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W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Water Heater Installation: Should You Go Tankless?


When you picture a water heater in your head, what do you see? If you’re like most homeowners, probably a big storage tank that holds gallons and gallons of water.

Now take away the tank. Do you still have a water heater?

You’re probably scratching your head at this one. And no, we aren’t trying to trick you with a riddle. The fact of the matter is, you don’t need a tank installed in or on your property in order to get hot water!

Enter, the tankless water heater.

This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like–a piece of equipment used for heating water, but without the need for a tank. Not only is this a pretty great home comfort system, but it also has a number of benefits. Read on as we uncover some of them!

What To Know about Tankless Water Heaters

Whether you have heard of a tankless water heater before or this is the first time, it’s always wise to ensure that you know the key features of a home comfort system before you have one installed. Read on as we uncover what we think you should know about tankless water heaters, including their benefits.

They’re Very Energy-Efficient

Since tankless water heaters do not have to constantly keep gallons of water at a certain temperature, they use about 30-50% less energy than a standard tank water heater.


Well, when you turn on a tap or an appliance that requires hot water, this triggers the heat exchanger within the box of the tankless water heater to activate. Then water flows over the heat exchanger and through your plumbing pipes.

This setup is why tankless systems are often called “on-demand” water heaters, and they do not suffer from the standby heat loss that tanked systems do.

They Use Less Water

A tankless water heater heats water as it is requested, as we just mentioned. This means it won’t be holding onto any water that goes unused. So you’ll be using less water and paying less too!

They Use Less Space

When you have a tank water heater, there has to be space in your property for it. Most garages have a corner where you can put your water heater. In some older, and smaller, homes, there might even be a dedicated closet for your tank water heater.

But what if you could free up that space for something else? Even if it’s extra storage, not having a water heater tank still frees up valuable real estate within your home, right?

A tankless system can be installed on an interior or exterior wall, mounted high up and out of the way.

Tankless Systems Can Be Overwhelmed

While this isn’t a benefit, it’s worth mentioning as you consider your water heater installation. While tankless systems are very efficient and won’t “run out” of hot water, they can be overwhelmed.

This means if too many people need hot water at once–like for multiple showers or if your dishwasher and clothes washer are running at the same time–then it may struggle to adequately heat all the water needed.

A workaround is to install two tankless water heaters. Alternatively, you could get a small tanked water heater that addresses some basic needs in the household while using the tankless water heater for everything else.

We are happy to discuss your options with you, please give us a call!

Contact W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning to learn about your options for water heaters in Roanoke, VA.

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