Did you know that the third biggest energy cost in your home is heating your household’s water? Not only that but in the average household it typically represents about thirteen percent of your total utility bill.
What makes a tankless (you might have heard them called demand or instantaneous water heaters) so desirable? This type of water heater provides heated water just when it‘s called for. They do not incur the fruitless energy loss that you find with storage type water heaters. What advantage does this give the homeowner? It can save a significant amount of money on your monthly energy bills.
These tankless heaters can be purchased and installed to serve in either the gas or electric mode. Gas fired tankless water heaters have been shown to deliver a higher flow than their electric counterparts. But in some circumstances even the biggest, gas fired heater can’t deliver sufficient heated water for concurrent, multiple demands in the larger households.
Consider, someone taking their shower while running their dishwasher simultaneously may stretch a tankless water heater beyond its limitations. To solve this problem, why not connect two or three tankless water heaters in parallel for concurrent demands for heated water?
Ways in which Tankless Water Heaters Save Money
First, a storage water heater is turned on, maintaining the heat of the water twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Imagine, it gets a big load put on it in the morning when the household members are showering, preparing breakfast, and performing other pre-work and pre-school activities.
All this time it is refilling and running full speed to maintain the pre-set temperature. When everyone is gone, it is still running to maintain the temperature, even though there is no demand.
All night long when the occupants sleep it continues to use energy like a drone.
This is not true of the tankless water heater. When there is a demand it works hard but when there is no demand it uses no energy. Or uses minimal energy, in the case of a gas fired tankless. Even the gas supplied to the pilot light will be less than the amount that a storage heater uses.
You will also save money on replacement costs in the long run – tankless water heaters last a minimum of twenty years while storage water heaters only last ten to fifteen years. And that is with proper maintenance; and do you know anyone who does that? Also, the actual efficiency of a storage heater goes down year by year due to the honeycomb effect.
But How much can I Expect to Save?
Well, for example, if your home consumes forty one or less gallons of heated water on a daily average, a tankless heater can net you up to twenty four to thirty four percent more energy efficiency than a conventional storage heater.
If you consume more, say for example eighty six gallons each day, then you can expect eight to fourteen percent more efficiency. And by installing a tankless unit at every hot water demand point your savings will be in the range of twenty seven to fifty percent!
So Should I go Tankless?
This is a question that only you can answer and there are many things to take into consideration. What is the total cash outlay to purchase and install tankless? How long am I planning to remain in my current home? Can I speculate on how sharply energy costs will continue to rise? These and other questions must guide your decision.
photo by doug wilson -CreativeCommons Attribution