As the name implies, tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand without relying on a storage tank. These heaters provide hot water on demand, instead of continuously using energy to heat and reheat water stored in a tank.
If you’re considering installing a water heater in your new home or replacing a failing unit, you may be wondering if a tankless water heater is efficient. In this article, we will explain how tankless water heaters work and why they are more efficient than storage water heaters.
As we’ve already mentioned, tankless water heaters only activate when hot water is needed. When you turn on a hot water faucet, cold water flows into the heater through an inlet pipe. The water flows through a heat exchanger in the unit, where it is heated using either a natural gas burner or an electric element. With a storage tank, hot water travels from the tank into your hot water faucets. However, with a tankless unit, cold water flows through a heater exchanger, where it’s heated instantly. Tankless water heaters have a temperature control mechanism that allows you to set the desired hot water temperature. Once the water is heated to the desired temperature, it is delivered to the open tap or fixture.
Essentially, tankless water heaters eliminate standby heat loss, which occurs in storage water heaters. The stored water in tank-based units gradually loses heat over time, requiring the heater to continuously reheat the water to maintain the set temperature. In contrast, tankless water heaters don't store hot water, so there is no standby heat loss. Moreover, modern tankless water heaters often utilize advanced heating mechanisms, such as high-efficiency burners or electric heating elements. These mechanisms are designed to maximize heat transfer and minimize energy waste, thereby ensuring that a higher percentage of the energy input is used to heat the water.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a tankless water heater uses up to 34% less energy than a storage tank water heater, depending on the number of gallons of hot water you use. If you use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, you can expect to use between 24% and 34% less energy. Even homes with higher usage, which averages about 86 gallons daily, can expect to save up to 14% on their energy bill. Clearly, tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than tank-based heaters. While energy efficiency varies among models, tankless units can achieve significant energy efficiency.
A tankless water heater can save you money in the long run and comes with other benefits, including a longer lifespan, reduced risk of water damage, space-saving design, and more. If you’re looking for a trusted plumbing service to help you with tankless water heater installation in your home or business, get in touch with Trust Rooter. Here at Trust Rooter, we are a reputable plumbing company that you can rely on for all of your water heater service needs. From water heater installation to water heater repair and water heater replacement, we’ve got you covered.