What Are Tankless Water Heaters And How Do They Work?

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are, as their name implies, a water heating system that heats the water you need to use on demand, instead of heating an entire tank full of water and then storing it and letting it wait to be used. They use high-powered gas burners or electricity to rapidly heat water as it runs through a complex heat exchanger system.

In a traditional hot water heating system, you use a large tank that holds and heats water, usually from 30 to 50 gallons. To get the hot water when you need it, the standard tank continually heats the water and keeps it at the desired temperature. This means that there is energy being consumed to keep the water hot even when it is not being used. This is often referred to as standby heat loss. On the contrary, a tankless water heater has no tank and therefore is not subject to standby heat loss since it only heats the water when you are ready to use it. This is the primary focus point that can makes them energy efficient.

Tankless water heaters are either smaller “point-of-use” heaters or units that supply the hot water needs of the entire house. The biggest advantage of point-of-use systems is that they are compact and can fit almost anywhere. However, the drawback is that they only supply hot water for (usually) a single sink or shower. They should be installed close to the outlet they are servicing. Installing them in close proximity means there is no lag for the water to reach the faucet. This helps ensure that you save on water consumption as well as energy. Whole house Tankless systems are larger, cost more but can operate more than one outlet or faucet at a time without any lag. If they are sized right, they are powerful enough to supply hot water to more than two outlets simultaneously without losing water temperature. Tankless models can be gas or electric powered.

A tankless water heaters is more efficient than tank style systems. The larger debate is how long it will take you to recoup (if ever) the additional cost of the system in energy savings. Unfortunately, there is no quick answer here. Call Signature Plumbing Company today. We can discuss your normal usage patterns with you and help determine which solution will be the most cost effective option for your particular family.