Tankless or on-demand water heaters heat water only when it’s needed, eliminating the need for a storage tank and therefore saving the energy normally used to constantly heat and maintain a tank full of hot water. In a traditional whole house water heater. Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of about 20+ years, up to more than double the life of a traditional tank-type water heater. They also eliminate the risk of tank leaks and associated water damage.
How It Works
When you turn on the hot water tap, cold water is drawn through a pipe into the unit and heated either by an electric heating element or a gas burner. The hot water never runs out, but the flow rate may be limited. Tankless electric water heaters typically deliver hot water at a rate of 2 – 5 gallons per minute.
Tankless Water Heater Types
There are two basic types of tankless water heaters – small units that are usually installed right at or near the point-of-use and larger ones that are capable of serving an entire house. The smaller models can reduce or eliminate heat losses through piping (in addition to eliminating standby losses from a tank), but multiple units are usually needed to serve an entire house. Small units can be placed under kitchen sinks and in bathrooms for instance providing pretty much instant hot water because there is no pipefull of cold water to be run out first before your hot water arrives as with a centrally located tank water heater. No longer do you have to wait for the hot water to arrive!
Larger “whole house” tankless water heaters can provide hot water for multiple points-of-use in the home. While these units eliminate the heat losses from a storage tank, there will still be some losses through the hot water piping unless it is insulated.
Advantages to on-demand water heaters:
● Tankless water heaters are compact in size, taking up less space than conventional tank type water heaters.
● They can virtually eliminate standby losses – energy wasted when hot water cools down in long pipe runs or while it’s sitting in the storage tank.
● By providing hot water immediately where it’s used, tankless water heaters waste less water.
● You don’t need to let the water run as you wait for hot water to reach a remote faucet.
● A tankless water heater can provide unlimited hot water as long as it is operating within its capacity.
● Expected life of tankless water heaters is 20+ years, compared to 10+ years for tank type water heaters.
● A single central Tankless electric water heater may not supply enough hot water for simultaneous uses such as showers and laundry unless it has the correct output capacity and is properly configured.
● Unless the system is equipped with a modulating temperature control, it may not heat water to a constant temperature at different flow rates. That means that water temperatures can fluctuate uncomfortably – particularly if the water pressure varies in different parts of the house.
● Electric tankless water heaters require a relatively high electric power draw because water must be heated quickly to the desired temperature. In some cases the home’s electric service may need to be upgraded.
Cost and Savings
Tankless water heaters range in price from $200 for a small under-sink unit up to $1,000 or even more for a unit with enough capacity for a whole house. But a tankless unit can last up to twice as long as a conventional storage type water heater, saving on replacement costs. By eliminating standby losses from the tank and minimizing losses from hot water piping, tankless water heaters may be able to cut your water heating energy costs significantly.
Pros and cons of tankless water heaters
● Saves money in the long run – According to Energy.gov, “For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand (or tankless) water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters.”
● Doesn’t take up much space – They are small and can be installed in more places—even outside on a wall.
● Lasts much longer – Lasts 20+ years. Almost double a traditional water heater’s life.
● Delivers hot water on demand – Provides two to three gallons of hot water per minute on demand.
● Higher initial cost.
Call master electrician Kalin Seamans on (469) 475-5488 and he will be glad to help you make the right choice for your home or remodel project.
As Rockwall neighborhood electricians, we run into more and more of our residential and commercial customers who want to live a greener, more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Living green is not just about buying organic or driving a low emissions car. It also extends to the energy-saving systems in your home and we can help with that.
We are all working to keep our planet healthy for future generations and we’re finding out that the changes that are good for the planet can also be great for our pocket book. We can also help with that!
Here are a few of the ways that homeowners can make the electrical system in their homes greener.
LED lights use less electricity to power your home than incandescent bulbs. LED lights use only 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity to burn for 50,000 hours, whereas the incandescent bulb requires 3,000 KWh for the same amount of time. Clearly, LED lights are the greener option.
Install a programmable thermostat and set it at 74 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. Use ceiling fans to direct the hot air that rises in a room during winter months back down into the room to save on your heating bills.
Most ceiling fans have this option and the trick is just to remember to change it back! Also, maintain your HVAC system regularly by cleaning the strainer and changing the filters at least 4 times a year. Keep in mind that you need to do this more frequently during times of heavy use or if you share your living space with one or more four-legged creatures. In Texas it may be a good idea just to get into the routine of changing them monthly, your system will function more efficiently and probably last much longer with this simple, easy to do maintenance.
At least once a year, have a qualified technician inspect, clean and seal your ducts. Doing all this means your HVAC system does not have to work so hard to keep you comfortable, which can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your house and keep the cost lower.
Choose the energy-saving settings for your water heater, refrigerator and freezer. Consider installing a tankless water heater for more efficient energy consumption.
Modern household appliances from air conditioners to washing machines are now more energy efficient. Replacing your old electrical appliances can decrease your energy use significantly. You will likely find that your initial outlay of cash to purchase more modern appliances will be offset in the long run by lower utility bills.
Get in touch with us, call master electrician Kalin Seamans on (469) 475-5488 for a wide range of reliable residential and commercial electrical services. Our seasoned and highly trained Rockwall based electrical contractors are always ready to assist you with any electrical concerns or problems you may have.