Q: I’m considering replacing my old water heater with a tankless version. Are these things all they’re cracked up to be?
A: Tankless water heaters are likely the wave of the future for residential hot water. It’s the difference between having a “smart” water heater or a “dumb” one. Tankless heaters offer on-demand convenience. Because these heaters don’t have a holding tank, water is heated on an as-needed basis, not heated and stored for hours like a traditional tank. This reduces energy loss from sitting water and also guarantees you’ll never be cold if you’re the last one in the shower. Plus, tankless heaters are powerful, yet compact. Most can be wall-mounted inside or outside the home. Although sizes vary, the average tankless unit is about 24 inches high, 18 inches wide and 9 inches deep—significantly smaller than the traditional 40-gallon tank. Plus, with many tankless units you can dial in the water temperature with a digital controller.