If you’ve ever experienced the water turning ice-cold while taking a shower, you understand the importance of having a reliable source to provide hot water.
In our homes, we use hot water to wash dishes, wash clothes, shower, bathtub, etc., and many mix hot water to make the water warm when washing their automobile as well. Hot water is important to our comfort level, and we typically take it for granted until it stops coming out of the faucet.
Having hot water in your home cost on average 18% of your total energy consumption. Depending on what method you use to heat that water and if you store hot water to have on-demand, your energy consumption could be drastically higher or lower than this average.
A Tankless Water Heater is a water heater that doesn’t store hot water. The water is heated only as it is needed. The water can be heated using electric or gas. The electric style tankless requires a large electrical supply and in my experience would not be recommended. The gas style tankless is the best choice because it is economical to operate and doesn’t require any electrical panel upgrades.
A tankless water heater instantly heats the water as needed, but it is not considered an “instant water heater.” Instant water heaters are very small and are typically installed under a sink to provide just enough hot water to wash your hands, etc. In fact, it is important to know that when replacing a storage-tank water heater with a tankless style, the water may take a little longer to be as hot coming from your faucet.
The reason the water may take longer to be hot at the point of use is that the piping coming from the tankless doesn’t have any hot water migrating into them like a standard tanked water heater will experience. Hot water expands, and this can cause hot water to travel down the pipes while being stored. This migration is costly and further degrades the efficiency of the storage tank style.
When deciding where you want your new tankless water heater, keep in mind that most people don’t want to wait very long for hot water at the kitchen sink. Most of us are willing to wait longer for hot water to get to our bathroom than we are willing to wait in our kitchen. Tankless water heaters typically take up less room than the tanked style, and sometimes this is also an added benefit.
All water heaters should be checked and maintained by a professionally trained Technician however; the Tankless Water Heater needs to be flushed and cleaned on an annual basis.