To Tank or Not to Tank: What You Need to Know About Tankless Water Heaters

Though they have been popular in countries like the United Kingdom and Japan for years, tankless water heaters are only just beginning to pop up in the United States. Yet their growth in the US has been quite rapid. You can certainly expect to see a large number of these devices in American homes in the near future.

A few aspects of tankless water heaters are explored in greater detail below. First is a discussion of what exactly they do and how they work. A list of their benefits follows. By the time you are through with these, you should have a strong idea of whether or not a tankless water heater is right for you and your home.

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

The biggest difference between a tankless water heater and a standard tank water heater is that a tank water heater heats water continuously. Even when no water is being used, it is kept stored in the tank and kept warm. On the other hand, a tankless water heater only heats water when it is in use, thus using far less energy.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

First things first, as its name implies, a tankless water heater does not use a tank to hold unused water. Instead, water passes through the heater just before it is used. It then uses a powerful heat exchanger to warm the water to a high temperature.

Turning on a faucet to hot is what activates the water heater. As soon as water reaches the heater, the heat exchanging device is activated. These commonly come in the form of either electric coils or a gas-fired burner.

There are two main types of tankless water heaters: point-of-use and whole-house. Point-of-use heaters only attend to a few specific faucets, say your bathroom sink faucet and your shower faucet. Whole-use water heaters attend to every water outlet in your entire home.

What Are the Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater?

As you might have guessed by now, tankless water heaters use far less energy than their more traditional counterparts. The reason for this is that they don’t have to constantly be using energy. Energy is only used when warm water is needed. This accomplishes two things at once: it saves you a lot of money on your monthly utilities bills and it is better for the environment.

Tankless water heaters are also far more efficient than traditional water heaters. They never run out of warm water as they can continually heat what passes through them. Furthermore, they last an average of five to ten years longer than tank water heaters. They also often come with a tax rebate of up to $300 from the federal government.

So, should you install a water heater in your home? It depends. It depends on the size of your house, your current water heating system, and how you would like to spend your money. Though they are a little pricier up front, tankless water heaters can save you hundreds of dollars per year on electricity costs. Tankless water heaters certainly have their benefits but the final decision is up to you.