Tankless water heaters, also called instantaneous or demand-type, provide hot water when needed only. Unlike storage water heaters, it only provides hot water when you need it, so it prevents unnecessary energy losses.
A plumbing contractor understands the benefits of using tankless water heaters, such as energy efficiency, water-on-demand ability, longer life expectancy, etc. However, as a regular homeowner, you may not have the same information about this device. So you may not know whether or not the tankless water heater is beneficial and why you should buy one. That’s why we’re writing this article to keep you informed.
How the tankless water heaters work
These water heaters directly heat water without using a storage tank. When a user turns the hot water tap, cold water moves into the unit through a pipe, and the electric element or gas burner in the unit heats the water passing through it consistently. So it can provide hot water constantly without waiting for enough hot water to fill a storage tank. However, the output limit of the tankless water heater may limit the flow rate.
Tankless water heaters typically provide up to 7.6 – 15.2 liters (2-5 gallons) of hot water per minute. The gas-powered tankless water heaters have a higher flow rate than the electrically-powered ones. However, sometimes, even the most significant gas-fired models may not supply enough hot water for multiple households to use simultaneously. For instance, running the dishwasher and taking a shower simultaneously may stretch the device to its limit.
So if your home uses lots of hot water, you should consider installing more than one tankless water heater to cater to your burning water needs.
Benefits of tankless water heaters
The cost is the bottom line for many people, and tankless water heaters help reduce monthly electric bills because of their energy efficiency. You can quickly determine the amount of hot water your household needs daily and educate everyone about the energy efficiency of this device.
If you have a small family or use less than 41 gallons daily, these water heaters provide more efficiency by 24% and 34%. So it helps to save hundreds of dollars per year.
The traditional storage water heater can last up to a decade – which is a very long time. However, the average tankless heaters have twice their life expectancy, so they can last up to two decades – which is a very, very long time. If you’re a homeowner staying put in your house for a long time, then you’ll value the importance of this life expectancy more than those planning to move on to another home.
Another aspect of tankless water heaters is that they’re space-saving, which is an extra selling point for many people. Storage water heaters have an average size of 60 x 24 inches and have its closet where it resides. However, a tankless water heater averages the size of some shoe boxes. This gives homeowners more space to store other things instead of storing hot water that they may not need in another 5-6 hours. This feature is a pretty interesting one for homeowners looking to maximize the space in their homes.
These heaters are called instantaneous water heaters, too, because they provide hot water instantly. Unlike the storage heaters that take a while to heat the water in the storage tank, tankless water heaters heat the water as it passes through it and provide hot water immediately. This device will continue to heat water passing through it constantly and instantaneously as long as you leave the tap running. So they’re not only energy and space-efficient, but they’re also time-efficient.
A big concern for many families, especially those with young kids, is the safety of the device they’re buying. However, tankless water heaters are very safe, so they don’t have to worry about anything.
The traditional storage water heater may overheat, and in a few instances, may explode. However, tankless water heaters hold little to no water in them, which reduces the threat of explosion or overheating.
Also, if you use a storage heater and have experienced a water heater leak, you know how much damage you can get from a storage heater. However, leaking is unlikely in tankless units because of the minimal amount of water in them. And if the leaking happens, it’s unlikely to cause any significant damage.
Tankless water heaters have many benefits over the traditional storage heater, which makes them considerably better. If you’re considering a water heater, you should think twice before settling for the tankless option.