Tankless, also known as instantaneous water heaters provide hot water only as it is needed. They don't produce the standby energy losses related with storage water heaters, which can save you money.
How They Work
Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. Therefore, they avoid the “standby” heat losses associated with storage water heaters. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit, then the gas burner heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don't need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. However, a tankless water heater's output limits the flow rate. Typically, tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2–5 gallons (7.6–15.2 liters) per minute. Gas-fired tankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than electric ones. Taking a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time can stretch a tankless water heater to its limit. To overcome this problem, you can install two or more tankless water heaters, connected in parallel for simultaneous demands of hot water. You can also install separate tankless water heaters for appliances—such as a clothes washer or dishwater—that use a lot of hot water in your home.
Other applications for tankless water heaters include the following:
- Remote bathrooms or hot tubs
- Booster for appliances, such as dishwashers or clothes washers
- Booster for a·solar water heating·system
Gas-fired tankless water heaters tend to have higher flow rates than electric ones. They have intermittent ignition and do not waste energy if they are off (no demand for hot water). This resembles the spark ignition device on some gas kitchen ranges and ovens. This cannot be achieved with a storage water heater. In a gas-fired storage water heater, the pilot light stays on so the energy is wasted.
For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, tankless water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. They can be even more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water — around 86 gallons per day. You can achieve even greater energy savings of 27%–50% if you install a tankless water heater at each hot water outlet.
Selecting a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters cost more than conventional storage water heaters. However, you may find that a tankless water heater may have lower operating and energy costs, which could offset its higher purchase price. Before buying a tankless water heater, you also need to consider the following:
- Fuel type and availability
- Energy efficiency (energy factor)
- Estimate costs
For information call us or stop-by our showroom and speak to one of our product specialists.
Installation and Maintenance
If you decide to install your water heater yourself, first consult one of our product specialists. Read manufacturer’s installation and instruction manuals. Also, contact your city or town for information about obtaining a permit, if necessary, and about local water heater installation codes.
Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years. In contrast, storage water heaters last about 10 years. Periodic water heater maintenance can significantly extend your water heater's life and minimize loss of efficiency. Read your owner's manual for specific maintenance recommendations.
Improving Energy Efficiency
After your tankless water heater is properly installed and maintained, try some additional energy-saving strategies to help lower your water heating bills:
Other Water Heater Options: