any homeowners consider installing a tankless water heater in their home long before their existing water heaters have reached the end of their useful life. The tankless models are designed to conserve energy and water alike, and many people upgrade to a tankless model to save money and to promote a healthier environment.
Other homeowners will wait until their existing hot water heater completely dies before considering an upgrade to a tankless model. However, many wonder if a tankless model is the right style of hot water heater for their home. Fischer Plumbing can assist with all of your tankless hot water heater needs. Before you make the decision to buy a tankless model, however, you should learn more about how they work.
With a tank-style hot water heater, water is heated in a tank and stored until it is needed. When water is needed, cold water must pass through the pipes until the hot water fills the pipes. These models are deemed to waste energy because they keep water stored in the tank at a heated temperature, even when there is no immediate demand for hot water in the home. Further, there is typically many gallons of wasted water because they require you to run the cold water through the pipes before you can enjoy hot water. The amount of time it takes to get hot water depends on how far it is from the tankless hot water heater.
Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, do not store water. They heat water on demand, and this saves energy. The process of heating the water is triggered when the tankless hot water heater senses the demand for hot water, which occurs when you turn on the hot water tap. This may be in the shower, in the kitchen or bathroom sink, or in the laundry room. The tankless hot water heater will heat the water as it goes through the heat exchanger, which is activated by the incoming water as it flows through. When you turn the hot water tap off the heat exchanger shuts down, saving energy and money. This is very different from more common tank-style hot water heaters, which store large quantities of heated water in a tank.
The bottom line is that Tankless water heaters require less energy, but they also are money to purchase and install. Consumer reports found that gas tankless hot water heaters are 22% more energy efficient than their more common gas storage tank models. This equates to a savings of around $70-$80 per year, using 2008 national energy costs. However, they cost much more than storage type water heaters, so it can take over 20 years to recover the initial cost. On top of that, they are designed to heat water more quickly which results in water savings. You generally do not have to wait for the cold water to run through the pipes as you have to do with a storage water heater. Further, because water is heated as it passes through the tankless models, you will never run out of hot water to a single source.
A downside, however, there is a limit to how much hot water is produced at a time. If multiple family member are using hot water for showers, kitchen or background sinks, etc. there may be intermittent hot water. In a large home, or if you have a big family and heavy water usage, you may need to install two or more tankless models.
Before you purchase a tankless model, you should estimate your hot water demands and compare your demands against the output provided by a tankless model. Consider if your home will require two or more heaters to be installed in order to satisfy your needs for hot water. Also, analyze the estimated cost savings associated with using a tankless model against the estimated cost savings for a tank-style model. These steps can help you to determine the financial benefit you may enjoy by installing a tankless hot water heater. You may also want to take into account the convenience of having hot water on demand, rather than having to wait until a normal tank hot water heater brings the water to a comfortable temperature.
If you need assistance with this, Fischer Plumbing can help. Whether you decide to install a tankless model or a traditional, tank-style model, the professional assistance of a plumbing company is needed to remove your existing water heater and install a new one.