Frequently Asked Questions about Tankless Water Heaters

Frequently Asked Questions about Tankless Water Heaters
July 20, 2011 Lorelie

The need for heated water is essential for many geographic locations due to the cold climate they have. In fact, the need for heated water is not limited to weather and climate alone as some tropical regions use heated water for washing their clothes and dishes. The truth is people find it more convenient to have heated water on their tap instead of the age old boiling hot water on a pan.

These days, people are inclined on investing on tankless water heaters, also called as on demand water heaters, instead of the more traditional storage tank water heaters. This is mostly because it is a more efficient way of getting heated water in your home. It is not only more efficient than storage tank water heaters, but the unit also requires less space. This means you not only save more money on utility bills, but you also have extra space in your home that you could use as you please. The best part about using tankless water heaters is your use of hot water is not limited to how much heated water your storage tank can store, but that you have an endless stream of heated water at your disposal.

People who are used to storage tank water heaters are not familiar with the convenience tankless water heaters offer. They are used to running out of heated water when taking a shower and they are also used to having an allotted area for the storage tank. This means they will likely have a lot of questions should they consider upgrading their water heating system into tankless water heaters. The list below shows some of the more frequently asked questions about tankless water heaters.

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

- They work basically by allowing cold water to enter the unit which is then passed through electric heating coils or gas fire burners to heat up the water using the process of heat exchange. The main idea behind this system is that it is able to continuously provide heated water. Water is being heated on demand. Unlike traditional water heaters that use storage tank, tankless-type water heaters do not suffer from a standby heat loss. Avoiding such heat loss is the primary aspect that makes tankless water heaters energy efficient.

Where Can You Use Them?

- On demand water heaters come in two types – “Point of Use” and “Whole House Use.” Point of use on demand water heaters are small units that can be directly installed on showers, under the sink, or near laundry machines. They are well suited for heating a specific tap only and people who buy these usually purchase several so they can install them at multiple place. Whole house use on demand water heaters on the other hand are larger units and are capable of providing heated water for an entire house. These units are typically installed on utility rooms or garages. The only disadvantage in using this type of system is the lag time as it takes a considerable amount of time before the heated water from the unit reaches the tap being opened. This lag is mostly due to the distance the heated water has to travel.

How much do They Cost?

On demand water heaters are usually more expensive than storage tank types when it comes to initial purchase and installation. In fact, the cost will increase much further if you are planning to install the on multiple locations inside the home. Depending on the size of your home, the installation cost will vary greatly. If your home is old, it might need some electrical and ventilation upgrades so that the system will work properly, adding more to the overall cost of the installation.

How can They Save you Money?

The reason you are able to save money using on demand water heater units is because they are not constantly running to make your water hot. This means water will only get heated when you turn on the hot water tap, unlike storage tank type that needs to keep its stored water at a constant temperature even when it is not needed, thereby consuming energy that adds to your utility bill. The only downside to on demand water heater units is that they take a few seconds before the water reaches the preset heated temperature. However, the best thing about them is that once they reach their heated temperature, you will continuously have heated water without ever having to worry that your storage tank heated water will run out. In fact, you will have an endless stream of heated water and all you have to do is wait a few seconds for it to heat up.

How Much Money Can You Save?

This depends greatly on how much you use your heating system and how much you spent on heating needs in the past. Basically, moderate users will have a savings of a few dollars per month, with a total savings of at least a hundred dollars per year. Although this may not seem much when you compare it to the price of the unit and installation cost, the system is very robust and will last many years. Adding the fact that the unit is regularly maintained, it is likely to last more than 10 years, which at the very least, pay for itself.

What are the Benefits of Installing One?

Aside from the savings you get from your utility bills and the endless stream of heated water you get when showering, you will be glad to know that there are other benefits that tankless water heaters provide. One such benefit is that many models have federal tax rebates which can further decrease the overall cost. Just make sure to ask of this when buying. Another benefit is perhaps their small form factor. If you compare them to storage tank water heaters that require quite some space. On demand water heaters are small and compact enough to be installed inside the shower or under the sink. If you have a whole house water heater unit, you can simply install it outdoors. The best thing about these types of water heaters is that they are green and energy efficient.

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