“Can I Install a Tankless Water Heater in My Attic?” Jan in Sacramento Asks an Expert

can i install a tankless water heater in my atticJan has made a big decision, but, as often happens with big decisions, this has given her a bunch of other decisions to make as well. Jan writes:

“Hi there! I’ve recently decided to go ahead and take the plunge. I’m going to invest in a new tankless water heater for my home! The problem is, now I don’t know where exactly it would be best to have it installed. I suppose I could just go ahead and have it put in where the last one was, but I’d like to make the switch to having a tankless water heater instead of a more traditional tank one. My friends and family have been raving about the benefits to me.

Anyway, my main question is this: Can I install a tankless water heater in my attic? It’s basically an empty space up there so I would love to put it to good use. Plus, I figure it would be easier to reach the water heater for repairs. Oh, and I just have to ask if the benefits of tankless water heaters are the real deal—from your expert point of view. It’s not that I don’t trust my loved ones, but I do trust Sacramento’s home plumbing experts more. Thanks in advance!” – Jan in Sacramento

Jan, I love your note because you’re right about so much. First and foremost, you’re right about trusting your loved ones but still wanting to ask an expert when considering big home improvement investments. When it comes to plumbing, there are often more misconceptions than pipes, so it’s best to clear up any and all uncertainties you may have by coming to, that’s right, the pros.

Tankless water heaters, for many folks like Jan, are a new ballgame; with a new ballgame comes all new rules and questions. Questions like whether or not you can, and should, install a tankless water heater in your attic. So, let’s get right to the main questions, then talk about the many benefits you can expect if you install a tankless water heater in your attic—or anywhere else for that matter.

Can I Install a Tankless Water Heater in My Attic?

Whether or not you can install a tankless water heater in your attic depends on your attic. Simply put, as long as there is enough combustion air provided, tankless water heaters can be installed in any area of your home, from a utility room to a garage to, yes, even an old, dusty attic. You will, however, need gas and water pipes that can reach your tankless water heater, which is why, in general, most plumbers recommend simply installing it where your old water heater was located.

…in general, most plumbers recommend simply installing it where your old water heater was located.

installing a tankless water heater in the atticI definitely understand Jan’s impulse to put her tankless water heater in her attic, especially if she’s not using that space and doesn’t like to make the trek down into her basement. However, it makes for a trickier installation job to put it in somewhere new. Any professional plumber worth his or her salt can make it that happen, though. And, a digital controller that adjusts the temperature levels of the tankless water heater can be installed basically anywhere in the house that’s most convenient.

The Many Benefits of Installing a Tankless Water Heater

Now comes the fun part: the many benefits of installing an energy-efficient tankless water heater—in your attic, basement, or anywhere else. So often I find myself discussing unpleasant things like clogged drains or basement toilets backing up. The thing about tankless water heaters, though, is that they actually do provide homeowners with a good number of benefits. Here are some of the most prominent:

  • Guaranteed comfort: Here in the Sacramento region, we have what’s known as a Mediterranean climate, which means hot and dry summers, but damp and chilly winters. I don’t know about you, but for me, this means that there’s nothing as important as a nice hot shower during the winter. Well, one of the main benefits of a tankless water heater is that it provides instant and continuous steaming hot water throughout your home. You never have to worry about running out of hot water on a cold day.
  • Incredible savings: Tankless water heaters tend to be between 24 and 34% more efficient than their conventional counterparts, according to energy.gov. A more efficient appliance means a lower utility bill because your water heater will use less fuel to get your showers hot.
  • Long lifespans: Conventional water heaters have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. Tankless water heaters, however, regularly last up to 20 years or more, making them a great investment over time, especially if you plan to stay in your house for years or decades.

Tankless water heaters tend to be between 24 and 34% more efficient than their conventional counterparts, according to energy.gov.

In closing, I’d just like to say that people like Jan who have heard of tankless water heaters and are intrigued by the benefits are becoming increasingly common—and the plumbing offers new innovations every year, like trenchless sewer repair. Maybe somewhere else out there, there’s someone like Jan who has a question that other homeowners in our area are also curious about. If that’s you, I’d love to hear it! In plumbing, there are no bad questions, just bad pipes, sewers, and water heaters that the experts at Bell Brothers know how to fix!

If you’re one of the many homeowners who want to make the switch to a tankless water heater but aren’t sure where in your house to put it, contact the plumbing experts at Bell Brothers to get a full estimate. And, while we’re visiting, let us give you a whole house assessment for energy efficiency and offer recommendations and upgrades that are sure to increase your year-round comfort—and decrease your power bills.

Wondering how to finance an HVAC system, windows, or plumbing in a new (or well-loved) home? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.

Image courtesy Brilliance Eye