Tankless Water Heaters
A tankless water heater heats the water on demand as it flows through the unit. It will provide hot water for as long as there is demand - so you never run out, nor do you dilute your tank of hot water with cold replacement water as the hot water is used. When there is no demand (the hot water faucet is off), the water heater does not run. Great efficiency is gained by not keeping 40 gallons of water hot 24/7. Additionally, you can adjust the output temperature at any time (with a remote control), and it stays at that temperature. This allows you to do wash with higher temperature water than you use for bathing, for example. It can also allow you to set a limit temperature to prevent accidental scalding.
How does a Tankless Water Heater Work?
A tankless water heater saves you money! In contrast to a conventional storage (or "tank") water heater - which heats the water with a relatively small burner, the tankless water heater applies more energy (over 5 times more -32~40,000 BTU for a tank unit and 150~500,000BTU for a tankless) per second to the water so that it can be heated instantly . This higher energy output requires a higher volume gas supply than the tank water heater, and a larger exhaust vent also. Even though the rate of gas usage is significantly higher when the unit is running, it runs for a fraction of the time of a conventional water heater and gains it efficiency in that way.
A tankless water heater saves you space! A tankless water heater is also significantly smaller than a tank water heater - only about the size of a bed pillow, giving you the space back that a tank water heater would otherwise occupy, the tankless water heater can even be installed flush mounted within a wall, taking up virtually no space at all!
A tankless water heater saves on repair and replacement costs! You can also expect a tankless water heater to last many times longer than a tank water heater, up to 25 years! Compare that to the 2-12 year life expectancy of a tank water heater.
Common Misunderstanding: A tankless water heater provides instant hot water.
Truth: While there are actually advertisements claiming that, the fact is that whether any water heater provides instant hot water or not, is a factor of how close it is to the point of use, and if an recirculation pump is installed. A recirculation pump can be applied to either type of system (tank or tankless) and keeps a supply of hot water in the pipes between the water heater and the point of use. The key point of a tankless water heater is that the hot water does not run out, and it is more efficient in terms of energy and space.
Tankless Water Heater Podcast
Listen to what a tankless water heater is, how they work, why use them, the advantages and disadvantages. Also covered is a comparison with super efficient heat-pump type water heaters.