Tankless Water Heaters the Hottest Thing for Rental Properties

With new regulations constantly going into effect regarding electric and gas water heater tanks, you may soon find that there is a hot new appliance that might just put a smile on your residents’ faces. Where once the tankless hot water heater was considered a less than effective form of heating hot water for the average home, technological advances, and reduced costs are now making them something worth considering.

The Upside

Not only do tankless hot water heaters use less power to provide unlimited hot water, but they also use less precious water than virtually any tank-style water heater on the market. In recent years new regulations governing the efficiency of tank-style heaters have gone into place that requires them to meet new and significantly higher standards.

These standards have resulted in making water heaters much larger due to the need for more insulation. While you might wonder how this could be a problem, especially since more insulation means reduced operating costs, there is a problem many don’t stop to think about. In most homes, the hot water heater has a very specific location such as in a closet or space made to fit the current unit. What happens when you have to replace the original heater and the replacement won’t fit because it is too big?

The Answer to the Question

Now that you are faced with the problem of replacing the existing water heater only to find out the new ones are much bigger, you have to choose between relocation, remodeling, or finding an alternative source of hot water for your tenants. You may have once passed up on tankless or on-demand hot water heaters due to cost, but prices have come down as technology has improved.

To be sure, a tankless hot water heater capable of meeting the demands of your tenants can still cost 3 to 4 times a standard tank heater, especially when you add in the cost of the work needed to install it. But today’s tankless units are up to 90 percent energy efficient, meaning your tenants are going to save a lot on their utility bills, savings that can make your rental units more valuable and allow you to capitalize on the current market.

Along with this, there is very little wait time between turning on the faucet and getting hot water. This serves to cut wasted water to a minimum and in doing so helps keep the monthly water bill under control. Whether you are paying the water and sewer bill or your tenants are, installing a tankless water heater can save hundreds of dollars each year, more than paying for the cost of the unit and installation.

Worth noting is that gas units offer better overall capacity and are the better choice for a single whole-house unit. Electrical units will require an upgrade to the electrical service to allow two 60-amp circuit breakers to be installed. This can be quite expensive as you now have to pay for both a plumber and an electrician. You can get around this by installing several smaller electric units, one in the kitchen, one in each bathroom, and one in the laundry room, but cost is something you still need to consider.

Tankless water heaters are starting to stake their claim in the rental market, maybe it’s time you got on board and started to add them to your rental units.