Like many of us you have probably heard of a “tankless water heater”, but what the heck does that mean exactly? A tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand water heater, is a type of water heater that heats water directly without the use of a storage tank. Instead, it heats water as it flows through the unit, providing an endless supply of hot water.
Tankless water heaters are becoming increasingly popular because they are more energy-efficient and space-saving than traditional tank water heaters. They are also safer, as there is no risk of the tank leaking or exploding.
Tankless water heaters work by using either a gas burner or an electric element to heat the water. When you turn on a hot water faucet, cold water flows through a heat exchanger in the unit. The gas burner or electric element then heats the water as it passes through the heat exchanger. The heated water is then delivered to your faucet.
Tankless water heaters are typically smaller than traditional tank water heaters, so they can be installed in tight spaces. They also have a longer lifespan, averaging around 20 years compared to 12 years for a traditional tank water heater.
Pros of a tankless water heater:
- Energy-efficient: Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, so they only use energy when you need hot water. This can save you up to 34% on your energy bills compared to a traditional tank water heater.
- Endless hot water: Tankless water heaters have an unlimited supply of hot water, so you never have to worry about running out.
- Space-saving: Tankless water heaters are much smaller than traditional tank water heaters, so they can be installed in tight spaces.
- Longer lifespan: Tankless water heaters have an average lifespan of 20 years, compared to 12 years for a traditional tank water heater.
- Reduced risk of leaks: Tankless water heaters don’t have a storage tank, so there is no risk of it leaking and causing water damage in your home.
- Safer: Tankless water heaters don’t have the risk of exploding or releasing harmful gases.
Cons of a tankless water heater:
- High upfront cost: Tankless water heaters are more expensive to purchase and install than traditional tank water heaters.
- Requires higher flow rate: Tankless water heaters require a higher flow rate of water than traditional tank water heaters. This may not be suitable for homes with older plumbing systems.
- May not be able to meet high demand: Tankless water heaters may not be able to meet high demand for hot water, such as if multiple showers are running at the same time.
- More sensitive to water quality: Tankless water heaters are more sensitive to water quality than traditional tank water heaters. If you have hard water, you may need to install a water softener to prevent mineral buildup from damaging the unit.
Overall, tankless water heaters can be a great option for homeowners who are looking to save energy and money on their water heating bills. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding if a tankless water heater is the right choice for your home.