Tankless Water Heaters: When, Why, and How to Buy One

Nothing spoils a relaxing hot shower more than a spray that suddenly turns ice cold — except perhaps the accompanying realization that you might need a new water heater. If your conventional unit is more than 10 years old, shows signs of leaks around the base, or operates erratically despite your best efforts at do-it-yourself troubleshooting, it’s probably time to start shopping around for a replacement.

Fortunately, when investing in a new system, you’re not limited to buying a model identical to the one you currently own. In fact, you might consider upgrading to a unit with a larger capacity, or opting for a more energy-efficient tankless unit so you can shrink your monthly bills (water heating can account for up to 30 percent of the average household’s energy costs).

Here’s how to decide whether making the switch makes sense for your household and, if so, how to shop for such an important upgrade. READ MORE

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