Do you know how much hot water you use each day? Think of all the things you use this luxury for: taking showers, doing dishes, washing laundry, and other similar tasks. When your current water heater breaks down or doesn't supply you with adequate hot water, you know that you'll likely need a new one.
By now, you've probably heard about tankless water heaters. These home plumbing appliances have risen in popularity over the last several years, but what exactly are they? How does something so small supply a home with hot water?
In our blog, we'll tell you everything you need to know about tankless water heaters, including what they are, how they work, and what benefits you can expect from this appliance should you choose to install one in your home.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Like any water heater, a tankless water heater is an appliance that hooks into your home's plumbing system. Tankless water heaters are also called on-demand, instantaneous, instant-on, flash, or inline water heaters. These names all describe the water heater's main purpose: to supply hot water as soon as the tap is turned on.
However, tankless water heaters don't have a storage tank like traditional water heaters. They look like small appliance boxes that rest on your home's wall or in an out-of-the-way location.
Again, these water heaters are small in size-but highly powerful and completely effective in supplying hot water throughout a building. In fact, some tankless water heaters can pump as little as one and a half gallons of water per minute, while others can pump seven gallons of water or more in a minute.
How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?
Because tankless water heaters don't have storage tanks to store hot water in, they work a little differently than your traditional water heater.
The heater usually stays off when you aren't using hot water. The appliance can use either gas or electricity to function and heat your home's water.
When you turn on the hot water, flow sensors inside the heater activate as soon as water flows through them. The heater also contains a negative feedback loop, a component that raises the water temperature. Then, the water moves through a copper heat exchanger and finally through the rest of the pipes in your home. This process repeats continuously so you never run out of hot water.
Sometimes, though, tankless water heaters must work with a central water heater to supply enough hot water to a home. For example, point-of-use (POU) water heaters are so small that they push just under two gallons of water through the faucet every minute. This amount of water only works for light use, so a central water heater supplements hot water for bigger amounts of water use.
What Benefits Does a Tankless Water Heater Offer?
Heating your water can be the biggest contributor to high utility bills. However, when you invest in a tankless water heater, you can reap the following benefits:
- Tankless water heaters reduce the need for stored hot water. They heat water on demand instead of consistently, so you'll save money on heating costs. In fact, tankless water heaters can be up to 94 percent energy efficient compared to other water heaters.
- Tankless heaters last as long as 20 years or more, so you won't have to replace this appliance as often as its traditional counterpart.
- Tankless water heaters can be placed almost anywhere in your home because of their small, compact size.
- Tankless water heaters reduce safety hazards in your home since they only run when you turn on the hot water faucet. Traditional water heaters run constantly, increasing the risk for house fires and injury.
Though tankless water heaters cost more money for the appliance and the installation, the above-listed benefits let the water heater pay for itself within a few years.
What Factors Determine the Size of Tankless Water Heater You Need?
Before you can install a tankless water heater in your home, you must first determine which size of heater to get. Use the following factors to determine which size best suits your home:
- Household size
- Number of plumbing devices you'll use simultaneously
- Temperature your water needs to reach
Be sure to consult with a HomeSmart installation technician (yes, HomeSmart installs and services tankless water heaters) and take these three factors into account so you choose the right tankless water heater for your home's size and your hot water needs.
Ready to Take Advantage of Limitless Hot Water?
Use the information in this blog as you consider adding a tankless water heater to your home. Decide which benefits you'd most like to reap and what you'd like to do to make your home more energy efficient.
If you decide you're ready to install a tankless water heater in your home, call HomeSmart at 1-866-837-9762 to get the job done right. Not sure which brand of tankless water heater you should purchase? Our professional installers can provide a FREE estimate and recommend a model that not only fits your budget and home's size, but one that also makes your home the most energy efficient. So what are you waiting for? Call HomeSmart today!