Why install a tankless water heater?
For over a 100 years, water heaters used tanks to store and heat large amounts of water, ready for use at any time. One more modern invention is the tankless water heater, which, as the name would suggest, does not have a tank. Instead, water is heated as it is used.
It may sound impossible to instantly heat water, but tankless water heaters can provide up to 10 gallons of hot water per minute. These water heaters can even be more energy-efficient than their traditional counterparts.
While a little more expensive upfront, tankless water heaters are usually cheaper to run and will last longer than standard water heaters. Furthermore, as they do not require a tank, tankless water heaters will also save space, perfect for small homes.
How much does a tankless water heater cost?
|Type of water heater||Cost + VAT |
(Range low - high)
|Tankless water heater cost (all types)||£344 - £1,530||£937|
|Electric tankless water heater cost||£344 - £765||£555|
|Gas tankless water heater price||£344 - £1,530||£937|
|Rinnai tankless water heater price||£688 - £1,527||£1,107|
|Navien tankless water heater price||£823 - £1,263||£1,043|
|Noritz tankless water heater price||£394 - £1,300||£847|
The upfront cost for a tankless water heater is relatively affordable when you take into account the savings you will make down the line on energy bills. Every tankless water heater price will be different, depending on factors (more on this later), such as brand and fuel source.
Your tankless water heater cost will usually fall into the range of £344 – £1,530, with an average cost of £937.
Common types of tankless water heater
When choosing a tankless water heater there are a number of fuel and size options. The right choice for you will depend on your needs, the amount of hot water required and personal preference. The most common options are as follows:
- Electric: Popular and easily available, electric tankless water heaters are also environmentally friendly.
- Gas: Gas tankless water heaters are another popular, excellent option. They work better than electric heaters in colder locations and are generally a safe choice.
- Oil: Harder to find, oil tankless water heaters are very efficient, heating water rapidly. They can be more costly than electric or gas to purchase.
- Solar: Solar tankless water heaters are perfect for sunny, warmer climates. They can be very expensive initially but are very environmentally friendly.
- Single point: This is a tankless water heater installed to provide hot water in a single location. These heaters are cheaper but can only supply heated water to a specific room or appliance. In order to have warm water throughout your home, you would need a single point heater for every hot water location. For example, a water heater for every bathroom or appliance.
- Whole house: Whole house tankless water heaters are designed to heat water throughout a home. They are more expensive than single point heaters, but most homes only need one. Please note, if you have a large home with a high demand for hot water, you may need multiple whole house tankless water heaters.
Find a tankless water heater specialist
You may feel a little hesitant about taking a chance on a tankless water heater, but they offer a wide number of benefits over conventional heaters. Below are a few of the great advantages:
- They offer greater energy efficiency.
- You can expect reduced energy bills.
- As they have no tanks, they are space-saving.
- If looked after, they can be very long-lasting, in some cases lasting over 20 years.
- It is usually easy to find replacement parts.
- You can look forward to on-demand hot water. No waiting for your bath or shower!
If you’re keen to minimise your water use, you should also read our guide on how to reduce water bills.
Disadvantages of tankless water heaters
Of course, as with everything, tankless water heaters do have a few disadvantages over traditional water heaters:
- Unfortunately, the initial cost is higher.
- Gas-fired tankless water heaters can waste more energy than electric options.
- With electric tankless water heaters there is no spare hot water in case of a power outage.
- You may need multiple heaters to cope with demand in large houses.
Factors affecting tankless water heater pricing
It can be tricky to correctly budget for a tankless water heater without considering the following factors:
- Fuel source: Electric, oil, gas or solar, the fuel source your water heater uses will impact the price you pay. Generally, electric tankless water heaters are the most affordable and solar options are the most expensive.
- Quantity: The more tankless water heaters (single point or whole house) you require, the higher the price you will pay.
- Brand: As with most things, the brand of your new water heater will dictate the total cost.
- Energy efficiency: More energy-efficient options may be more expensive initially, however, the savings in running costs will more than make up for this.
- Size: Larger tankless water heaters have a greater capacity for producing constantly flowing hot water but will be more costly.
- Accessibility: Depending on where your water heater will be installed, you may be charged a premium for difficult to access areas.
- Cost to remove old heater: Never forget to account for the cost of removing your old heater. This may be included in your quoted tankless water heater price, but it is always worth checking.
- Gas piping: If you choose a gas-fuelled tankless water heater, you may need to pay extra for new gas piping.
- Electric outlet: Your new water heater may need a higher capacity outlet than you currently have. You can expect to pay an additional cost to upgrade this.
Electric tankless water heater cost
Without the need for gas piping, electric water heaters simply connect to a nearby outlet. These types of tankless water heater are quite affordable and very popular.
The average electric tankless water heater cost is £555.
Gas tankless water heater price
These water heaters are very common and readily available, plus are perfect for use in colder climates.
The average gas tankless water heater price is £937.
Rinnai tankless water heater cost
Usually gas-fuelled, Rinnai water heaters are efficient and even available with wi-fi connections.
The average Rinnai tankless water heater cost is £1,107.
Navien tankless water heater price
Navien heaters are also gas-fired and have been sold for nearly 15 years.
The average Navien tankless water heater price is £1,043.
Noritz tankless water heater price
Finally, Noritz water heaters are an inexpensive branded option. They have been in production for over 50 years.
The average Noritz tankless water heater price is £847.
Can I install a tankless water heater myself?
Installing a tankless water heater is not usually a DIY job due to the potential for fatal errors. It is extremely dangerous to work with gas and electric without proper training and experience. It is also essential you comply with building regulations when installing a tankless water heater.
Despite not needing a water tank, these heaters can be difficult to fit, particularly in awkward spaces. Furthermore, if your tankless water heater is not installed safely it could lead to injury to yourself and your family and/or damage to your home.
There’s also the not so small challenge of removing your existing water heater, which can be a highly challenging (and heavy!) job.
We would strongly recommend hiring a professional. To find a local, reputable, tradesperson in your area and get a personalised tankless water heater installation quote use our free search feature.
How do I maintain a tankless water heater?
Without a tank that can potentially cause irreparable damage from a small leak, tankless water heaters are usually a less risky option. As long as they are properly looked after, they can last much longer than traditional water heaters.
- Tankless water heaters are relatively low maintenance.
- A yearly descaling is essential to remove mineral deposits.
- A yearly service by a professional is recommended to get ahead of any future issues.
What extra costs should I consider?
When budgeting for your tankless water heater, it is important to allocate funds for the following:
- Extra gas piping if the water heater is gas-fired.
- Insulation to protect and increase the efficiency of the tankless water heater.
- Removing the current heater.
- Electric outlet upgrades if the water heater is electric.
Useful tankless water heater checklist
- Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient and usually last longer than standard water heaters.
- The average tankless water heater price may be higher than that of a traditional heater. However, the reduced energy bills more than make up for this.
- Factors such as fuel source and size of the tankless water heater will impact the price you pay.
- Electric heaters are the most reasonable, whilst solar ones are the most expensive.
- It is dangerous and risky to attempt to install a tankless water heater without proper training.
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