Most homeowners have heard of tankless water heaters, but most never explore beyond knowing they exist. The fact is, basic tankless water heater technology has been around for over a century. Still, it wasn’t until the last 20 to 30 years that it became a viable option compared to a storage tank heater. While they are gaining in popularity, they still have misconceptions attached to them. Tankless water heaters are also called continuous flow, flash, on-demand, instant-on, inline, and instantaneous water heaters. For those that don’t know, the heater is called tankless because it does not have a water storage tank attached to it. If you’re tired of running out of hot water, then consider a tankless water heater.
Tankless Water Heaters Provide Constant, Continual Flow Of Hot Water
The heater works by instantly heating water as it flows through the appliance. It does not retain water except for a small amount that’s left behind in the exchanger coil. The main advantage, of course, is instantaneous water to your tap or showerhead. Instant might be slightly misleading because the water left behind in the line must first remove itself before you can enjoy the hot water, which usually takes a few seconds. The heater provides a constant, continual flow of hot water compared to a conventional heater, which is limited to its tank size. Another advantage is it takes up a fraction of the space compared to a storage tank heater.
Storage Tank Heaters Burn Energy 24/7/365
The whole premise behind these tankless water heaters is saving fuel and water. With a conventional water heater, the pilot is always burning and heating the water as it cools. With an on-demand heater, it only heats the water as you need it, making it ultra-efficient. The way we heat water in the U.S. is ridiculously wasteful. Most households use a 40 to 50-gallon storage tank heater then we pour energy into them, 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Yet we must give some credit to the latest technologies in storage tank heaters. Engineers have been able to reduce energy costs in some units by up to 30% over units made ten years ago. The fact still stands that the storage tank heater must use energy around the clock to keep up with the demand for hot water.
Some Things To Consider
There is still a lot to consider when making a tankless water heater purchase.
- Water heater size, because the size will matter
- local building codes
- Fuel type
- How much hot water will your family need
There are precise calculations that will help you select the right water heater for your home, and your Big B’s Plumbing contractor will help you make the proper calculations.
Invest In A Tankless Water Heater
Here is the big question: Is it worth it? If you are solely making a decision based on cost, then it might be best to stick with a conventional water heater. A decision to purchase a tankless heater should be made based on a long term investment in your home as well as the features it provides.
Tankless water heater features:
- Instant hot water vs. waiting for water to heat
- Hot water is generated when you need it and for as long as you want.
- The unit only uses fuel when the unit is producing hot water.
- According to Energy.gov, when households use 41 gallons of or less hot water per day, a tankless water heater can be 24% to 34% more energy-efficient than a conventional water heater. A gas-fired tankless water heater can save a homeowner a hundred dollars annually.
- A conventional tank water heater has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, while an on-demand heater is 20 to 25 years.
- The latest technologies come with your on-demand heater. It will connect right to your smartphone telling you when your heater needs maintenance.
- According to Energy.gov, even electric tankless heaters can put $44 a year in energy savings back in a homeowner’s pocket.
Reap the Benefits
Why not make the purchase? Cost! It could cost homeowners two or three times the price of a storage tank heater after installation. That’s why you need to consider this purchase a long term investment in your home. Another consideration is that homes with a tankless water heater are sold for 4 percent more than their expected value. Also, the same homes sold 43 days sooner, according to the Zillow analysis.