The Basics of a Tankless Water Heater
Posted by MM Comfort BLOG
If you are shopping for a new water heater for your home, have you considered a tankless water heater?
Did you know that tankless water heaters are extremely efficient? Approximately 20 percent of your home’s energy costs come from heating water for everything from running the dishwasher to bathing, so why not consider the newest in tankless technology?
How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?
In essence, tankless water heaters work by heating water on-demand. Traditional tank heaters heat water and then store it in a storage vessel until it’s needed. The tanks are large, typically anywhere from 20 gallons to 100 gallons, depending on the number of people in the household.
Conversely, tankless heaters use a series of coils to heat water as it is needed. This is why this type of water heater is also called a “demand” or an “instantaneous” water heater. The water is heated as it flows through a relatively small mecahnism, by either a natural gas burner or an electric heating element. In most cases, hot water will be generated at a rate of three-five gallons per minute.
Tankless Water Heater Benefits
- Continuous Hot Water: With a tankless heater, hot water will continuously be supplied because there is no finite amount of water retained in a storage tank. Hot water can indefinitely be generated without the worry that the water may start to run cold.
- Efficiency: If the household normally consumes on average 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. Typically, less energy is required than in a traditional system because you will not have to maintain a certain temperature of stored water. To obtain the most efficient results, it’s important to install the demand heater near where you will be using it the most, rather than on the opposite end of the house.
- Lifespan: according to energy.gov, tankless heaters have a longer lifespan than conventional models, at an average of more than 20 years, as opposed to 10-15 years.
- Space/Size: Because there is no storage tank involved, demand heaters take up much less space than conventional tank water heaters. And, it is often possible to install an on-demand unit in a location where a conventional heater will not fit such as on a wall or other interior surface.
Tankless Water Heater Drawbacks
One drawback to tankless heaters is that they may not deliver quite as much hot water over a set amount of time (such as the first hour) as a conventional water heater. Therefore, it is important to consider whether you need to consistently draw hot water for multiple purposes at the same time (such as showering and doing laundry.).
Additionally, the cost may be high to initially install this type of water heater. The expense to operate will generally be lower if the heater is run on natural gas; if you opt for an electric unit, you may face significant expense to upgrade your electrical system to the necessary capacity.
Consult a Professional Today!
If you are ready to learn more about the benefits of a tankless water heater system, look no further than MM Comfort Systems, serving the Seattle, Redmond, and Bellevue areas of Washington. Our expert service professionals can guide you in making a decision that best meets your needs, offering advice and knowledge gained over many years of experience. Give us a call today at 425.881.7920 (Eastside), or 206.629.2039 (Seattle), or use our convenient online form to arrange a free consultation!