Investing in a tankless water heater will save you money in the long run, and have a smaller impact on the environment right away.
Tankless water heaters only heat water when you need it, for which reason, they are also called “On-demand”water heaters. Traditional tank water heaters are working to keep 50-80 or more gallons of water hot all day long. You are paying and using energy to heat water 24 hours a day. However, you certainly are not using it 24 hours a day, especially when you are sleeping!
The fact that you only use energy when hot water is needed, makes tankless a great way to go for energy and money conscience homeowners. Tankless hot water heaters burn natural gas and send cold water through a heat exchanger. When a hot water faucet is opened, the water heater senses the demand, turns on and delivers continuous hot water. When the hot water faucet is closed, the water heating unit shuts off.
Among the immediate benefits is complete control of the exact temperature of your water. With a digital control pad you can increase or decrease the temperature of your hot water. Perhaps for small children and seniors, it can help prevent scalding accidents.
For long term benefits, Tankless water heaters are up to fifty percent more energy efficient than a traditional tank water heater. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates gas-fired tankless heaters save an average of $108 in energy costs per year over their traditional tank counterparts. Tax credits and rebates from the Department of Energy and other local utility companies may be available.
Tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan and warranty then their tank counterpart. While water heater lasts on average from 10 to 13 years, tankless water heaters are estimated to last up to 20 years. Hence, another reason they are better for the environment, because a rusty tank doesn’t end up in the landfill. Also, the tankless warranty is usually 15 years, where traditional water heaters come with six-year warranty.
Tankless water heaters are smaller, and can free up valuable space in your house. They can be installed inside or outside. Traditional water heaters with 40 to 60 gallon capacity are generally around 60” tall and 24” wide. That bulky metal tank can take up precious space in your home. A tankless water heater, in comparison, is about the size of a large computer, at for example 20” wide by 28” tall and 10” deep. Tankless models save space. These heaters also save space with a compact design.
For all intensive purposes, there are 2 reasons why a profesionally installed tankless water heater may not be ideal for you. One scenerio is for those who need multiple sources of hot water simutaeneously. A big tank that stores 40 to 60 gallons of hot water can keep showers, laundry, and dishes well supplied at once. Modern tanks heat new water quite quickly as well, so you don’t run out of hot water when you need it. A tankless water heater has a throughput limit. It is able to supply a few gallons of hot water at a time, however, it is consistant. To re-phrase if you have a large family and everyone’s taking a shower, doing the laundry and dishes at the same time, multiple tankless heaters may be necesary, as opposed to one large tank water heater.
The second consideration, is the initial investment. A typical tank water heater might be as low as $300-$400. A tankless water heater probably starts at $1,000. The cost of the unit, system, and installation of tankless water heater costs more up front, but to make up for it, your operating costs will go down in the big picture.
The final thing to note is that with a tankless water heater, it requires a yearly maintenance service.
An optional enhancement to a tankless water heater is a recirculation pump. It is for those who have a large house and don’t want to wait for the hot water to get from the water heater to the open faucet. This will get you hot water faster without wasting water down the drain. A recirculation pump moves the interior water in the home supply line back to the water heater. This allows tankless water heaters to work more efficiently, not allowing colder city water into the water heater. The circulation pump can also be regulated with a timer, to minimize hours of operation.
Santa Cruz Plumbing specializes in tankless water heaters. Call us if you have questions or for a free quote. (831) 425-1131