Tankless Water Heater Cost Efficiency & Affordability!
The emphasis, today, is on energy saving appliances for
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), one-fifth of the energy used by
homeowners is from water heaters. Obviously, finding a way to cut that down benefits not only the homeowner but
everyone else living on this planet. One option is using a tankless water heater which not saves the homeowner
money, but conserves energy and water.
How Do They Work?
There are no storage tanks, so when hot water is needed, the cold water travels through a pipe into the heating
unit. Depending upon which type of heating unit you have installed, either a gas burner or an electric element will
heat the water. In essence, tankless water heaters deliver a a constant supply of hot water.
How Much Hot Water Can They Output When Needed?
A tankless water heater can typically provide hot water at the rate of two to five gallons (7.6-15.2 liters) per
minute. Gas powered will produce higher flow rates then the electric units. However, in larger households with
simultaneous use, even a gas unit will have a problem generating enough hot water. Careful planning and research
before buying can overcome this limitation. Knowing the tankless water heater size needed to comfortably take care
of a large family's needs is critical. In some cases more than one unit may be needed. Separate demand units may be
installed for specific appliances that use a lot of hot water such as a dishwasher or clothes washer.
Tankless vs Conventional Storage Tank
If you family uses 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, then your tankless water heater can save up to 24% - 34%
more energy than conventional storage tank water heaters. For those homes that use more hot water, approximately 86
gallons per day, the energy savings can be 8% - 14%. To achieve a higher savings, 27% - 50%, additional tankless
water heaters will need to be installed at each hot water outlet.
How Long Do They Last?
Tankless water heaters last longer than the conventional storage tank water heaters. The tankless units should last
about 20 years.
How To Select A Tankless Water Heater
Since gas is generally less expensive than electric, the gas tankless units are usually cheaper to buy. The gas
units also have a higher flow rate than the electric tankless units.
When considering a tankless water heater, remember there will be two costs involved: the
first is the cost of buying the tankless unit and the second will be the cost of operating the unit once it is
installed in the home. When buying the tankless unit, the cost will be higher; however, over time the unit will
save considerable money and energy during it's lifetime (approximately 20 years).
First, compare the flow rates between the models which interest you. How do you figure the
flow rates? Think about how much hot water you use at the peak of your day (showers, washing clothes, dishwasher,
whatever will be using hot water) and make a list.
In order to get your estimate, figure about two gallons per shower, about one gallon per
faucet, figure one-two gallons for running the dishwasher and clothes washer at the same time as the other
activities. This is an important step and simple to complete.
The next part in the selection of a tankless water heater will involve your plumber. The
size of the gas line and vents needs to be considered for running the tankless unit. When looking at models, find
out the cost of converting to a tankless water heater.
Also, in comparing models and making your choice, make sure servicing the unit is factored
into the equation. Who does the servicing in your area? Are the parts readily available or will there be a
These are important considerations when thinking about converting to a tankless water
heater. The most critical part of these equations will be to do your homework before you have to make a choice. In
other words, don't wait until your old conventional storage tank unit goes out before checking on the tankless