Your water heater has reached the end of its life and you have to make a quick decision. Do you rent your next water heater or do you buy it outright and pay the costs up-front? When you’re not getting any hot water coming out of the faucets, you’re under pressure just to get it fixed and you don’t have time to sit down with a calculator and figure out what makes more sense for your pocket book. Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of renting vs. buying your water heater which should shed some light on your decision.

Pros of Buying Your Water Heater

Many homeowners choose to buy their water heater because it can save them money. A traditional water heater lasts between 8-12 years, while a tankless water heater kept in a good state of repair can keep going for up to 20 years. The up-front costs spread out over that period can be more affordable than the monthly rental fee.

Cons of Buying Your Water Heater

When you buy a water heater, you not only pay for the unit itself, you also have to pay for installation. The up-front costs can be significant and often comes as a surprise you likely haven’t budgeted for. As much as you plan on being proactive about home repairs, it’s easy to forget about your water heater until there’s a problem. You’re also on the hook for paying the plumbing company. The average national up front cost of installing and buying a water heater is around $1,000.

Pros of Renting Your Water Heater

Renting your water heater means you pay monthly, but there are no up-front costs to install a new one. If you’re short on cash when your current water heater needs to be replaced, it can save you from having to dip into your emergency funds or putting it all on credit – which can quickly get expensive. Some companies also include guaranteed service when you rent your water heater from them. Service visits are included in the monthly fee you pay, so you never have to worry about paying for maintenance or emergency repairs. New tankless water heaters also need annual maintenance, especially if you have hard water. Renting your water heater could save you money in the long run with the right service plan.

Cons of Renting Your Water Heater

If you wind up needing very little maintenance and you get the most out of its lifespan, it may be more cost-efficient to buy your water heater outright. However, you are taking on some risks when you choose to buy that could make renting more affordable. Ultimately, the biggest downside to renting your water heater is spending money you may not have to if you have a trouble-free, long-lasting water heater, which isn’t such a bad thing in the end.

Renting your water heater makes a lot of sense if you don’t want to deal with the hassle or the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.