Seven Reasons Everyone Should Love Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters have undergone significant improvements over the last decade, with new innovations resolving many of the issues of early models and reducing the cost of these devices. If looking for a new hot water heater, homeowners and business owners should consult their local plumber to see if tankless options are suitable for their needs.
Unlike traditional water heaters that preheat water and store it in a tank until it’s needed, tankless water heaters heat water directly as it’s used. When a hot water tap is turned on, the cold water flows through the pipe into the unit where it’s heated by either a gas burner or electric element. Tankless water heaters come in two types: point-of-use heaters and whole-house models.
Point-of-use tankless water heaters are smaller and provide hot water to only one or two outlets, such as a shower or kitchen sink. On the other hand, whole-house systems are larger and can serve multiple outlets. Point-of-use systems are typically electric-powered, while whole-house systems run on natural gas or propane.
About These Models: History & Market
The first tankless water heater was invented by Dr. Theodor Stiebel, a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur, in the 1920s. Although popular in Japan and Europe, it took several decades for tankless water heaters to gain popularity over traditional water heaters in the U.S. due to the time required to develop affordable and reliable technology. However, advances in technology have reduced the lag time between turning on a faucet and hot water flowing from it, as well as other issues that have hindered the adoption of tankless water heaters.
The market for electric tankless water heaters is expected to grow by 8.7 percent between 2016 and 2024, while the combined market for gas and electric tankless water heaters is expected to grow by 8.88 percent over the same time period.
One reason for the increasing popularity of tankless water heaters is their energy efficiency. Unlike traditional storage-tank water heaters that have to heat and store sufficient water to meet user needs, tankless heaters only heat water as it’s needed, reducing energy waste. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that tankless water heaters are typically 24 to 34 percent more energy-efficient than traditional storage-tank water heaters. However, the efficiency savings are lower for homes that use a lot of hot water, with tankless water heaters only providing 8 to 14 percent energy savings in homes that use around 86 gallons of hot water per day.
Facts About the System
- Installing a tankless water heater can reduce energy usage and lower electricity bills. According to the Energy Department, the average homeowner can save around $100 per year in energy costs by switching to a tankless water heater. Additionally, in case of a spike in energy prices, tankless water heater users could potentially see even greater savings.
- Tankless water heaters are space-saving appliances, making them ideal for urban areas or small homes. By eliminating the need for a storage tank, valuable space can be repurposed for closet storage or to increase the size of a room. Tankless units can be installed under cabinets or in small spaces within a closet, and some models can even be installed outdoors with an antifreeze kit.
- Tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan than conventional storage-tank water heaters. On average, they can last five to ten years longer than traditional water heaters. While tankless models may come with a larger upfront cost, this increased longevity should be taken into consideration.
- Tankless water heaters are environmentally friendly due to their lower energy usage, making them ideal for electricity conservation efforts. In addition, electric models produce no greenhouse gases, making them a clean energy source.
- Tankless water heaters often provide cleaner water than conventional water heaters. Traditional storage tanks can accumulate sediment and rust over time, which can contaminate water. Tankless heaters provide water that is free of these contaminants.
- Various governments offer tax incentives for consumers to purchase tankless water heaters. For example, the federal government provides a $300 tax rebate for most tankless units, making them a more affordable option for homeowners.
- With a tankless water heater, users never run out of hot water. Unlike conventional storage-tank water heaters, which only provide the amount of hot water stored in the tank, tankless water heaters provide a continuous supply of hot water. Although the flow of water may be lighter than that provided by a traditional storage tank heater, the supply is constant.
Signs It’s Time For A New Water Heater
Although often overlooked, water heaters are essential appliances in our homes. We tend to take them for granted until they break down. Neglecting your water heater could result in additional costs, even if it’s still operational. Typically, older models experience a slow decline in efficiency before finally breaking down.
To help you identify when your traditional water heater is reaching the end of its lifespan, here are some warning signs to watch out for:
- Age – Traditional water heaters have a lifespan of a little more than 10 years. If your heater is more than 10 years old, it’s worth having it checked for leaks or decreased efficiency, even if it’s still functioning well.
- Noise – A noisy water heater often indicates sediment build-up on the bottom of the tank, which can reduce efficiency and cause eventual leaks.
- Water around the tank – There may be a small leak or fracture if you notice water around the tank. If left unaddressed, this can lead to more leaks and water damage to your home.
- Increased hot water bills – If your hot water bills have gone up unexpectedly, and your usage hasn’t changed, your water heater may have a problem and require repair or replacement.
- Decrease in available hot water – If you’re running out of hot water quickly, or only getting warm water, it may be a sign that your water heater needs repair or replacement.
It’s important to choose a reputable company with years of experience when seeking water heater installation or repair services. For those interested in tankless water heaters, it’s especially crucial to find professionals with expertise in this type of water heater, as they are different from traditional models.In the Houston, TX, area, Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning offers a comprehensive range of plumbing maintenance and repair services, including the installation of tankless water heaters.
Property owners looking for cost-effective and eco-friendly water heating solutions can schedule a consultation with Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning to find plumbing solutions that fit their needs and budget.