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Why Big Bear, CA Loves Tankless Water Heaters (And You Should Too!)

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


For decades, water heaters have required dedicated storage space, often in basements or utility closets. Many homeowners and renters deal with a shortage of space, though, especially in closets. The area where a water heater resides could be used as a pantry or for extra storage in an existing house. The area could be incorporated into useful living space or as an additional closet in a new home build.

For Big Bear’s homeowners, efficiency is more of a concern. In recent years, traditional water heaters have been replaced by Tankless Water Heaters, which save space while also operating more efficiently. Property owners can enjoy more comfortable living while also saving money on their own utilities. Here are a few reasons Big Bear’s homeowners are increasingly moving toward tankless water heaters.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

As already stated, tankless water heaters don’t store water in a large tank. Instead, the water turns on only when you need hot water. When you signal that you need hot water, the burner inside the system is ignited. The old water runs through the system and passes over an aluminum heat exchanger. This heat exchanger heats the water directly before letting out the tap.

According to Energy Saver, tankless water heaters provide hot water at 7.6 -15.2 liters per minute.  This can save up to 24-34% of energy in homes that don’t use a lot of hot water and 8-14% in homes that do.

Once the hot water tap is switched off, the system goes into standby mode until you need hot water again. So unlike the traditional water heater, your system isn’t wasting energy trying to heat water all day.

Here’s a step-by-step analogy.

  • The hot water tap is turned on.
  • Water enters the heater.
  • The water flow sensor detects the flow of water.
  • The system automatically ignites the burner.
  • Water circulates through the heat exchanger.
  • Hot water is released from the tap.

Big Bear homeowners love tankless water heaters because of the seamless and efficient process.

Tankless Saves Space

Homeowners are initially drawn to Tankless Water Heaters due to their size. Instead of investing in a large tank, you’ll have a water heater the size of a briefcase, which is generally hung on a wall where it is out of the way. If you own a home with a water tank in a closet, you can remove the tank and free up space for extra storage. But this is only the beginning of the benefits for Big Bear property owners.

Tankless Provides Endless Hot Water

Running out of hot water has become an accepted part of daily life. Families are forced to space their showers, baths, and dishwashing out to avoid water going cold halfway through a shower. For Big Bear’s property owners, this means a never-ending supply of hot water for themselves and the guests they welcome into their homes. After a long day on the ski slopes or playing in the snow, it’s comforting to know you’ll have a long, hot shower waiting at home.

Tankless Cuts Down on Utility Costs


Traditional Water Heaters store warm water 24 hours a day, whereas tankless water heaters heat up water on demand, saving money on utilities. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, tankless water heaters can be 24-34 percent more energy-efficient, saving a typical family $100 or more each year. An investment in an Energy Star-rated tankless water heater can save Big Bear homeowners on their monthly utilities, providing extra money that can be put toward other things.

Tankless Is More Durable

Standard water heaters have a life expectancy of 10-15 years, with many experts advising that they be replaced at the 10-year mark to avoid issues like leaks. A tankless water heater has a life expectancy of 20 years, saving Big Bear homeowners money if they choose to keep their homes. Most importantly, since tankless water heaters don’t hold dozens of gallons of water at a time, the risk of a destructive flood is eliminated.

In addition to the above benefits, having a tankless water heater can also up the value of a home, since prospective buyers will see their longevity as a selling point. Whether you plan to stay in your home for multiple decades or only a few years, a tankless water heater can increase your family’s comfort while also reducing expenses.

Cons of Tankless Water Systems

Like anything else, tankless systems have a few cons; however, the pros outweigh the cons, and Big Bear residents agree. Here are a few cons:

Expensive to Acquire

The main con is that tankless water heater systems are more expensive than traditional systems. They can cost up to 3 times traditional heaters if you include the installation cost. However, they save you more money, so the expense is well worth it.

Inconsistent Water Temperature

Also, the hot water temperature may be inconsistent when multiple sources are put on simultaneously. A tankless water heater converts the water on the go, and the pressure may be overwhelming.

In this case, the best thing is to install multiple tankless water systems. You can also install a separate system for a high-functioning machine such as your washing machine or dishwasher.

No Hot Water During a Power Outage

While a traditional water heater has a tank to store the hot water, a tankless one doesn’t. The implication is that if a blackout suddenly occurs, the system will leave you stranded for a bit. But, what are the chances?

How to Choose a Tankless Water Heater

Before buying a tankless water heater for your Big Bear home, you should consider the following factors.

Fuel Type

There are two types of tankless water heater: gas and electric. Electric heaters generally cost less and are easy to find and install. On the other hand, gas systems are more expensive and complex. However, they save you more money in the long term because they are doubly efficient. You can learn more about choosing a size here.

Energy Savings

When buying a tankless water heater, one of the main priorities should be to buy something that saves energy. You should get a system with a high Energy Factor rating. EF ratings estimate how much energy you can save; however, they may not necessarily identify fuel cost, be it gas or electricity.


Size is significant because it determines whether your system works for you. When determining size, there are two important things.

Temperature Rise: this is determined by subtracting the temperature of the water entering the water heater from the temperature of the water coming out of it.

Flow Rate: You can determine the flow rate by identifying the number of hot water sources that will be active in your home and calculating side by side the total number of gallons that will be needed. Determining the size you need will help you make a more efficient purchase.


Your hot water will come with a warranty, but a good system should have a longer warranty. Since the average life of a tankless hot water system is 20 years, the heat exchanger should have a 10-15 years warranty and about four years on parts.


Your budget is a critical consideration when choosing a system. Ensure you speak to an expert first or do your research to get an estimate on tankless water heaters. Then, take out the exact amount you are willing to not go over before settling on a system.

Installation and Maintenance

Installation and maintenance play critical roles in determining how long your tankless heat pump will serve you.

A qualified plumbing and heating contractor will consider the fuel type of the system, the local climate, safety, home preservation, and local building code requirements when doing the job. This ensures that you increase your home value without any hassle.

When choosing a contractor, ensure that you ask for references from the Big Bear locals, check the company with the local bureau, ask for written cost estimates, and understand the local building code requirements.

After installation, ensure you have periodic maintenance to extend the life and increase the heater’s efficiency.

If you plan on installing or maintaining your tankless heat by yourself, ensure you have consulted the manufacturer first and read the manual thoroughly before starting.

Speak to An Expert Today

A tankless water heater is a game-changer, so you need to jump on it like other Big Bear residents. The cooling specialists at Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating in Big Bear, California, have the experience, expertise, and dedication to help you find and install the perfect tankless water heater. You can also request a quote.

Please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 909-675-0983 today.

Would you like to learn more about installation and the many benefits of tankless water heaters? Download our Tankless Water Heater Buyers Guide

If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.