Have you ever been greeted by an ice-cold shower in the morning because your water heater couldn’t keep up with your household’s hot water needs? If so, a tankless water heater might be right for you!
Tankless, on-demand water heaters provide an unlimited supply of hot water, no matter how much you use. This is possible because they heat water directly, without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. A gas burner heats the water. This allows it to deliver a constant supply of hot water through your pipes and to your faucet.
While a tankless water heater provides a constant supply of hot water, it can be limited by its flow rate. The limited flow rate of a tankless water heater means that simultaneous, multiple uses of hot water can challenge its capacity. This is easily resolved by installing two or more units in parallel or connected to appliances, such as washing machines or dishwashers, that use a lot of hot water. This, however, may mean that a tankless water heater may not be a good option if you have untreated hard water where mineral deposits on your pipes and fixtures already reduce flow rate.
Because they only heat water on demand and don’t waste energy maintaining the temperature of a storage tank, tankless water heaters can be up to 34% more energy efficient than a traditional storage water heater. You could save at least $100 annually on reduced energy costs. Rebates or tax credits may also be available for Energy Star certified units. While there are electrical units on the market, these are not as efficient as gas units, making a gas-powered tankless water heater the best option for most consumers.
Tankless water heaters can also be a great option for those with limited space. Without a water tank, a tankless unit takes up a fraction of the space of a conventional tanked water heater. You also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, with no storage tank, there is no possibility of a catastrophic leak. They can also be drained in seconds, making them an excellent option for a vacation home or rental.
Tankless water heaters can be more costly to install, but, with fewer parts that may need replacement, maintenance costs are significantly lower. The life span of a tankless water heater can be more than twice that of a conventional tank water heater, up to 20 years or more, saving on both maintenance and replacement costs.
Installation is a job for a professional, requiring a plumbing retrofit and possibly upgrades to your electric or gas service. If you are interested in this option, don’t wait until it’s an emergency.
But, with a tankless water heater, you can soon be on your way to on-demand hot water and never have a cold shower again! To explore your options for tankless water heaters, contact your local Benjamin Franklin Plumbing location today!