Why Install A Tankless Water Heater
There are two main reasons people research and install a modern tankless water heater.
1. They love never running out of hot water
2. They are looking for energy efficient water heater options
There are certainly other reasons to own a tankless water heater, so let’s explore the ideas most researched by those with an interest or curiosity.
Your water heater accounts for around 17% of your homes total energy consumption. That makes savings relating to your water heaters energy cost significant. In fact, your water heater is likely second only to your homes heating and cooling systems with regard to energy expense.
The other reason people research a tankless water heater is that they hate running out of hot water. Certainly no one likes getting halfway through a shower and having the water turn cold. This is especially true here in the mountains where the water can get VERY cold!
So let’s look at the tankless water heater option to see if it might be right for you.
How is a tankless water heater different and how does it work?
Your “Tank” Type Water Heater
Your typical water heater has a “tank” which stores 40 or more gallons of heated water. The water in the tank is heated continually whether it is needed or not, so it will be available when the faucet is turned on. Think of it as a huge pot of water on the stove that takes a lot of time to heat and once emptied the process begins all over. The heat used to heat the water when it in not needed is “wasted energy”‘.
The other factor in a “tank type water heater is it can and will run out of hot water once the amount stored is drained in use. The tank can not heat water fast enough to keep up with the flow once it is drained.
In addition to these two main points a tank type water heater is large and takes up considerable space, and because there is a large “tank” of water, a leak has the potential for serious damage to your home.
In most cases a “tank” type water heater will have a typical service life of about 7 years.
A Modern “Tankless” Water Heater
Though tankless water heaters have been in existence for decades, they have been the primary focus for energy efficiency development in recent years. There are reasons a tankless water heater can out perform a tank style water heater that are integrated into its unique design.
Unlike a tank style water heater a tankless water heater does not use a large storage tank for heating water. A very small tank of only a couple of gallons is heated by a high capacity burner that can heat the water that enters as fast as it can exit. This provides a continual, never ending, flow of hot water for as long as you would like. The unit is sized for the number of showers or sinks you wish to operate at any one time and can be sized for anything from a single shower all the way up to an infinite number of showers all operating at the same time. This is great for large families.
In addition to the continual flow of hot water, the tankless design does not require any energy when hot water is not needed. It simply turns off and awaits the next call for instant hot water.
The newer models have available programable hot water recirculating capacity that make the hot water available to the faucet within a second or two which also saves in water use. No more turning on the hot water and waiting a few minutes for it to heat up.
In addition to the efficiency and convenience of a tankless water heater, it is also highly reliable, with the best brands offering 10 year warranties. It is not uncommon to see a twenty year old tankless water heater still in service.
What’s the catch?
Ok, so what’s the catch? Why is this the only type of water heater used? The “catch” if any is, it costs a little more to purchase. That said, if you do the math and plan to be around for a few years, the extended life and energy saving pays for the difference. But the big payoff is certainly lifestyle and comfort! It would be rare is not impossible to find anyone who once had a tankless heater to want to go back. People love them!
Summery of benefits of a tankless water heater:
– Lower energy bills
– Less water use (when used with a programable recirculating type system)
– Endless hot water (wonderful)
– Longer life span
– Smaller installation footprint
– Reduced flooding risk
So, if you’re considering for a new or replacement water heater, the best choice for energy savings might well be a modern tankless water heater.
We at Bianco Plumbing, sell, service, and professionally install, high efficiency water heaters, of both the tank and tankless design. Give us a call and we can discuss the best option for your family and answer any questions you may have.