What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
There's nothing worse than turning on your shower only to discover that your family has already used all the hot water.
If this problem sounds familiar, installing a tankless water heater could be a wise move.
A tankless water heater produces hot water on demand whenever you turn on a hot water faucet. The units are smaller than regular water heaters with a tank, making them suitable for installing in tight spaces like closets and pantries. There are electric and gas models available. Gas-powered water heaters may offer higher flow rates.
Tankless water heaters have a gas-powered flame or electric element that heats water as it flows through the unit. Water pumps through the unit when you turn on a hot water faucet to supply your fixture.
In theory, a tankless water heater produces hot water on demand because it can heat water at a rate of between two and five gallons per minute. However, a single unit may not meet your demands if you live in a large household. Some families may need to install more than one unit to ensure an on-demand supply.
The primary difference between a tankless water heater and a tank-style model is that you won't need to store a large hot water tank in your home. Heaters with a tank can run out of hot water if demand outstrips supply. Therefore, installing a tankless model could help you say goodbye to cold showers — provided you install the correct unit size for your needs.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, tankless water heaters are between 8% and 34% more efficient than tank-style models. The average lifespan of a tankless water heater is around 20 years or longer with proper maintenance, compared to between 10 and 15 years for a model with a tank.
On the other hand, tankless water heaters are more expensive than regular heaters. However, the savings on your energy bills and the longer projected lifespan could make them more cost-effective over time.
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