option. However, it’s a good idea to weigh both the pros and cons of these relatively new systems before making the big commitment.  

Let’s dig into the PROS:
Pro #1: Endless Hot Water 

Tankless water heaters can provide an unending stream of hot water nearly instantly and most commonly described as “endless hot water”. These units can deliver their promise to supply hot water without having to deal with the inconvenience of outdated bulky storage tanks.

Pro #2: Lifespan Extended
A huge perk to the propane-powered tankless units is their longer lifespan than traditional units. A standard, high-quality water heater is known to roughly last a decade. Tankless models function for twice as long, averaging around 20 years. Opting for a longer-lasting propane-powered tankless heater may save you a hefty replacement fee in the future.

Pro #3: Space Savers
A tankless water heater can be placed in a variety of small spaces. If you’ve joined the tiny house obsession of the era, this is a great alternative for a small space and efficiency levels. Installation can be on a wall of your choosing and fit into an area as small as an over-the-sink cabinet.

Pro #4: Longer Warranties
With a Rinnai® tankless water heater, you are guaranteed a 12-year limited manufacturer warranty on the heat exchanger. A warranty you won’t find in other standard units out on the market.

Pro #5: Special Financing Available and Tax Breaks
Here at Tri Gas & Oil, we’ve partnered up with Wells Fargo Financing to offer an in-house financing option that allows you to break down the overall cost into affordable monthly payments. In addition to a special financing option for your tankless water heater, there are several tax credits available for installation of the new units.

Let’s dig into the CONS:
Con #1: Inconsistent Temperatures
According to the Consumer Reports Survey, inconsistent water temperatures is an issue some customers face. This issue typically results from the heater’s inability to send enough hot water to the multiple outlets simultaneously. Another reason for this, may be if the faucet is only slightly open the tankless heater may not register the action (for example, when shaving or rinsing a toothbrush) or due to the actual placement of the tankless water heater being a distance away.

Con #2: Higher Initial Cost
The longer lifespan and warranty inherently makes this unit more expensive than your standard bulky unit. These specialized models are also more expensive to install so labor fees have a play in the overall price tag.

Con #3: Possible Gas Line Reroute
With a non-traditional solution for your water comes a non-traditional set up which will increase the cost of installation. Depending on where you wish to have the unit or where your home requires it, a gas line may need to re-routed or new venting added.

Con #4: Additional Maintenance
To keep the warranty valid, an annual maintenance must be performed. Homeowners should also routinely flush out their system annually to prevent mineral build up in the heater or water line. The cost isn’t a gigantic dent in the wallet but is a slight added expense to keep the longevity of your system. Here at Tri Gas & Oil, we try to eliminate that wallet dent with an annual Rinnai flush special!

Con #5: Additional Equipment Often Needed
A water softener is usually necessary to ensure a tankless heater operates properly. This may take out of the upfront savings but long term big picture will save you in efficiency and overall bills.

Decide with Confidence
If you’re deciding between a tankless water heater and another source, it’s extremely important to take the time to weigh the pros and cons without jumping into the large commitment before proper consideration. It is a big investment and one that’s worth it in the long haul for many homeowners. For further information on tankless water heaters, contact us today. One of our experts here at Tri Gas & Oil would be happy to serve your energy needs.


  • TriGas & Oil Co, Fuel Oil, Federalsburg, MD