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Tankless Water Heaters: Pros and Cons

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Whether your old water heater’s on its last legs or you’re remodeling, it’s worth considering the switch to a new, tankless heater. Storage heaters take up lots of space and waste energy by heating water when you don’t need it, but tankless water heaters only heat water when you turn on the faucet or shower, and they’re much smaller.

Tankless Heaters vs. Storage Heaters

Tankless and storage water heaters provide hot water through different methods. As water passes through a tankless heater, a gas burner or electrical element heats it. The hot water then travels through the home’s plumbing system to wherever it’s needed. A storage heater maintains a tank of water at a constant hot temperature, ready to be used in the home. However, when the tank’s empty, it can take some time for the tank to fill up and heat more water.

Buying Costs

Higher setup costs are one of the disadvantages of tankless heaters, which are also called instantaneous or demand heaters. As well as costing more than storage heaters, you also have to pay for installation. However, if you’re replacing your heater anyway, the plumbing costs are unavoidable.

Running costs

A major benefit of tankless water heaters is their cheaper running costs. Unlike storage heaters, tankless heaters only heat the water you use, when you use it. You aren’t paying for water to stand around losing heat. Both gas and electric tankless heaters are generally cheaper to run than storage heaters and more energy efficient.

Lifespan

Tankless heaters generally last up to 20 years, which is five to eight years longer than storage heaters. What’s more, replacing worn parts in tankless heaters is easy and can extend their working lives even further.

Space saving

The tanks of storage heaters take up much more space than tankless water heater units. In fact, you can fit a small tankless heater under a sink.

Output

The water flow or output from tankless heaters could be the decision-clincher for your next water heater purchase. There’s no denying that they don’t provide as much hot water as quickly as storage heaters. An output of five gallons of water at 77 degrees F per minute is the maximum you can expect from a large, gas-fired tankless heater, and electric demand heaters have a lower flow rate. What this means is, if you have a large family or regularly run two appliances at once, like a shower and dishwasher, a tankless heater may not be for you. However, you can get around this problem by having two tankless heaters in different places in your home.

A tankless water heater can be the best choice for many households. Tankless heaters are energy efficient, have a long working life and don’t take up much space. Before you make your choice, however, talk to a professional about your home’s hot water needs.

For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Advantages of On-Demand Water Heaters

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Point-of-use or on-demand water heaters hold a significant advantage over traditional storage water heater systems. Often referred to as a tankless water heater, they not only save energy, but require less space, offer a longer life span and produce hot water instantly, eliminating the need to continuously heat water housed in a storage tank. Not only will this feature reduce your monthly energy bill, but it will also increase the time between hot water system replacements. We’ll outline will the many advantages of these efficient, water-heating systems ahead.

How They Work

On-demand water heaters provide hot water when you need it. When you or a household appliance calls for hot water, an internal flow valve within the unit senses the water flow and activates the appliance’s gas burner or electric element to heat the water as it passes. You can expect a constant supply of hot water as the unit will continue to heat water for as long as water flows through it. When you turn off the faucet, the flow sensor deactivates the unit.

Space Savings

Since on-demand water heaters heat water as you need it, there is no need for a storage tank. Tankless water heaters usually mount to an exterior or interior wall and are much smaller than traditional storage tank systems. Their compact size will free up valuable space in your garage or utility closet that can be used for additional storage space

Conserve Energy

On-demand water heating systems are energy efficient. According to energy.gov, a tankless water heater system is between 24 and 34-percent more efficient than traditional, storage tank systems for households that use 41 gallons or less each day. This conservation equates to an approximate annual energy savings of $100 dollars for a typical household. In addition, you can increase the savings—between 27 and 50 percent—by installing an on-demand water heater at each hot water outlet.

Durability

According to the Department of Energy, storage tank water heaters have a typical lifespan of between 10 and 15 years, while on-demand water heaters last upwards of 20 years when properly maintained. While the initial investment in an on-demand water heater can be higher, the costs versus traditional storage tank systems will even out due to their extended life expectancy and energy savings.

These efficient water-heating systems can also reduce your carbon footprint through energy conservation by helping to reduce greenhouse gasses that are the leading cause of climate change and global warming.

For answers to your plumbing questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Tankless Water Heaters: How Do They Work?

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Tankless water heaters also referred to as instantaneous or on-demand water heaters, produce hot water only when called for. This feature provides the system with improved energy efficiency, which can save you money in energy costs. To help determine if it is right for your home, you should take the time to understand the basic functions of the system.

How They Work
A tankless system does not require a storage tank; they heat water directly when you turn on the faucet. When a flow switch affixed to the unit detects water flow, it activates the system to heat the water. An electric element or gas burner is responsible for heating the water before it reaches your tap. When you turn off the faucet or outlet, the water flow stops and the sensor deactivates the water heating system. Since tankless systems heat water only on demand, you can expect to save a few dollars on your energy bills.

Energy Consumption
The amount of energy tankless water heaters consume depends on the amount of hot water used. According to Energy Star, a typical home that uses 41 gallons or less of hot water daily can expect to achieve between 24%-34% more energy efficiency versus a conventional storage tank system. You can realize significant savings on your utility bill. Homes that use more water — 86 gallons per day — will only achieve between 8%-14% more energy efficiency. You can increase energy efficiency further by installing tankless systems at each water outlet; however, you incur more upfront costs as you will need additional units.

Cost Factor
You will experience a higher out-of-pocket cost when installing a tankless system. These systems cost more than most conventional storage tank water heaters. However, a tankless system’s expected lifespan is more than 20 years, which is far greater than its traditional counterpart of between 10 to 15 years. When you consider its increased lifespan with its lower operating costs, it could offset the higher purchase price.

Installation Considerations
Proper installation and periodic maintenance will ensure maximum energy efficiency for a tankless water heater. Many factors are involved when purchasing and installing a tankless system including fuel types, building codes, climate, and safety concerns especially involving gas-fired heaters. To ensure proper and safe installation as well as full energy efficiency, it would be wise to hire a professional plumbing contractor to install the system.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.