When building a home for your client, the cost of the water heater and the installation of the product can be a talking point. They may ask you for advice on whether to install a tank or tankless water heater. In this important conversation, common myths associated with tankless water heaters may influence decisions: Tankless water heaters are expensive to purchase and install.
Year after year, we see tankless units and products become more affordable, especially non-condensing units. When comparing the cost of a tank with a tankless tank, it is important to note that the price of a non-condensing tankless water heater is already comparable to a standard tank. When looking online for gas water heater price examples, you can find non-condensing tankless water heaters as low as $700, while tanks cost about the same. This price change is due to an increase in the cost of manufacturing materials due to the current economic climate and supply issues worldwide.
But another reason the product is affordable comes from newer, smarter and more innovative tankless technology that increases the efficiency and cost of ownership of the product.
Cost-effectiveness of tankless installations
There are many other attributes of tankless technology, including the cost benefits it offers homeowners, such as improved energy efficiency, water savings, and product durability. All of these make up an affordable water heating solution.
energy efficiency: New technologies, such as Rinnai’s recently introduced RE Series™by Smart-Circ™ Smart Recirculation™, which can predict a homeowner’s hot water needs. With smart recirculation, energy is saved by scheduling hot water delivery based on past usage rather than periodic cycles. This advantage ensures that the pump does not waste energy during downtime when it is not using hot water. By comparison, a typical residential tank is about 60-65% thermally efficient, and a non-condensing tankless unit is about 85% thermally efficient, using less fuel and energy.
- water saving: The established recirculation pattern of tankless units helps customers save water. By planning to provide hot water when needed, it reduces the amount of wasted cold water, as the end user will no longer have to turn on the faucet, shower or tap and wait for the cold water to reach the desired temperature. Less money goes to waste.
- Longer Durability: According to the Department of Energy, a standard tank has a typical lifespan of 10 to 15 years, while a tankless water heater can last up to 20 years. Instead of replacing the entire tank every ten years, your customers have a durable product that can easily replace critical components of a tankless water heater, further extending its lifespan.
New technologies and innovations have better impacted the cost of tankless water heaters, but they have also reduced installation time, which in turn reduces the overall cost for customers. For example, the RE series offers concentric ventilation solutions for non-condensing installations where only one penetration in the wall or ceiling is required. This eliminates the time and money required for two penetrations and two sets of ventilation material for intake and exhaust. And saves extra time and money because recycling technology doesn’t require a dedicated return line. A hot bypass valve can be used, which allows water already in the system to be recirculated through the cold water line back to the tankless water heater for heating, providing faster access to hot water regardless of the plumbing configuration.
As we advance in innovative tankless technology, so does the number of installers. There are far more trained and experienced professionals in the installation of tankless water heaters today than there were ten years ago. Trained professionals can reduce labor costs for your clients because they can reduce the time it takes to get the job done.
As technology improves, there is a positive impact on the cost of tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters are not expensive, but provide an affordable water heating solution. To learn more about the RE Series, visit www.rinnai.us.
David Federico is Senior Marketing Director at Rinnai America Corporation, where he is responsible for leading the marketing strategy for its residential and commercial products. Before joining the organization in 2016, David held marketing leadership roles at multinational corporations including Georgia-Pacific. David graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration – Marketing.