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Saving with Tankless Water Heaters

If you discover that your water heater needs to be replaced in the not so distant future, you’ll be pleased to find that there are many options to choose from these days. But, before you jump into that next purchase, it’s important that you do your homework first because you might be surprised by what you find.

Heating water in your home accounts for nearly 20 percent of home energy costs. Today’s new efficiency standards result in water heaters less than 55 gallons having about a 4 percent boost in efficiency while heaters over 55 gallons may reduce your utility costs 25-50 percent depending on the technology design of the heater.

Most water heaters are sold on the basis of how many gallons they hold, so even though you may have an active family using water routinely totalling 100 gallons of hot water or even more, doesn’t mean you need a 100 gallon storage tank.

In today’s energy efficient and cost effective market, tankless water heaters have gained a great deal of attention and popularity. There are many reasons why you should consider switching to this type of unit when it’s time to replace the old one.

Here are a few advantages and savings associated with tankless on-demand water heaters.

On-Demand

As the name suggests, tankless water heaters use heating coils to heat the water as needed.

Tankless units heat the water only when you turn on the faucet and offer a continuous supply of hot water, which is ideal for a busy household.

A flow sensor within the tankless system detects this flow usually within a couple of seconds. Once the flow is detected, the systems' computer tells the tankless unit to come to life, firing up the burners and starting up the exhaust fan. When the faucet is closed, the flow sensor notifies the computer that flow has stopped which in turn shuts down the burners and goes back to sleep until the next event occurs.

A tankless water heater uses 30 to 50 percent less energy than units with tanks, saving a typical family about $100 or more per year. They virtually eliminate standby losses, hence less energy wasted. Instead of losing heat that's idly sitting in a conventional and insulated tank, the tank is still going to lose heat and require constant reheating.

Size

Unlike bigger, bulkier conventional tank water heaters that need more space, tankless water heaters are compact in size, taking up less area in the house because the tankless water heater can be mounted on a wall.  Tankless water heaters also eliminate the extra cost of keeping 40 to 50 gallons of water hot in a storage tank, so you waste less energy.

Operation

Because tankless units have high-powered burners, they also have special venting requirements, such as a dedicated, sealed vent system, which requires professional installation. The natural gas burners often need a larger diameter gas pipe and this will add to the initial costs, but the saving overall is reduced and you get to keep more money in your pocket.

Life of a Tank

While these tanks primarily operate on natural gas or propane instead of electricity or oil, they last much longer than the typical storage tank. A typical tank water heater is supposed to last 10 to 13 years but unlike the conventional styles, tankless water heaters are estimated to last up to 20 years whereby helping to reduce expenditures.

The Bottom Line

Although tankless water heaters have a higher initial cost, they will last longer than conventional systems, have lower operating and energy costs, are more compact, and very dependable. In the end, the higher initial cost will be offset by the savings that accrue over time.