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Tankless water heaters have been getting a lot of attention lately. Whether you’re a landlord trying to save some money or a property manager looking to increase efficiency, you’ve probably heard of them. These units are being heavily promoted as energy-saving appliances; the average tankless heater uses less gas than a traditional water heater with a tank.

Tankless heaters don’t use gas when no one is home or when no hot water is being demanded. Traditional tanks, on the other hand, use gas at all hours of the day to keep the water inside hot. Although these heaters run on demand, there still could be a delay in hot water delivery as with traditional models because the units have to sense the request and check the water temperature.

With all those benefits, it can seem like a simple decision to switch to a tankless heater. From a real estate investment point of view, however, you’ll need to look a little deeper before deciding if upgrading your property’s tank is the right move.

What Can I Save?

The U.S. Department of Energy says that the average home can save around $100 per year using a tankless water heater. Units that are handling 41 gallons or less of hot water each day are between 24 and 34 percent more energy efficient than traditional heaters, while high-demand units that handle 86 gallons of water each day are around 8 to 14 percent more efficient.

Don’t Forget Installation

A big potential problem with tankless water heaters is the cost to install them, which Home Advisor estimates averages around $1,488. Yours may run higher if you need things like a new flue or if you need to have your gas pipes re-routed. Sometimes, an entirely new gas line is needed.

A traditional water heating unit only runs around $300 according to Consumer Reports, so you have to take that into account before going this route. The average lifespan of a tankless water heater is only about 20 years, which may not be long enough for the savings to offset what you paid to install it.

Whether upgrading to tankless water heaters is the right way to go in your properties ultimately comes down to the cost versus savings. Get some estimates and do a little research before committing to a tankless water heater to determine if it will help your bottom line in the long term.

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