Tankless hot water heaters heat water without the use of a storage tank. When someone in your home turns on the hot water tap, either a natural gas or electric heating element heats the water as it travels through the unit, providing a continuous, on-demand flow of hot water that never runs out.
Tankless water heaters are much more energy efficient than their conventional counterparts. According to the Energy Department, for homes that use fewer than 41 gallons of hot water per day, tankless hot water heaters can be up to 34% more energy efficient than conventional models.
The downside of tankless hot water heaters is that due to their design, their output is limited. A typical tankless water heater provides hot water to your home at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute. While that’s plenty for one use, such as taking a shower, simultaneously taking a shower and running the dishwasher can stretch a tankless hot water heater to its limit.
To solve this problem, some people install two or more tankless water heaters, connected in parallel for simultaneous demands of hot water, or install separate tankless water heaters for their appliances.
Another potential downside is the relatively high initial cost of a tankless system versus a conventional hot water heater. However, tankless heaters last longer and have lower energy costs than conventional hot water heaters, which may offset the price.
Advantages of Installing a Tankless Hot Water Heater
- Save up to 20% on your water bill
- Never run out of water, so no more cold showers
- Last 5-10 years longer than conventional water heaters
- Take up less space and can be installed on a wall or even outdoors
- Only use the power you need, no needless heating
- No possibility of flooding due to a ruptured tank