Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for Your Home? 

Hot water is an essential part of our daily lives, from showering and bathing to washing dishes and laundry. But traditional water heaters constantly heat and reheat a tank of water, leading to wasted energy and higher utility bills.  

Tankless water heaters in East Texas offer a compelling alternative, heating water only when you need it. However, deciding if a tankless water heater is right for your home requires careful consideration. Let’s explore everything you need to know about them, helping you make a decision. 

a Tankless water heater in East Texas

How Tankless Water Heaters Work 

Unlike traditional tank heaters that store hot water, tankless models heat water on demand. When you turn on a hot water tap, a flow sensor activates the unit. The unit then ignites a gas burner (for gas models) or activates electric heating elements (for electric models) to heat the water as it passes through a heat exchanger. This delivers a continuous stream of hot water without the need for a storage tank. 

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters 

  • Energy Efficiency: Tankless water heaters are significantly more energy-efficient than traditional models. Since they only heat water when needed, they eliminate standby heat loss that occurs in tanks. This can translate to substantial savings on your utility bills, especially if you use a lot of hot water. 
  • Space Saving: Tankless water heaters are compact in size, freeing up valuable floor space in your home. They can be wall-mounted in a laundry room, garage, or even a closet, making them a great option for smaller homes. 
  • Long Lifespan: Tankless water heaters typically have a longer lifespan than traditional models, lasting up to 20 years with proper maintenance. 
  • Environmentally Friendly: By reducing energy consumption, tankless water heaters contribute to a smaller carbon footprint and a more sustainable living environment. 

Factors to Consider Before Going Tankless 

Higher Upfront Cost 

While you'll likely see significant savings on your utility bills over time, the initial investment for a tankless water heater can be higher compared to traditional models. This includes the cost of the unit itself, professional installation, and any potential upgrades to your plumbing system. Factor in the lifespan of each type of heater (tankless units typically last longer) to get a more accurate picture of the overall cost of ownership. 

Installation Requirements 

Tankless water heaters have specific venting needs. Unlike traditional models that vent exhaust fumes naturally through a chimney flue, tankless units require dedicated venting systems to expel combustion gases (for gas models) or excess heat (for electric models).  Depending on your existing setup, you might need to install a new vent pipe or modify your current system to meet code requirements.  

Flow Rate Limitations 

Tankless heaters heat water on demand but have a flow rate limit. This means they might not keep up with multiple hot water sources running at once (like showers and laundry). Talk to a plumber to assess your hot water usage and choose a tankless unit with a flow rate that comfortably meets your needs. 

Maintenance Needs 

While low-maintenance, tankless heaters in East Texas need regular flushing to prevent mineral buildup, especially in hard water areas. This can be done annually or biannually by a professional, or some models even have self-flushing capabilities. Following the manufacturer's maintenance plan ensures optimal performance for years. 

Considering these factors and consulting a qualified plumber, is the first step to deciding whether you should go for a tankless water heater or not.  

couple choosing among different Tankless water heaters in East Texas

Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for You? 

Making the switch to a tankless water heater can be an exciting prospect, but it's important to weigh the pros and cons. Here's a deeper dive into key factors that will help you decide if a tankless unit is the perfect fit for your home. 

Hot Water Usage 

Do you find yourself constantly running out of hot water, especially during peak usage times like mornings or evenings?  Do you have a large family with multiple bathrooms?  If your household uses a lot of hot water, a tankless water heater can be a game-changer. 

Traditional models have a finite tank capacity, so once the hot water is depleted, you have to wait for it to reheat. Tankless units, on the other hand, provide a continuous supply of hot water as long as there's a demand. This eliminates the frustration of cold showers and ensures everyone in the household has access to hot water whenever they need it. 

Available Space 

Traditional water heaters are bulky and often occupy valuable floor space in basements, garages, or utility closets.  If you're tight on space, a tankless water heater's compact design can be a major advantage.  These units are typically wall-mounted and have a much smaller footprint compared to traditional models. This frees up valuable floor space in your home, making them ideal for smaller living quarters, apartments, or condos. 


While the initial cost of a tankless water heater, including installation, is higher than a traditional model, the energy savings can be significant, especially for heavy hot water users. Tankless units are highly efficient, eliminating standby heat loss. Over their longer lifespan (up to 20 years with maintenance), the energy savings can outweigh the upfront cost. Consider the total cost of ownership when making your budget decision. 

Plumbing System 

Tankless water heaters require a higher flow rate than traditional models to deliver a consistent hot water stream. Before switching, have a plumber assess your existing plumbing system. They'll check pipe diameter and water pressure to see if any upgrades are needed for compatibility. In some cases, you might need to improve your gas line or electrical wiring to handle the higher BTU output of tankless units. 

Making the Switch to Tankless 

If you've decided that it’s time to replace your water heater with a tankless one, here are some steps to take: 

  • Research: Compare different tankless water heater models and brands to find one that meets your needs and budget. Consider factors like flow rate, energy efficiency rating, and warranty. 
  • Consult a Qualified Plumber: A professional plumber is your best resource. They can assess your home's specific needs, determine the right size tankless water heater for your hot water usage patterns, and ensure proper installation according to local codes. 
  • Future Needs:  Consider your future hot water needs. If you plan on expanding your family or adding features like a hot tub, ensure the chosen tankless unit has a high enough flow rate to accommodate your potential future hot water demands. 
  • Maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance with your plumber to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your tankless water heater.  Following the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule will keep your unit functioning efficiently for years to come. 
  • Aesthetics: Tankless water heaters are typically more compact and visually appealing compared to bulky traditional models. However, they are still mechanical units and might not be suitable for all design aesthetics. Consider the placement of the unit and ensure it complements your home's décor. 
Plumber installing a Tankless water heater in East Texas

Ready to Explore the Possibilities of a Tankless Water Heater in East Texas? 

Don't wait to experience the benefits of endless hot water with a tankless water heater! Bannister Plumbing & Air is the trusted name for all your plumbing and HVAC needs in Jacksonville, Tyler, and all of East Texas. We take pride in offering top-quality tankless water heater installations and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact us today to get started!