ERM Plumbing & Heating

March 24, 2023

As an alternative to traditional water heaters with storage tanks, tankless water heaters, also called on-demand water heaters, are becoming increasingly popular. These units heat water directly as it flows through them, eliminating the need for a storage tank. This article aims to examine the pros and cons of tankless water heaters and equip you with the knowledge required to make a well-informed decision.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

A tankless water heater uses a heat exchanger to heat the water as it flows through the unit. The heat exchanger is activated when the hot water tap is turned on, and cold water flows through the unit. The heat exchanger heats the water to the desired temperature before it is delivered to the faucet or showerhead.

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

1. Energy Efficiency: A tankless water heater only heats water as it is needed, which means it uses less energy than a traditional water heater. This can result in lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint.

2. Endless Hot Water: Because a tankless water heater heats water on demand, there is no limit to the amount of hot water that can be produced. This is in contrast to traditional water heaters, which can run out of hot water if the storage tank is empty.

3. Space-Saving: Tankless water heaters are much smaller than traditional water heaters and can be installed in tight spaces. This is especially beneficial for those who live in apartments or small homes.

4. Longer Lifespan: Tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan than traditional water heaters. While a traditional water heater may last 10-15 years, a tankless water heater can last up to 20 years or more.

Drawbacks of a Tankless Water Heater

1. Higher Upfront Cost: Tankless water heaters are more expensive to purchase and install than traditional water heaters. However, the energy savings over time can make up for the initial investment.

2. Limited Flow Rate: A tankless water heater can only produce a certain amount of hot water at a time. This means that if multiple faucets or showers are being used at the same time, the flow rate may be reduced.

3. Additional Installation Costs: Because tankless water heaters require a higher level of expertise to install, the installation costs may be higher than those for traditional water heaters.

4. Maintenance: Tankless water heaters require regular maintenance to ensure they continue to function properly. This can include flushing the unit to remove mineral buildup, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for You?

Whether a tankless water heater is right for you depends on your individual needs and circumstances. If you prioritize energy efficiency and endless hot water, a tankless water heater may be a good choice for you. However, if you have a large household that uses a lot of hot water at once, a tankless water heater may not be able to keep up with demand.

If you decide to install a tankless water heater, it is important to choose the right size for your needs. A professional plumber can help you determine the appropriate size based on your household’s hot water usage.


All in all, tankless water heaters offer several benefits over traditional water heaters, including energy efficiency, endless hot water, space-saving, and longer lifespan. However, they also have some drawbacks, including higher upfront cost, limited flow rate, additional installation costs, and maintenance requirements. Consider your individual needs and circumstances before deciding if a tankless water heater is right for you.

If you need plumbing repair services in Calgary, don’t hesitate to call ERM Plumbing & Heating. Our company was established in 2010 with a simple vision to help people with plumbing and heating problems. Contact us now and get your pipes fixed right away.

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