Is Tankless Water Heating The Right Decision For Your Home?

You may have heard about tankless water heating and wondered if it was right for your home. There is no simple answer, but with the right facts you can make the decision that will best suit your home and budget.

tankless water heating provides hot shower, Boston, Massachusetts

What’s the difference?

  • A traditional water heater stores water in a large cylindrical tank, usually between 20 and 80 gallons. The water is heated and stored until use, then replaced and reheated. Often, the same water gets repeatedly reheated before it's used because of standby heat loss.
  • A tankless water heater heats the water as needed. There is no storage tank and no standby heat loss.

Initial cost:

  • Traditional water heaters are fairly inexpensive.
  • Tankless models will have a higher purchase price.

Long-term costs:

  • Conventional tank-style water heaters use a lot of energy (up to 25 percent of your energy bill) to heat and store hot water.
  • Tankless water heating heats only the water demanded and has no standby energy loss due to keeping large volumes of water hot when not in use.

Supply and demand:

  • A tank-style heater has a limited amount of storage, and it can only supply hot water for a certain amount of time (which varies, depending on the model).
  • When properly sized, tankless water heaters will provide unlimited hot water on demand, all of the time. Cold water enters the unit, gets heated by a heating element, reaching the desired temperature in seconds, and then moves on to the tap.


  • A 50-gallon storage water heater, with standard space for ventilation and access, takes up valuable floor space.
  • An on-demand model takes up very little room, and if point-of-use models are used they are barely noticeable.

Life span:

  • A standard water heater will last about 10 years.
  • A tankless unit will last up to 20 years.

Bottom line:

Only you can decide whether tankless water heating is right for your situation, but with the high cost of energy and floor space always at a premium, tankless water heating is worth consideration.

If you would like to learn more about tankless water heating for your Massachusetts home, contact the professionals at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, trusted local HVAC experts for 80 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Solutions Guide.

Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning serves the Route 495/128 area of Massachusetts. .  Visit our website to see our special offers to get started today!

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