|The big advantage of tankless water heaters is that they serve up the hot water instantly and continuously on demand – at the desired temperature, as long as there aren’t too many users demanding it at the same time. If there is a high demand, the water temperature will drop.
Other advantages are the relatively compact size of the heaters and the fact that you do not have a large tank full of hot water sitting around, losing heat between cycles. Tankless heaters eliminate this standby heat loss because they heat only as much water as you actually use.
Beside a potential temperature drop during periods of high demand, another disadvantage of tankless heaters is the initial cost of the heater and installation, which can be twice as much as a first-rate, energy-saving tank-type heater. Tankless backers say the extra cost can be recovered through energy savings, but it can take many years for a “payback” in some cases.
Installing a tankless heater in a new house is more beneficial; as a retrofit, however, there are additional costs that can add to the sticker price – namely the possible need to increase the size of your gas line, or install a new venting system.
A tankless system may be a good option for your situation, but be sure to get several quotes and make sure it includes all that will be required to install the system to manufacturer requirements and local code. Also make sure it is sized to meet your expected hot water usage needs.