FPL on Tankless vs. Tank Hot Water Heaters vs. Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters

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FPL on Tankless vs. Tank Hot Water Heaters

Phil Tornelli is a Business Energy Survey Program Manager with over 30 years of experience helping a wide range of customers from small- and medium-sized businesses to large manufacturing facilities reduce their energy costs and improve energy efficiency.

Question: Are tankless water heaters better than traditional water heaters?
- Felix G., Miami

Answer:
Thank you for asking this question, Felix. In today’s cost-conscious society, any way to save energy and money should be explored. The cost-saving benefit of replacing a conventional electric water heater with a tankless electric heater is often overestimated. The energy savings from eliminating the heat losses through a typical insulated storage tank is around $20 to $30 annually. Tankless water heaters (sometimes called instantaneous water heaters) don’t have a water storage tank and therefore water has to be heated much more quickly as it passes through a compact heating unit and typically requires an upgraded electrical circuit to handle the extra power.

Now, there is an attractive alternative to tankless water heaters called a heat pump water heater (HPWH) which requires no electrical upgrades and can save up to approximately $175 annually on water heating costs. Modern heat pump water heaters which take up no more floor space than conventional heaters are reliable and available from several familiar manufacturers with warranties of around 10 years.

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