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Got Questions?

If you are replacing a broken water heater should you upgrade to tankless?

by Max Dichter

October 28th, 2014

Often the answer is yes, but you might be surprised why.  

A bit about the differences between a normal water heater and a tankless water heater:

A tank-type water heater is the most common type here in the U.S. A typical household will use a 40-gal. or 50-gal. tank. Tank-type water heaters can use electricity, natural gas, propane or fuel oil to heat the water that’s stored in the tank. ENERGY STAR® models have insulation around the tank in order to reduce standby heat loss. 

A tankless water heater is sometimes referred to as a “demand” water heater because it only uses energy when there’s a demand for hot water. Most tankless water heaters models burn natural gas.  

There are cost benefits to using a tankless system, as described below, but there are also benefits in the reduced size of the tankless water heater. This opens up new possibilites on where you can place the tankless water heater system, and maybe even gets you some new storage space.

So why switch to a tankless water heater?

Any type of water heater that meets ENERGY STAR® requirements will be much more energy efficient than an older, non-qualifying unit. But a tankless water heater has the potential to save you extra money because (unlike tank-type water heaters) it only consumes heating energy when a hot water tap is opened.

In addition to the direct energy savings you can also potentially save with a SoCalGas rebate.

If you are a SoCalGas (Southern California Gas Company) customer, you’re in luck! According to SoCalGas For Your Home Rebates, there are rebates available for ENERGY STAR certified tankless water heaters from $30 to $200, an amount that depends on the type of water heater you choose:

These are the best bets for most homes, where a broken tank water heater is being replaced:

$150 - ENERGY STAR Tankless Water Heater with an EF of 0.82 to 0.89 
$200 - ENERGY STAR Tankless Water Heater with an EF of 0.90 or more

So now that you know about the savings in direct energy costs and rebates, the question is whether you have the particular patterns of water usage that make your house a good fit for a tankless water heater.  

If most of your answers to the following questions are yes, then a tankless water heater system is right for your home:

  1. You DON’T have young children at home for all or most of the day.
  2. You DON’T need to use hot water regularly throughout the day –for washing clothes, dishes & people.
  3. You DON’T need to have multiple hot water taps (washing machine, shower, dishwasher) running at the same time on a regular basis. (If the answer to this question is yes, then you may still be a good candidate for a tankless hot water system, but may require a higher water output rate.  Our SERVIZ Pros can help you pick the right unit for your home)

You can check out all of our Tankless Water Heater installation options, complete with upfront pricing here.

Water Heaters

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