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5 Things to Know Before Installing a Tankless Water Heater in Your Rental

installing-tankless-water-heater-rental-propertyDid you know that oftentimes as much as 30% of your Montgomery County rental home’s energy budget is spent heating water? 

If you are looking to go green in your current rental home, or are in need of a new water heater because your current one is on its last leg, you might want to consider installing a tankless water heater.

Today we will look at five key things to think about when choosing a new water heater for your Montgomery County rental property.  This is particularly vital information now as winter is in full swing and hot water will be in high demand in Maryland!


What is a Tankless Water Heater?

Before diving into the idea of buying a tankless water heater, let’s first clear up what a tankless water is and how it differs from a traditional storage tank water heater.


Storage Tank Water Heater

Storage tank water heaters are by far the most common in all households, rental properties included.  These water heaters have an insulated tank that stores heated water at all times and delivers it as needed.  Storage tank water heaters have temperature and pressure relief valves that open up when certain pre-set levels are exceeded.


Tankless Water Heater

Also known as “on-demand” water heaters, tankless water heaters use heating coils to heat water as it is needed rather than continually heating the water day in and day out.  When water is drawn out of the device, the tankless heater warms the water up and delivers it to the correct pipes.  These heaters do not retain any water except for what is left in the heating coils following water delivery.


Five Things to Consider When Buying a Tankless Water Heater

tankless-water-heater-considerations-rental-property1. Capacity

With a traditional storage tank water heater, you will have approximately 40-60 gallons of already-heated water ready to go whenever it is needed.  Though it comes at the expense of serious energy use, it is more convenient than waiting for water to heat.  Keep in mind however, that storage tank water heaters take up a lot more space because of their large tanks.

A tankless water heater is much smaller in size because it does not have a tank storing already-heated water.  Tankless water heaters are up to 22% more energy efficient than storage tank water heaters because they only heat water and deliver it to faucets, showers, or appliances when your rental property’s hot water is turned on.


2. Cost

A traditional water heater will run you upwards of $300-$600.  However, the more advanced tankless water heaters will cost around $700.

Though initially the higher price tag on a tankless water heater may seem outrageous, it is a good idea to check out your state’s local energy rebate programs before saying “no” to such an investment.  Many states offer rebates to those using energy-approved appliances and nearly all tankless water heaters qualify.  In addition, some energy companies offer special discounts and incentives for using green, eco-friendly appliances.


3. Installation

water-heater-installation-maryland-rental-propertyAnother cost consideration when it comes to tankless water heaters is the price of installation.  Since tankless water heaters are much more advanced, there are fewer plumbers qualified to install them.  In addition, most tankless water heaters require a gas connection to work.  If your investment property does not have a gas connection, the cost to install this connection may not be worth it despite the long-term savings tankless water heaters provide property owners.


4. Lifespan

Traditional storage tank water heaters are notorious for breaking and flooding homes—usually about every 8-10 years.  While a traditional water heater’s typical lifespan is about 12 years, and lasting 8-10 years is considered relatively good, the fact that they cause so much damage when they break is enough to cause anyone to seek an alternative solution.

Tankless water heaters, however, have the potential to last upwards of 20 years if properly maintained by you and your tenants.  Since tankless water heaters come with complicated inner heating coils, it is suggested that a professional who has expertise in maintaining tankless water heaters service your heater once a year to ensure it functions properly at all times.

Additionally, it is suggested you have a working water softener to decrease the amount of calcium buildup on the inside of your tankless water heater, though the same should be said for storage tank water heaters as well.


5. Convenience

Tankless water heaters take up less living space since they are usually mounted on the wall, and are energy efficient in their use and deliverance of water.  However, since the water is not stored at hot temperatures at all times in a tank, tankless water heaters take much longer to heat water up.  This is because idle water that draws up starts at room temperature or colder.  In the end, cold water will initially come out of your faucet, shower, or appliance until the water reaches its proper temperature.  This can be a huge disadvantage in cold places such as Montgomery County.

In addition, since tankless water heaters are so much smaller than storage tank heaters, they can only deliver limited amounts of hot water at a time.  This means taking a shower and running a load of laundry simultaneously is going to be difficult because the two will be competing for the same limited supply of water.  On the other hand, a storage tank water heater always has plenty of water to deliver to multiple places at once with its large tank.

Altogether, there are certainly a number of things to consider when looking to invest in an expensive tankless water heater system for your Montgomery County rental property.  There are many considerations to weigh and it is largely a personal decision as to which type of water heater will work best for your property and, ultimately, your wallet.


If you do decide to go green and install a tankless water heater in your Montgomery County rental, contact Bay Management Group to properly advertise your vacant rental as one that is energy efficient.  Utilizing multiple platforms to inform potential tenants that your property is available for lease is one of Bay Management Group’s specialties.  In addition, we can help you manage all other aspects that relate to your property, from tenant screenings, to lease drafting, all the way through rent collections and regular inspections.  So get in touch today and see how we can help you.