Tankless Water Heaters
Since tankless water heaters are very energy efficient, they are quickly becoming popular. Many home builders are using this type of water heater in all the homes they build, especially in new subdivision homes. One does not have to only use a tankless water heater in a new home. It can be used as a replacement water heater, or as a supplemental heater for a new home addition even.
Since heating water uses about a third of a home’s energy, installing a tankless water heater will help reduce the total amount of energy a home consumes. As opposed to a conventional water heater that is constantly using energy to maintain the temperature level of water within a water storage tank, a tankless heater heats the water very quickly as it is needed. Thus, making it more energy efficient.
The basics of how a tankless water heater heats water is like this. When a water faucet is turned on, cold water enter into a coil pipe inside the tankless water heater. The coil is heated very quickly, which in turn heats the water as it passes through inside the coil. Hot water reaches the faucet inside the home really fast.
Gas or electric are the typically fuel sources for tankless water heaters. Natural gas heaters use a burner and electric use an electric heating element to heat the coil. Gas models can supply more hot water than electric models, especially if the quantity of needed hot water used at the same time is high. As a general rule, it is difficult to say run the washing machine, the dishwasher, and a shower all at the same time. The quantity of hot water called for can be too great for the tankless heater to create. However, more than one tankless heater can be installed to make sure the quantity of hot water can be met.
When using a tankless style for a replacement for a conventional gas water heater, one may need to have a larger gas line installed to meet the demands of the tankless water heater. This not a large expense, but a factor to keep in mind. For electric models, an upgrade to ones electric panel may be required too.
Also, another term is the flow rate, which explains what the amount of hot water per minute the water heater produces. For a standard tankless heater it is between 2 and 5 gallons of water per minute.
The equipment costs of tankless models are more expensive than conventional type water heaters. However, they usually last around 20 years, which is much longer than a traditional heater. Also, the energy usage, if used properly, is lower than a conventional water heater too. It is easier to replace parts on a tankless model and allow it to operate longer than a storage tank heater. The main aspect of a storage tank water heater that determines how long it will last is the tank itself. It will eventually rust out and need to be replaced. This is not the case with a tankless model.
The main maintenance that will need to be performed on a tankless heater is to have it descaled at least once a year.