Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, provide hot water when it is needed. This does not mean instant hot water, there is still a heating process the water must pass through. When a hot water valve is opened, at a sink or shower for example, water is heated up as it runs through a gas burner or electric element in the unit. The hot water is then directed to the faucet. When the hot water is shut off, the heating process stops. This saves in electricity when compared to a traditional tank water heater, where water stored in the tank is heated continually so hot water is available when needed. While savings can be found in the electric bill over the years, the initial cost of a tankless water heater is higher than the tank water heater. When making a decision regarding a water heater there are many components to consider, such as initial costs, performance, household hot water needs, and lifespan expectations.
Tankless Water Heaters Do have Limitations
Continuous hot water does not mean unlimited hot water. On average, tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2–5 gallons per minute. Gas-fired tankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than electric ones. However, even the largest, gas-fired models can have trouble meeting multiple, simultaneous demand. For instance, a shower and washing machine running at the same time can result in high hot water demand than some units can deliver. Also, a tankless hot water heater would afford zero hot water during a power outage, unlike the tank of a water heater that contains gallons of hot water in reserve.
Choosing the Right Water Heater
If a water heater output is too small and cannot keep up with the household hot water demand, its purchase will result in a waste of money and a great deal of frustration. Getting too much water heater is just as bad, unnecessarily pulling money out of the budget. This is why MoreVent techs take time to survey household water use before making a recommendation. If a single tankless unit cannot handle the gallons per minute needed, multiple units can be installed. This is a very expensive option. In the event a tankless water heater is not a good fit for your hot water needs, we will provide you alternatives such as a traditional tank water heater or heat pump water heater.
Tankless Water Heater Installation and Maintenance
While considering a new water heater, keep in mind that the current electrical system in a home may need professionally upgraded to handle a tankless water heater. No matter which type is chosen, installation day is the most important day in the life of a water heater. That is why experienced MoreVent water heater installers take the necessary steps for a successful install. This helps to prevent unnecessary future system malfunctions, ensuring your water heater operates safely and efficiently.
A tankless water heater should receive a yearly checkup by a professional technician. It is also important to regularly flush the system and clean filters. Tankless water heaters can last twice as long as a tank water heater. However, in an area with hard water it will require special care to ensure it doesn’t break down. Minerals can build up inside the unit, forcing it to work way too hard to deliver water. This can take years off of the unit’s lifespan or create costly repair bills.
Making a Final Decision
The novelty and convenience of a tankless water heater can definitely catch the attention of a homeowner. Add to that the convenient size of the unit, they can fit in small spaces that a tank water heater would not begin to fit in. There is also the lower possibility of a tank water heater flooding the floor with 30 to 80 gallons of water. At the listing of these benefits, interest in a tankless unit only increases. While a tankless water heater may be exactly what a specific home needs, it is very important that all aspects of location, household water use, and budgetary limits are researched before a decision is made. Visit with a knowledgeable MoreVent technician as you decide what water heater will work best for your home.