What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless water heater, or an on-demand water heater, is a water heating system that heats water only when it's needed. Unlike traditional tank water heaters that continuously heat and store hot water in a tank, tankless water heaters heat water directly as it passes through the unit's heating element or heat exchanger. When hot water is required, cold water flows through the unit, where it's rapidly heated and delivered to the fixture. Tankless water heaters come in different sizes and fuel types, including electric, natural gas, and propane, and are known for their energy efficiency, space-saving design, and long lifespan. The cost of tankless water heaters can vary depending on several factors, such as the brand, size, features, and installation requirements.
How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?
Conventional water heaters typically use a large storage tank of at least 50 gallons that is constantly heated, ensuring that there is enough hot water available to meet the needs of an entire household. However, these tanks may run out of hot water, leaving you with a cold shower, and can take a long time to refill and reheat. In contrast, tankless gas water heaters and electric tankless water heaters heat water as it passes through, eliminating the need for a bulky storage container. Cold water enters the heater, is heated by a heat exchanger, and is then sent out into your home's plumbing when you need hot water. Tankless water heaters come in three primary types: gas-powered, propane-powered, and electric-powered, and they can save homeowners hundreds of dollars in utility bills over time due to their energy efficiency.
Top Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters offer several benefits, making them a popular choice for homeowners. Overall, tankless water heaters offer greater energy efficiency, longer lifespan, and more convenience than traditional storage tank water heaters. Some of the most appealing benefits include:
- Energy Efficiency – Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, which means they use less energy than traditional storage tank water heaters, resulting in lower energy bills.
- Longevity – Tankless hot water heaters can last up to 20 years or more, which is longer than traditional storage tank water heaters.
- More Space – Tankless water heaters are smaller in size compared to storage tank water heaters, making them ideal for homes with limited space.
- Continuous Hot Water Supply – Unlike traditional storage tank water heaters, tankless water heaters heat water as it passes through, ensuring a constant supply of hot water.
- Environmentally Friendly – Tankless water heaters are more eco-friendly because they use less energy and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional storage tank water heaters.
- Lower Risk of Water Damage – Since tankless water heaters don't have a storage tank, there's less risk of leaks and water damage caused by a malfunctioning or ruptured storage tank.