The New Standard – Tankless Water Heaters Growing in Popularity

Tankless water heaters, also referred to as instantaneous water heaters, provide heated water to your home without the need for a storage tank. Instead of having the water heated in a large tank or basin the water is heated when the cold water travels through the heating unit after the hot water has been turned on. A gas burner or an electrical element usually heats the water. Gas-powered systems are fuelled by propane or natural gas and heat the water with a burner. A tankless electric water heater needs to be hardwired to the circuit breaker/electrical panel. Due to the fact no tank is necessary tankless water heaters provide an endless supply of hot water into your home. So feel free to sleep in because the last shower doesn’t mean a cold shower anymore!

Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more popular, especially for small commercial or residential buildings with a minimal amount of plumbing demands. It is assumed that these kinds of water heaters will soon become the new standard. Tankless water heaters are usually installed in the home near the furnace. The home will also need supplemental, smaller versions of the tankless water heater around the home. The professional installing these units will place the heaters in tactical spots like near the bathroom or kitchen sink so it is located right where the water is being used. This strategy saves water as well as energy, which means it will also save you money.

Tankless water heaters use less energy in many ways. First, energy is saved because it is not being used to constantly heat a large tank of water in the basement. There is also energy saved because there is no heat loss through the tank or through the pipes in your home. They heat water faster, provide unlimited/continuous hot water, and they have a longer lifespan than water tanks for the most part.

These types of heaters come in a variety of configurations. The most common is the direct vented unit that eliminates the requirement for ducted combustion air system, this certainly provide an upfront cost savings during installation. A typical tankless water heater’s life expectancy is typically 20 years, versus a typical 13 years for a standard tank heater. If used in the right environment they can be very compact in size and can be placed in locations that tank type water heaters cannot be located for maintenance and removal. Tankless heaters are also used in cold climates to remove snow from undesirable areas like pathways, roof etc. The hot water flows through the area where snow would sit and melts it causing runoff instead of a packed snow surface.

Tankless water heaters should not be used in areas where there are many plumbing fixtures or showers. For instance, in restaurants, apartment buildings, gyms, schools etc. When there are many plumbing fixtures and a large amount of water being heated daily the environment usually requires a more complicated heating system. Tankless heaters also increase the household’s gas consumption, so the gas pipes need to be larger when installing a tankless water heater. Additionally, plumbing codes require a circulating system where the hot water piping exceeds 100 feet in length. When a circulating system is required, the manufacturer requires a small hot water storage tank to be installed or the warranty will be voided. In this scenario the tankless water heater system is no longer tankless and to be the most efficient, multiple tankless heaters may be required.

Tankless water units come in ‘point-of-use’ units or ‘whole home’ units. A ‘point-of-use’ unit provides hot water for a single fixture. This means it is usually connected to a sink that is far away from the hot water source, for example if there is an attachment on your home with an extra bathroom or kitchen. These units are small and usually located right below the sink. ‘Whole home’ units are installed in a central location in the home for ideal access to all plumbing fixtures.

Thanks to tankless water heaters you can experience huge savings on your bills, some people have saved up to 50%. There is an endless supply of hot water, there is no tank taking up space in your home and the lifespan is nearly double that of traditional tank heater. Tankless water heaters are becoming the new standard and it is because there are so many benefits.

Written by Tanya Klien

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