The Real Scoop On Electric Tankless Water Heaters

What’s the scoop on electric tankless water heaters? While most manufacturers of natural gas tankless heaters qualify for the energy star label, tankless electric heaters are not eligible even though 54% of residential water heaters are natural gas, and 38% are electric. In the past, we always referred to our water heaters as just that, water heaters. Not so any longer, in addition to tankless water heaters, they are also called on-demand water heaters, instantaneous water heaters, and point-of-use water heaters.

Why is it Efficient to Go Tankless?

For various reasons, tankless electric water heaters are one of the most energy-efficient options for commercial or residential applications. Heating hot water is a primary focus of the Department of Energy and the EPA because it is the second-largest energy expense in your home. It’s a good starting point when it comes to energy conservation.

They Are about 90% Smaller Than Traditional Heaters

Tankless on-demand electric water heaters are about 90% smaller than traditional storage tank water heaters, allowing the homeowner a little more flexibility when installing them. In some cases, a storage closet could be the best choice for providing an installation solution.

Since the water is heated on-demand, users will enjoy hot water without wasting it.  For example, when a faucet or shower gets turned on, it will travel faster than a tank heater, saving water by eliminating the need to wait for the water to heat up. In addition, tankless electric water heaters have a thermal efficiency rating of 99% percent, which means that 99% of the electricity used in the heating process gets converted into heat. This helps users save up to 50% on their water heating bills by using less electricity to heat water.

Other Organizations Recognizes The Efficiency Of Electric Tankless Water Heaters

The savings are noteworthy, but tankless water heaters are also the ideal choice to meet the demands of the green movement in the US.  Renewable energy sources like solar and wind are growing more popular, especially as more states enact renewable energy mandates. Unfortunately, most storage-tank water heaters and other tankless alternatives require natural gas, which means they still consume fossil fuels, notwithstanding their efficiencies. 

While the EPA’s Energy Star program has yet to endorse this type of water heater, other organizations have recognized their benefits.  For example, the LEED certification program of the US Green Building Council offers certifications to buildings that display various efficiency upgrades throughout their building. The LEED certification program recognizes and approves the tankless electric water heating system.

Trying to Find a Spot Among the Stars

Given the fact that tankless on-demand electric heaters are extremely energy efficient and can save both on electricity costs and carbon emissions, the EPA has yet to grant them Energy Star certification, and the accreditation is yet to be determined. There are two possible explanations for this.  First, Eemax and several other industry competitors formed a coalition to achieve Energy Star label certification. Unfortunately, even though the EPA acknowledged that tankless water heaters provide significant benefits, it did not award it the Energy Star citation since the tank’s efficiency benefits could not be measured.

Electric Tankless Water Heaters Are A Perfect Choice

At Big B’s Plumbing, we support new technology to save water and electricity while preserving the environment for the next generation. Additionally, we are big supporters of the EnergyStar program and promote the EnergyStar label. Here lies the dilemma with electric tankless water heaters. In many areas, electric water heating can potentially replace natural gas, increasing the demand for electricity. While electric tankless water heaters can eliminate standby losses when used in place of storage tank heaters, they have the potential to increase the electricity demand. In relation to heating water, it’s clear that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EnergyStar will support other technology options for heating our water rather than embarking on electricity.

Electric Tankless Water Heaters Last Longer

Whether we want to believe it or not, our utility companies are in the business of promoting and selling electricity. Utility companies support saving energy whenever they can. But with that said, they would encourage the use of electricity over an alternative power source whether it’s the best choice for the environment or not. Electric tankless water heaters outperform storage tank heaters and are an ideal choice regardless of the EnergyStar label. The driving force against these electric heaters is the sustainability movement in the United States. 

High-carbon emitting fossil fuels generate most of today’s electricity. The more power we use, the more greenhouse gases are produced. In general, this movement is against anything that uses electricity. Additionally, electric tankless water heaters have a longer life than gas water heaters.

When you need a plumbing professional, you can trust the experts at Big B’s Plumbing. You’ll always get the value and service you deserve.

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