Common Myths About Tankless Hot Water Heaters

Tankless hot water heaters have been around for a couple decades now, and are very common in Europe and Asia. Recently they have come to North America and have just started to become more popular and gain momentum. This is a good thing as many people didn’t, and most still don’t know there is another option to standard tank water heaters!

Although confidently used overseas in Europe and Asia, it’s a different story here in America where it’s still a new technology– there is a lot of misinformation and misconceptions about tankless water heaters. Here are some common myths, along with the facts to get it straight for you.

Myth 1 – They are expensive

When initially upgrading your system from a tank to a tankless unit, the changeover and installation may be expensive but this is because you are switching over to a newer technology. Although it is expensive upfront to upgrade, when compared to each other, a tankless unit is significantly more efficient and will pay for itself in time. Tankless units are approximately 20-30% more energy efficient as they generally have a energy factor of 0.80 – 0.95, whereas tank style units have an energy factor of around 0.6 as they are constantly drawing energy 24/7 to keep a tank of water hot, as opposed to a tankless that only draws power on demand, when you need it.

Myth 2 – They deliver hot water instantly

Many people think that when tankless hot water heaters give hot water instantly, they think it literally will be at the instant they turn the tap. This simply isn’t the case. Tankless heaters do immediately start producing hot water when the tap is turned on, but it does take a few seconds for that water to heat up as it runs through the unit, and move through the piping to reach your faucet – the same way with a traditional tank heater, it needs time to move through the pipes in your home.

Myth 3 – They need natural gas to run

Not true, there is more than one type! Tankless hot water heaters come in different varieties such as electric, propane and natural gas powered. So you’re certainly NOT limited to just natural gas!

Myth 4 – They need complicated ventilation

There are a number of venting options for different types of tankless heaters.

Electric units require no venting as there is no exhaust given off

Propane/Gas units need venting to the outside – there are outdoor models which have a built-in blower for direct ventilation, or indoor models which need a special vent installed


I hope this post helps clear up some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding tankless hot water heaters. They are a wonderful alternative to traditional tank heaters that provide:

  • better energy efficiency by up to 20-30%
  • don’t use energy 24/7 like traditional units, but rather only on demand
  • take up less space
  • have an adjustable thermostat so you can control how hot you want it
  • last longer than tank style heaters
  • provides endless hot water that doesn’t run out