Are you tired of having to take a cold shower after other family members have used up all the hot water? There is a solution — other than staying up late to shower after everyone else has gone to bed. Tankless hot water heaters are a type of hot water heater that supply a continuous flow of hot water. Everyone in your family can shower back-to-back, and nobody has to shiver away in the cold.
Here's a closer look at tankless hot water heaters, how they work, and how to decide whether this appliance is right for you.
How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?
A traditional water heater heats a tank full of water and holds that water until you use it. With a tankless water heater, there is no storage tank. Instead, the unit warms water as it flows through a pipe. When you turn on the hot water at a faucet, there is a brief waiting period while the tankless water heater turns on and the cold water clears the pipe. But once the hot water starts emerging, it will flow endlessly, never becoming cold.
What Are the Other Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters?
In addition to offering continual hot water, tankless hot water heaters are highly efficient. You won't be paying to heat any hot water that you don't use. In a home that uses at least 86 gallons of water per day, you may save 27 to 50 percent on energy by switching from a hot water tank to a tankless water heater.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Tankless Water Heaters?
Tankless water heaters do have a limited output. In other words, they can only supply so much hot water at a time. Depending on the flow rate of your water heater, you may be able to take a shower and use hot water at the kitchen sink at the same time, but you probably won't be able to run two showers and the kitchen sink. You could, of course, install two tankless heaters to provide you with a greater output of hot water. However, this increases your cost.
Tankless hot water heaters are also more expensive to install than hot water tanks. Your plumber will probably have to modify your home's pipes and electrical system somewhat, which adds to the cost of installation. Keep in mind, however, that you will recoup some of these costs in the form of energy savings.
Should You Choose an Electric or Gas Tankless Water Heater?
Just as there are gas and electric water tanks, there are gas and electric tankless water heaters. Which is the better choice for your home depends on your family's needs and preferences.
Gas tankless water heaters generally have a greater output than electric water heaters, enabling more people to use hot water at once. With a larger family, you may be able to get away with one gas water heater whereas you would need two separate electric ones to provide your needed output. However, gas tankless heaters do cost more than electric models.
Electric hot water heaters are easier to troubleshoot and diagnose than gas water heaters, and they also tend to last longer. Many homeowners feel safer with an electric tankless water heater than with a gas one because there are no open flames involved. If you do not currently have gas lines to your home, installing an electric water heater is easier and less expensive.
If you're tired of taking cold showers, contact Ernie's Plumbing & Sewer Service. We will take into account your home layout, your water needs, and your budget to recommend a tankless water heater that's right for you.