Some facts regarding tankless water heaters. They have been used throughout Europe and Asia during the last 40 years. Tankless water heaters are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Tankless water heaters are also called instantaneous, point of use, and demand water heaters.

Tankless water heater are about 10%-20% more efficientthan tanked heaters, depending on circumstances. Tank type or conventional water heaters lose heat through the tank covering and need to be reheated periodically throughout the day. Water heating accounts for 14%-25% of most homes annual energy use.

Tankless water heaters are available in natural and propane gas, or electric models. They come in many different sizes and can be used for numerous applications. Some of these uses are as a whole house water heater, a separate hot water source for a remote bathroom, or as a boiler to provide hot water for a home heating system. Smaller tankless water heaters can also be used to boost water temperature for dishwashers, washing machines, and as a supplement for solar domestic hot water system when there is not enough sun to heat the storage tank.

Gas-powered tankless water heaters are the most efficient, but are the most difficult to install and require venting.

Electric tankless water heaters are definitely more efficient than tank electric heaters but are less efficient than gas tank type water heaters. Since electric tankless heaters are much less powerful, than gas tankless heaters their flow rates are much lower approximately .5 to 3.5 gallons per minute. Point-of-use electric heaters are an excellent choice for a remote faucet or bathroom where usage is minimal and the flow rate is small.

When you compare water heaters, a number of factors have to be determined. The cost to install the heater, how hot you normally like your water, the number of people that will be using hot water in your home, and the cost of gas and electricity in your area.

Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of tankless water heaters.

Advantages:

  • Uses less energy due to no standby loss in the tanks or pipes
  • Continuous supply of hot water, you will not run out if sized properly
  • Long life-span than tank type heaters
  • Compact size

Disadvantages:

  • Some tankless heaters have difficulty coping with large households
  • More expensive than tank water heaters
  • Owners may wait longer for hot water to arrive at a faucet

With tankless water heaters, there is a short delay between the time when the water begins flowing and when the heater’s flow detector activates the heating elements or gas burner. In the case of continuous use applications showers, dishwashing, baths, and washing machines this does not present a problem. Sometimes during intermittent operation such as turning water on an off for shaving or hand washing this may result in periods of hot water, then some small amount of tepid water as the heater activates. This would only occur if the faucet was left over for several minutes.

Installing a tankless water heater is more costly than a tank type heater especially in retrofit applications. If a storage water heater is being replaced with a tankless one, the size of the electrical wiring or gas pipeline may have to be increased to handle the load and the existing vent pipe may have to be replaced, possibly adding expense to the retrofit installation.

Contact Triplett today to see if a tankless water heater can lower your water heating cost.

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