Tankless water heaters (also called on-demand water heaters) are exactly what they sound like: water heaters minus their storage tanks. Pretty simple. Here’s why we’re so obsessed.
Traditional 30- to 50-gallon water heaters waste energy trying to keep your water hot continuously. Even when they’re not being used. In contrast, tankless water heaters (also called on-demand water heaters) only produce hot water when you turn on the faucet.
Imagine getting the same amount of hot water (or more) from a water heater the size of a carry-on suitcase — while also saving on your utility bill! If your family has to schedule showers around the hot water supply, consider switching to a tankless hot water heater.
How a Tankless Water Heater Works
- When the need for hot water arises — by turning on a shower, washing machine, dishwasher or any other faucet — cold water flows into the on-demand water heater. The water comes from the inlet pipe found at the bottom of the unit.
- A flame is immediately ignited and heats the two heat exchangers. These are devices that transfer heat from one source to another.
- Water is preheated as it passes through a stainless steel heat exchanger, capturing any extra heat (or latent heat) before it escapes into the vent system.
- Water continues to be heated as it passes through the heat exchanger, and exits from the hot water outlet pipe. Hot water then travels through the pipes of the home to the water fixture where it is needed.
- The tankless water heater will adjust its flame output as needed to ensure the temperature set point is maintained.
- As the hot water fixture shuts off, cold water stops flowing into the tankless water heater and the flame extinguishes. The tankless water heater is now off until the next time hot water is needed.
3 Reasons We Love Tankless Water Heaters
Here are the more common reasons cited by our customers (and us) for why we love on-demand water heaters.
1. They Last Longer
The average lifespan of a normal storage-tank water heater is approximately 8 to 12 years. Tankless water heats can last up to 20 years. Opting for a longer-lasting tankless model can save a homeowner from the cost of a replacement every 10-12 years.
2. They Save Space
On-demand water heaters can be mounted on a wall saving you ground and storage space. They are also much more compact than bulky storage water heaters.
3. They Save Money & Energy
The initial installation costs may startle you, but the monthly costs for tankless water heaters are lower.
Even so, the prices are coming down as they become more popular. Expect to save money on gas or electricity due to the efficiency of tankless water heaters. And yes, they’re more environmentally friendly too. Finally, the upfront cost will pay for itself by the time you’d normally need a new tank-style water heater.
Hot Water On Demand
This is probably the main reason so many people have started buying tankless systems.
With a traditional storage-tank water heater, households have a limited supply of hot water. In fact, the supply is capped by how much water the tank holds. Anyone from a family of four or more knows what it’s like to be the last one in the shower. It’s cold!
Tankless water heaters ensure hot water immediately and never run out. Their high-powered gas burners or electric coils heat the water only when and how long you need it.
It’s up to you to decide whether a tankless water heater is right for your home. With almost every purchase, there are pros and cons. So pick the water heater that best fits your water usage, lifestyle situation, and budget.
But keep in mind a tankless water heater. They’re a great choice for larger families or those looking to save money over the long run.
- Tankless water heaters: pros and cons
- Do you need a water heater booster?
- Recirculation pumps: another way to get instant hot water
- A clear guide to the parts of a water heater
- How long does a tank-style water heater last?
- A water heater blanket can help prevent cold showers!
- Does my water heater need a water softener?
- How to restore hot water to a water heater
1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.