Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth Your Money?

white tankless water heater on brick wall in basement of home

The demand for tankless water heaters is rising. Gone are the days of running out of hot water md-shower or having a huge, unsightly tank take up precious space in your home. Homeowners are embracing the convenience of an endless hot water supply and conserving energy with a tankless water heater that will last twice as long as a traditional tank.

Tankless water heaters, also known as demand-type water heaters, have been around for quite some time but really caught traction in the early ‘90s. Traditional water heater tanks hold hot water all the time, but tankless water heaters use a gas element to heat water when a hot water tap is activated. This means that it only heats water when it’s in use,  frees up space in your home, and eliminates the need for an oversized tank.

These demand-type water heaters are hyped up to deliver energy savings and thus cost savings, but how much do you really save, and is it really worth it?

As a homeowner, it’s essential to know where to invest your hard-earned money. We’ll investigate the following questions to find out if a tankless water heater makes sense for your family:

  • Will a tankless water heater last a long time?
  • How much will I save with a tankless water heater?
  • Should I invest in a tankless water heater?
  • What should I consider when determining whether a tankless water heater is right for my family?

Will a tankless water heater last a long time?

A traditional water heater has to perform a lot of work to keep your hot water supply in check. Once the water it’s holding dips below 120 degrees, the heating element has to kick on to replenish the heat. This means it has to activate sporadically throughout the day and night to maintain a reservoir of heated water for your use.

Tankless water heaters remove the reheating factor that traditional heaters encounter since they only heat the water you use at the moment. Even more importantly, they also remove the source of major catastrophes. Traditional water heaters are notorious for causing flooding issues if they malfunction.

With proper maintenance, your tankless water heater can last well beyond 20 years. Compared to conventional water heaters that last anywhere from 8-12 years, that’s a big difference.

This is where cost savings enter the picture.

How much will I save with a tankless water heater?

There are a few factors to consider when comparing the cost savings of a tankless versus a traditional water heater. First off, you need to consider the upfront costs. A typical conventional water heater is less expensive upfront compared to a tankless water heater.

However, when you consider the lifespan of the two, that initial cost doesn’t sting as much. Plus, tankless water heaters deliver far superior energy ratings since they heat on demand and save on gas.

That said, sometimes homeowners with tankless water heaters start to increase their water consumption and energy use by taking longer showers, which can affect their utility bills. Not to mention, traditional water heaters usually require less maintenance, so you need to consider how much the maintenance plan is for your new tankless water heater system.

By and large, how you use your hot water will determine your savings regarding energy and cost. If you are moving into your “forever home,” then a tankless water heater could see those energy cost savings stack up, versus if you’re only planning to live in your home for a short period of time.

Should I invest in a tankless water heater?

If your current water heater is on its way out, it may be time to start weighing your options for replacing your unit. Tankless water heaters offer some impressive benefits that are worth your consideration.

Endless hot water

Do you ever run out of hot water mid-shower? Have you ever had to take a lukewarm or cold shower because someone used all the hot water before your turn? Have you ever tried to run a bath only to have the water go cold before it’s filled?

With a tankless water heater, those problems are solved! With a tankless water heater, three people can shower simultaneously with unlimited hot water.

Thanks to their “hot water on-demand” design, tankless water heaters only heat the water as you use it, so you aren’t relying on a reservoir of water that requires continual reheating. They deliver an endless supply of hot water, which cuts down on energy consumption and saves you money on utility bills. On average, tankless water heaters are about 10 percent more energy efficient than traditional ones.


Tankless water heaters are built to last. In fact, a well-maintained tankless heater will last twice as long as a traditional tank version—if not longer. This factor alone is a big reason why so many homeowners switch from conventional water heaters to tankless ones.

Space Savers

Tankless water heaters are significantly smaller than traditional tank systems. Some families require two tank-style water heaters to match the demand for their homes. A tankless water heater system will not only outproduce two heaters but will also save you valuable space.

What should I consider when determining whether a tankless water heater is right for my family?

One of the most significant advantages of a tankless water heater is its unlimited source of hot water. Conventional tanks only house a finite amount of hot water, so you can experience hot water loss if too many people are showering simultaneously or if you are running another appliance that requires hot water while you’re bathing.

Your average water heater usually takes around 45 minutes to heat thoroughly. This can be a drag if you find yourself in a situation where you need hot water, and you’ve already depleted all of your hot water supply.

Since tankless water heaters don’t rely on a reservoir of hot water that eventually runs out, you will never face that issue. Tankless water heaters push fresh water into the unit, where it gets heated by the heat exchanger, then heads out through the outflow valve and on the way to you.

This innovation was a game changer for the common problem of running out of hot water because now you can run any faucet in the house without depleting a hot water supply.

That said, running hot water through multiple faucets at the same time may slow down your water flow rate.

When determining if you should upgrade to a tankless water heater, another factor to consider is the size of your family. Due to the nature of the setup, tankless water heaters do require maintenance. You’ll need to flush your system with a solution that pumps through the burner system to remove calcium deposits.

Here are some general guidelines to follow on the frequency of flushing your system:

Once a year, if you have a big family with around five people who use it daily.
If it’s just you or you and your partner, you can probably get away with only flushing it once every two to three years.

If you have a water softener system, you can likely get away with flushing it every five years or so.

The Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Difference

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is a family-owned business in its 10th year of operation, dedicated to providing our customers with straightforward pricing, on-time service, and highly skilled technicians.

We only hire qualified and professional technicians who can be trusted and work hard to deliver industry-leading plumbing solutions targeted to your specific needs and budget. We guarantee on-time and courteous service to ensure your complete satisfaction.

For safety’s sake, water heater installation should be left to the professionals. We install water heaters Kansas City residents can count on. The plumbers of Benjamin Franklin Kansas City provide safe water heater installation for gas, electric, or tankless water heaters.

We’d be delighted to discuss your water heater options and your needs to determine if a tankless water heater is the right choice for you and your family. Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing here or call us at 816-574-8931 today if you have any questions about our plumbing services and how we can best serve you.