Tankless water heaters have advantages such as energy efficiency and unlimited hot water
Tankless water heaters have several advantages over conventional storage type water heaters that store a large volume of water in a tank.
Tankless water heaters save energy, but they waste more water than tank type heaters
One advantage is that since the tankless unit does
not have a tank, there is no continuous heat (energy) loss from the
large volume of stored hot water, as there is with a traditional storage
type heater. Typically tankless heaters do not have standing pilot
lights like tank type units, saving even more energy. There is no
question tankless water heaters are more energy efficient.
Another advantage is that you have virtually
unlimited hot water, you will never run out. This could be a double
edged sword though, as there is a tendency for humans to use what is
available. Some users might end up taking much longer showers for
instance, leading to an increase in water and energy usage.
This effect was common back when the government
provided large tax credits for installing solar water heaters.
Homeowners believing they now had cheap hot water tended to use a lot
more hot water than before the solar heaters were installed. They used
so much more that the monthly water heating bill actually increased in
many of the homes where the units were installed the backup heating
elements were being used so much of the time.
Tankless water heaters have a smaller
A minor advantage that tankless units have over
storage units is the size of the footprint. The tankless units take up
less space, although I donít think that is very important to most
Tankless water heaters - the disadvantages
Obviously there are some disadvantages to tankless
water heaters. For one thing, they are much more expensive, and far
more complex than a standard water heater. If they require repair itís
likely to be more expensive, and the parts are harder to obtain in some
cases. Gas units require a large and more expensive flue, and electric
units require very heavy wires because they use so much electricity.
Tankless water heaters have a minimum flow
required to turn them on
Tankless heaters are typically turned on by a flow
switch which turns the heater on when a minimum flow is reached,
typically Ĺ to ĺ gallons per minute. This can be problematic if you
need a very small flow of hot water, and can lead to wasting water.
Most hot water circulating pumps donít pump enough water to reliably
activate tankless water heaters.
Using a traditional circulating pump will void the
warranty on most tankless heaters, since they will cause the heater to
turn on and off very frequently and far more than in typical household
Tankless water heaters waste more water
One of the biggest problems with the tankless
heaters is the fact that they take much longer to get hot water to the
fixture than traditional tank type units. You can picture a tankless
water heater as a long pipe coiled up over a flame.
For the water to
get fully hot, it must travel all the way through the pipe. If the water
starts out in the middle of the heater for instance, it will leave the
heater after only being in the pipe for half the time it would need to
reach full temperature.
This means that it will take much longer for
your water to get hot while you run the faucet waiting for it. Itís
pretty clear that this will cause an increase in water being run down
the drain, costing the home owner money, and wasting one of our most
Turn your tankless unit green with a hot
water demand system
There is however a way to eliminate any of the
water from being wastefully run down the drain while waiting for hot
water. Use a hot water demand system. A hot water demand system only
turns on when hot water is ďdemandedĒ. When you are ready for your
shower you push a button and the pump sends the hot water from your
water heater to your fixture more quickly than if you run the shower at
full blast, and the pump shuts off when the hot water reaches it. Thus
you save time, water, energy, and money.
Rebates are available in some areas
Many local water districts offer rebates for demand
hot water systems, so check with your local water company, some of the
rebates cover the entire cost of a demand system, so in effect, you get
a free system!
Chilipepper Sales 1380 Greg St., # 221 Sparks Nevada, 89431