Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, are becoming increasingly popular in households across the country. Compared to traditional storage tank water heaters, tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient, cost-effective, and occupy less space. When considering a tankless water heater for your home, it is helpful to understand how these systems work and how your home and family can benefit from this addition.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless water heater is a type of water heater that heats water directly as it flows through the device – without the use of a storage tank. Tankless water heaters use high-powered burners or heat coils to heat water instantly as it flows through a heat exchanger. The hot water is delivered to your taps or shower heads on-demand, providing you with a continuous supply of hot water.
How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?
When you turn on a hot water tap, cold water flows through a pipe into the tankless water heater. The water is then heated by the heat exchanger. As a result, the water is heated instantly, and hot water flows out of your tap or shower head. This process is known as “on-demand” or “instantaneous” hot water.
Types of Tankless Water Heaters
There are two types of tankless water heaters: electric and gas-powered.
- Electric tankless water heaters are powered by electricity and use heating elements to heat the water. They are more energy-efficient than traditional storage tank water heaters, but can be expensive to operate if you have high hot water usage or live in an area with high electric energy costs. Electric tankless systems can also be subject to loss of use during power outages and have a shorter lifespan than gas versions.
- Gas-powered tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are powered by natural gas or propane. They use a burner to heat the water, making them more energy-efficient than electric models. However, they require proper ventilation and can be expensive to install. Gas or propane tankless systems have a longer lifespan than electric versions, which can help offset some of the initial upfront installation costs, since you won’t have to replace the system as soon as you would with an electric version.
Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters
There are several advantages of tankless water heaters, which make them a popular choice among homeowners:
- Energy-efficient: Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than traditional storage tank water heaters, as they only heat water when needed. This can save you up to 30% on your energy bills.
- Space-saving: Tankless water heaters are compact and occupy less space than traditional storage tank water heaters. They can be installed on walls, saving valuable floor space.
- Unlimited hot water supply: Tankless water heaters provide a continuous supply of hot water, unlike traditional storage tank water heaters, which can run out of hot water.
- Longer lifespan: Tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan than traditional storage tank water heaters. They can last up to 20 years, compared to 8-12 years for storage tank water heaters.
Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters
While there are several advantages of tankless water heaters, there are also some disadvantages to consider:
- High initial cost: Tankless water heaters are more expensive to purchase and install than traditional storage tank water heaters.
- Limited hot water flow: If you have high hot water usage, you may need to install multiple tankless water heaters to meet your hot water demand.
- Complex installation: Tankless water heaters require proper ventilation and may require additional upgrades to your gas or electric supply.
Things To Consider When Deciding if a Tankless System Is Right for Your Home:
- Location of your home
- Size of household and hot water use
- Number of sources using hot water (helps to determine size of system needed)
- Flow rate of the system you are looking to purchase
- Power or fuel sources available to power the system
- Costs associated with use of the fuel or power available
- Budget available
- Energy efficiency
- Upfront costs
Count On Us for Quality Installation
Tankless water heaters can be a great way to provide your home with instant and continuous access to hot water, as well as make your energy use more efficient. They can typically be installed in any home because they can be powered by natural gas, propane, or electricity. They do tend to have a higher upfront cost due to the units themselves and installation being more expensive, however their longer lifespan makes up for the higher upfront costs.
If you are considering a tankless water heater for your home, call the professionals at Winston’s at 703-379-5006 or reach out online now. We can help you decide which system will best fit your household’s needs!