If you are consistently frustrated by high energy bills, you may want to consider making some changes in your water heating system. Energy experts indicate that water heating accounts for up to 18 percent of the average home’s utility costs, second only to the energy consumed by the HVAC system. A tankless water heater may provide you with the means to significantly reduce this usage.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless system, also known as an on-demand hot water system, operates without a storage tank, whereas a traditional system relies on hot water being stored in a tank. In a traditional system, the tank fills with water, which is heated either by gas or an electric heating element. The sizing of such a system is typically determined based on the home’s design and usage patterns. In a tankless system, however, water is heated without a storage tank. Cold water is heated as it moves into the unit and flows to the appropriate outlet in the home. There is not a need for a reserve supply.
What Are the Advantages of a Tankless Solution?
There are several benefits for those who are considering converting to a tankless water heating system. These include:
- Size – A tankless system is much smaller than a traditional system, saving space and making access for service and installation by plumbing professionals more convenient.
- Energy efficiency – tankless water heating can be up to 34 percent more efficient than tank systems.
- Fuel sources – tankless units are available for use with either gas or electricity as the heating source.
- Longer life – a traditional system has a life expectancy of between 10 and 15 years, but tankless units can last approximately 20 years or longer.
- Supplemental water heating – in homes that experience supply problems with an existing tank system, a tankless unit can be installed to service appliances or other specific areas of demand.
According to estimates by ENERGY STAR, the average family can save at least $100 per year by using an appropriate tankless unit. Additionally, systems with tanks often experience significant heat loss because of the standby supply of hot water. The constant heating of that supply is one of the contributing factors to this portion of your utility budget, an issue which disappears when you go tankless.
Are There any Disadvantages in Tankless Technology?
Tankless equipment does create limitations in some situations. The flow of your unit will affect the supply of hot water as a typical unit can produce between 2 and 5 gallons of hot water per minute. This may be sufficient in a small household that doesn’t have a lot of simultaneous water heating activity. Gas units tend to offer a greater flow rate, but large households may still experience supply difficulties. One approach to going tankless in a larger household without serious inconvenience is installing multiple units to service each major area of demand. This may also provide an even greater life expectancy for each system as a dedicated unit experiences less demand.
In making the decision to convert to a tankless water heater or to supplement your existing hot water supply by using a tankless system, plumbing expertise is important. Custom Mechanical offers the plumbing services needed to evaluate your home for tankless options. We would be happy to answer your questions or schedule a consultation when you call our Frankford, DE, office.