Tankless water heaters, also referred to as on-demand or instantaneous water heaters are powered by gas or electricity to rapidly heat water only as it is needed. The heaters have high-powered burners which heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger and exits towards the shower or kitchen faucets for use – without the need for storage in a tank. These types of water heaters are pretty different from tank storage water heaters, and tests by Consumer Reports have found them to be 22% more energy efficient than the latter.
How are the tankless water heater options different from tank storage options?
Traditional storage tank water heaters are common in most homes. The heaters have an insulated tank with a capacity of around 30 to 50 gallons where water is heated and stored until it’s needed. The heaters also use gas or electricity, and most homeowners prefer them to tankless options because of their low initial purchase and installation costs. However, they have more drawbacks than tankless heaters and hence the latter is often a better option.
Benefits of tankless water heater options
Energy and money savings
With a tankless water heater that heats around 40 gallons or less of water per day, your home can enjoy energy savings of between 24% and 34% according to the Energy.gov compared to when using storage tank water heaters. This will save you huge on gas or electricity bills.
Tankless water heater options have a longer useful life than storage tank water heater options. They can typically last between 20 to 30 years – almost double the lifetime of a storage tank heater.
No storage space needed
On-demand water heaters can be fitted in tight spaces since no space is required to install a storage tank.
They provide instantaneous water heating
Tank storage water heaters take a longer time to heat water compared to tankless heater options. The latter offers rapid heating and delivers 2 to 3 gallons of hot water per minute.
Tankless water heater options are however costly to purchase and install, and they are at times challenged in supplying water for simultaneous, multiple uses in large households. However, the problem can be overcome by installing two or more tankless water heaters.
Water heater maintenance
Periodic maintenance is imperative for any water heater option. It can significantly extend the life of your tankless water heater, minimize efficiency loss, and help you identify problems early before they become costly repairs.
Read your owner’s manual for recommended maintenance instructions, or consult a water heater maintenance expert for guidance today!