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Tankless Water Heaters to the Rescue

How many times has this scenario played out in your house: You step into your shower and five minutes in the water runs cold? If you have more than one water line running hot water with a conventional tank heater, you can run out of hot water quickly. The result is gallons of wasted water and wasted time. Tankless water heaters help to alleviate this scenario by supplying unlimited hot water.

If you’re in the market to purchase a new water heater, consider going tankless. Considering that “water heating accounts for about 20 percent of your home energy budget,” according to this article by How Stuff Works, an investment in a tankless water heater can pay off big time in your yearly expenses. This option, while more expensive up-front, has many benefits which are shared below.

They use less energy. Tankless water heaters are also known as demand-type water heaters. Unlike conventional storage tank water heaters, these units heat water as it is needed – on demand, like when you go to take a shower or run the dishwasher. This process saves energy because the unit is not consistently working to heat a tank of water throughout the day. Energy.gov estimates:

“For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24% – 34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. They can be 8% – 14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water – around 86 gallons per day. You can achieve even greater energy savings of 27% – 50% if you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet.”

They last longer. Most tankless water heaters have a 20-year life expectancy, which is about twice that of tank heaters. Demand heaters also have replaceable parts which contributes to its longer life. If a part breaks, you can easily fix your unit as opposed to a tank water heater which would most likely need to be completely replaced.

They save money – in the long run. While the upfront costs for these units can be significantly more than conventional heaters, they will save you money in the long run. And considering they last longer too, you’ll have years of money-saving to get a return on investment. The key to using your heater efficiently and saving money over time is to buy the right size for your house and water use. Check below for tips on choosing the right size water heater. Energy.gov estimates a yearly savings of $100 for demand water heater users.

They take up less space. The compact design of demand heaters means you save space. Conventional water heaters are bulky and large, usually taking up significant space in your attic, basement, or storage room. Demand heaters conveniently mount to the wall and are less conspicuous.

They can increase property value. It may not be by much, but having a new, energy-efficient, longer-lasting, money-saving unit like a tankless water heater is definitely a selling point for any homeowner selling their home.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

Here is a demonstration of the Rinnai Tankless Water Heater, a good generalization of how these units perform.

Finding the right tankless water heater

Energy.gov recommends considering the following when shopping for a tankless water heater: size, fuel type and availability, energy efficiency, and costs. You want to take time to find the right unit for your needs to maximize efficiency and energy and money savings. You may require several units to meet your hot water needs, placing units close to areas in your home that require more hot water (like bathrooms). Smaller heaters are available to place in inconspicuous areas (like under your kitchen sink) and are less expensive.

Another consideration is if you want an electric or gas unit. Each option has pros and cons. Gas-powered demand heaters typically have a higher flow rate than electric ones. From Angie’s List, “for homeowners with electric-only utilities, their electrical system may need to be upgraded, which means hiring an electrician.”

When you are ready to make the transition to a tankless water heater, give World Class Services a call and we can help you choose the best option for your home, and install the unit for you too!