Are you considering switching to a tankless water heater but worried about the cost? Tankless water heaters are becoming increasingly common due to their convenience and energy efficiency. However, the installation and unit costs can vary depending on several factors. This article will examine different tankless water heaters, their prices, and the variables influencing the final cost. With this article, you will better understand how much a tankless water heater costs and what to consider when purchasing.
Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters
On-demand or tankless water heaters offer several benefits. Listed below are a few benefits.
1. Energy Efficiency
Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient as they only heat water when needed. This can eventually save a lot of energy because they will not have to constantly maintain a big tank of hot water.
Due to its smaller size than conventional tank-style water heaters, tankless water heaters use less space in your home. This might be extremely helpful when living in a small apartment or condo with little room.
3. Endless Hot Water
You can have endless hot water from a tankless water heater since it only heats water as needed. This guarantees that you will always have hot water, regardless of how big your family is or how often you need hot water for several things at once.
4. Longer Lifespan
Generally, tankless water heaters last longer than conventional tank-style water heaters. This is because there isn’t a tank that may eventually rust or corrode and cause leaks and other problems.
Overall, tankless water heaters offer several benefits over traditional tank-style (or conventional) water heaters, including energy efficiency, space-saving, endless hot water, longer lifespan, and reduced risk of water damage.
Factors That Affect Tankless Water Heater Costs
Many factors affect the tankless water heater cost. Here are a few of them:
1. Single-Point vs. Whole-House System
When it comes to tankless water heaters, consumers can choose between single-point and whole-house systems, each with their own price ranges, benefits, and usage scenarios.
Single-point tankless heaters, also known as point-of-use heaters, can be purchased for $100 to $300, while whole-house systems can cost between $450 and $6,000, with solar, tankless systems being the most expensive option.
Single-point tankless heaters are cost-effective for providing hot water to a single faucet or shower in a detached guest house, garage, or workshop. These systems are highly efficient, as the heated water only needs to travel a short distance. However, they are unsuitable for larger homes, as they have a maximum range of 50 feet and can only produce 1/2 to 2 gallons of hot water per minute.
A whole-house system is a reliable choice if you have a large home with numerous bathrooms and water-based fixtures. These units are available in various sizes and have a water heating capacity of 5 to 10 gallons per minute. They can operate on either gas or electricity.
2. Energy Type
The tankless water heater cost varies depending on the energy type, ranging from $800 to $6,000. Your choice of tankless water heater will impact the price, where electric is the least expensive, followed by gas and solar.
If you’re looking for a top-notch tankless water heater, be prepared to spend approximately $1,000 to $3,000 more than you would for a lower-quality model.
Lower prices often indicate lower quality and durability, so investing in a higher-quality product is a good idea if you use the heater regularly. Additionally, a high-quality tankless water heater can last up to 20 years.
When buying a tankless water heater, there are numerous brands to choose from, with some being more affordable than others. However, it’s important not to base your decision solely on the cost of the unit.
A mid-priced tankless water heater from a reputable brand may cost more initially, but it will likely have a longer lifespan than the cheapest option from a less well-known brand.
Here are some of the reputable brands of tankless water heaters:
4. Gallon per Minute (GPM)
When selecting a tankless water heater, assessing the GPM flow necessary for your household is crucial. A tankless water heater operates by heating water on demand, so it must be quick enough to heat as many appliances and faucets as required simultaneously. A typical home requires 5.5 to 7.5 GPM to provide enough hot water at once.
However, It’s essential to consider your specific needs and budget when choosing a unit.
Tankless Water Heater Cost by Size
The tankless water heater cost can vary depending on its size, which typically measures gallons per minute (GPM). Here are my estimates of the cost of tankless water heaters by size:
|Tankless water heaters size (Gallon per Minute)||Average Cost|
|Up to 5 GPM||$500 to $1,000|
|5-9 GPM||$1,000 to $1,500|
|9-12 GPM||$1,500 to $2,000|
|12+ GPM||$2,000 to $2,500|
1. Small Tankless Water Heaters (up to 5 GPM)
Small tankless water heaters are typically for point-of-use applications, such as a single sink or shower. The cost of a small tankless water heater can range from $500 to $1,000.
2. Medium Tankless Water Heaters (5-9 GPM)
Medium tankless water heaters are typically for small to medium-sized homes with one or two bathrooms. A medium tankless water heater can range from $1,000 to $1,500.
3. Large Tankless Water Heaters (9-12 GPM)
Large tankless water heaters are typically for larger homes with multiple bathrooms. A large tankless water heater can range from $1,500 to $2,000.
4. Extra-Large Tankless Water Heaters (12+ GPM)
Extra-large tankless water heaters are typically for commercial applications or large homes with high hot water demand. An extra-large tankless water heater can range from $2,000 to $2,500.
However, choose a tankless water heater that is appropriately sized for your hot water needs to ensure optimal performance and energy efficiency.
Tankless Water Heaters Cost by Fuel Type
Here are my estimates of the cost of tankless water heaters by fuel type:
|Tankless Water Heaters Fuel Type||Average Cost|
|Natural gas tankless water heaters||$500 to $2,500|
|Electric tankless water heaters||$500 to $1,500|
|Propane tankless water heaters||$800 to $2,500|
|Solar tankless water heaters||$1,000 to $5,000|
1. Natural Gas Tankless Water Heaters
Natural gas tankless water heaters are the most common type of tankless water heater. Depending on the size and brand, a natural gas tankless water heater costs $500 to $2,500.
2. Electric Tankless Water Heaters
Electric tankless water heaters are a good option for homes that do not have access to gas. The electric tankless water heater cost can be between $500 to $1,500, depending on the size and brand.
3. Propane Tankless Water Heaters
Propane tankless water heaters are a good option for homes that do not have access to natural gas. And a propane tankless water heater can range between $800 to $2,500, depending on the size and brand.
4. Solar Tankless Water Heaters
Solar tankless water heaters are the most environmentally friendly option, using the sun’s power to heat water. However, they are also the most expensive, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Solar tankless water heaters are most effective in areas with lots of sunlight, making them a good choice for homes in sunny climates.
It’s important to note that the installation cost can vary depending on the fuel type and the water heater’s location. Additionally, the cost of operating a tankless water heater can vary depending on the fuel cost in your area.
Tankless Water Heater Cost for Installation
Tankless water heater costs for installation vary based on various factors, including the type of unit, the complexity of the installation, and the additional materials required. Here is a detailed breakdown of the installation cost of a tankless water heater:
1. Unit cost
The cost of the tankless water heater itself can range from $500 to $2,500 or more, depending on the brand, size, and features.
2. Labor cost
Depending on the process’s complexity and the unit’s location, installing a tankless water heater can range from $500 to $1,500 or more.
Tankless water heaters require proper venting to remove exhaust gasses. The cost of venting can range from $100 to $500, depending on the type of venting required.
4. Gas Line
If you are installing a gas-powered tankless water heater, you may need to install a new gas line. Depending on how far the gas meter is from the water heater, a new gas line can cost between $200 to $1,000.
5. Electrical Work
You might need to modify the electrical panel or set up a new circuit if you’re installing an electric tankless water heater. Electrical work might cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000, depending on how complex the installation is.
6. Water Softener
To avoid mineral buildup in the tankless water heater, you might need a water softener if you have hard water. A water softener can range from $500 to $2,000, depending on its size and type.
7. Plumbing Modifications
Depending on location, your tankless water heater may require plumbing adjustments to connect to your current plumbing system. In this case, plumbing can range from $200 to $1,000.
Overall, the total cost of installing a tankless water heater can range from $1,500 to $5,000 or more, depending on the abovementioned factors. It’s essential to consult with a professional plumber or HVAC technician to get an accurate estimate for your specific installation.
Tankless Water Heater Cost for Maintenance
The cost to maintain a tankless water heater is generally lower than the cost to maintain a traditional tank-style water heater. However, performing some maintenance tasks is necessary to ensure your tankless water heater operates efficiently.
1. Flushing the System
Your tankless water heater’s heat exchanger may accumulate mineral deposits over time, harming it or reducing its efficiency. These deposits can be eliminated by routine system flushing, which will keep your water heater operating efficiently. Depending on the plumber or contractor you select, flushing the system can cost anywhere between $100 and $200.
2. Cleaning the Air Intake Filter
Your tankless water heater’s air intake filter must be frequently cleaned to keep it clear of dust and dirt. This could increase the device’s efficiency and aid in preventing damage. Cleaning the air intake filter is inexpensive and simple enough for the family to perform.
3. Checking the Venting System
Regularly inspect your tankless water heater’s venting system to ensure it is clear of blockages and running correctly. By doing so, other safety concerns, such as carbon monoxide accumulation, can be avoided. Depending on the plumber or contractor you hire, the cost of inspecting the venting system can change, but it usually falls between $50 and $100.
Overall, the cost of maintaining a tankless water heater is relatively low compared to maintaining a traditional tank-style water heater. However, performing these maintenance tasks ensures your tankless water heater operates efficiently and safely.
Tankless Water Heater Cost: Most Cost-effective Brands
Here are some of the most cost-effective tankless water heater brands with their price range:
|Tankless Water Heater Brands||Average Cost|
|Rheem Tankless Water Heaters||$500 to $2,500|
|Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters||$500 to $2,500|
|Navien Tankless Water Heaters||$800 to $2,500|
|Takagi Tankless Water Heaters||$500 to $1,500|
Rheem is a popular brand of tankless water heaters offering various price points. Their units are known for their energy efficiency and reliability and offer a good balance of performance and affordability. The price range for Rheem tankless water heaters is typically between $500 to $2,500, depending on the model and size.
Rinnai is another well-known brand of tankless water heaters offering various models at different price points. Their units are known for their energy efficiency and durability and offer a good balance of performance and affordability. The price range for Rinnai tankless water heaters is typically between $500 to $2,500, depending on the model and size.
Navien is a newer tankless water heater brand that recently gained popularity. Their units are known for their energy efficiency and advanced features and offer a good balance of performance and affordability. The price range for Navien water heaters is typically between $800 to $2,500, depending on the model and size.
Takagi is a Japanese brand of tankless water heaters that has been around for over 60 years. Their units are known for their energy efficiency and durability and offer a good balance of performance and affordability. The price range for Takagi tankless water heaters is usually between $500 and $1,500, depending on the model and size.
It’s important to note that the prices listed above are for the units only and do not include installation costs or any additional materials or services that may require.
Comparison of Tankless Water Heaters Cost vs. Traditional Water Heaters Cost
When comparing the cost of tankless water heaters to traditional water heaters, there are several factors to consider. Following are the few differences in price between the two types of water heaters:
1. Initial Cost
Tankless water heaters are generally more costly to purchase and install than traditional water heaters. The tankless water heater costs between $500 to $2,500, while a traditional water heater can range from $300 to $1,500.
2. Energy Efficiency
Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than traditional ones, resulting in lower energy bills over time. Unlike traditional water heaters, which constantly heat and store water, tankless water heaters only heat water when needed.
In the long run, tankless water heaters cost less to replace since they last longer than traditional water heaters. Tankless water heaters have a life of up to 20 years, in comparison to the 10 to 15 years that standard water heaters usually survive.
4. Maintenance Costs
Tankless water heaters generally require less maintenance than traditional water heaters, resulting in lower maintenance costs over time. Tankless water heaters don’t include a storage tank that may corrode or leak, nor do they need to be flushed or drained, in contrast to conventional water heaters.
Tankless water heaters can save your pocket over time by using less energy and lasting longer than conventional water heaters while having a higher initial cost. Tankless water heaters also need less maintenance over time, which means fewer maintenance expenditures.
How to Determine Which Size Tankless Water Heater You Need ?
To determine which size tankless water heater you need, you should consider the following factors:
1. Flow rate
The flow rate determines how much hot water you require at any given time. Add the flow rates of all the fixtures you intend to utilize simultaneously to obtain the flow rate.
For instance, if you are simultaneously using a sink with a flow rate of 1 GPM and a shower with a flow rate of 2 GPM, you need a tankless water heater with a minimum of 3 GPM output.
The climate in your area can also affect the size of the tankless water heater that you need. In colder climates, the incoming water temperature is lower, so you will need a larger tankless water heater to achieve the same temperature rise.
3. Number of Fixtures
The number of fixtures in your home that require hot water will also affect the size of the tankless water heater you need. A larger home with more fixtures will require a larger tankless water heater.
4. Hot Water Usage Patterns
Your hot water usage patterns can also affect the size of the tankless water heater. Compared to someone who lives alone and consumes hot water less frequently, someone with a large family will require a larger tankless water heater.
Based on these factors, a suitable flow rate for a tankless water heater can range from 2-5 GPM for a single fixture and 6-10 GPM for a whole-house system.
However, consulting with a professional plumber or HVAC technician is vital to determine the appropriate flow rate for your needs. They can help you calculate your flow rate and temperature rise and recommend a tankless water heater with the proper flow rate and size for your home.
Tips to Save Money on Tankless Water Heaters
While installing a tankless water heater can be a significant home improvement expense, its efficiency and durability will provide long-term benefits. However, if you wish to eliminate the high cost, there are methods to reduce expenses and save money on tankless water heater costs.
1. Choose the Right Size
You can save money on the initial purchase price and ongoing operating costs by picking the size tankless water heater for your home. When it comes to hot water demand, a tankless water heater that is too tiny for your home won’t be able to keep up, while a system that is too big will cost more to buy and run.
2. Consider Energy Efficiency
Selecting an energy-efficient tankless water heater will eventually result in cost savings on your energy bills. To determine how effectively a model utilizes energy to heat water, look for models with a high Energy Factor (EF) rating.
3. Look for Rebates and Incentives
Many utility companies and government agencies offer rebates and incentives for homeowners who purchase energy-efficient appliances, including tankless water heaters. Check with the nearest electricity supplier or a government organization to learn about any rebates or incentives offered in your community.
4. Shop Around
Comparing prices and features from different brands and retailers can help you find the best deal on a tankless water heater. Look for sales, discounts, and promotions to save even more money.
5. DIY Installation
If you have experience with plumbing and electrical work, you can install a tankless water heater and save money on installation costs. However, following all safety guidelines and local building codes is essential to ensure a safe and effective installation.
6. Regular Maintenance
Maintaining your tankless water heater can help it operate more efficiently and last longer, saving you pocket on repairs and replacement costs. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and keep the unit clean and debris-free.
7. Consider a Water Softener
If you reside in a place with hard water, installing a water softener will help reduce mineral buildup in your tankless water heater, improving its efficiency and extending its lifespan. This will also save you money on repairs and replacement costs over time.
These tips allow you to save money on your tankless water heater purchase, installation, and utility bills over time.
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A tankless water heater can offer homes several advantages, including energy efficiency, limitless hot water on demand, and long-term savings. Although the initial expenditures may be higher than conventional water heaters, the long-term savings may be enough to justify the transition.
Homeowners can make an informed choice and benefit from a tankless water heater for years by taking into account aspects like installation and maintenance expenses, comparing costs to standard water heaters, and selecting the suitable unit for their home.
1. How durable are tankless water heaters?
Tankless water heaters are more reliable than traditional tank water heaters, with a standard lifespan of over twenty years. However, the lifespan can vary according to usage, maintenance, and water quality.
2. What is the energy efficiency of a tankless water heater?
As tankless water heaters heat water when it is only needed, as opposed to continuously heating and storing water, they are more energy-efficient than conventional tank water heaters. This can lower energy costs for water heating by up to 30% or more.
3. What size tankless water heater is necessary for my house?
Your house’s size and the hot water you use will determine which tankless water heater you require. Generally, a small tankless water heater can offer hot water for just one bathroom, but a larger one may supply hot water for several bathrooms and appliances.