A tankless water heater not only eliminates the need for a bulky storage tank, it’s a great way to reduce your household energy costs.
Tankless water heaters provide hot water on an as-needed basis, thereby eliminating bulky and inconvenient storage tanks and saving energy at the same time.
Unlike conventional water heaters, which may hold 40 to 50 gallons of hot water ready at all times, tankless water heaters save energy by producing hot water only when needed. Tankless water heaters can, in fact, be 24 percent to 34 percent more efficient than a traditional tank-style water heater, depending on a home’s daily hot water demand, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Web site.
According to the U.S. Energy Star program, “Energy Star-certified tankless water heaters save the typical family more than $80 per year, or $1,700 over the lifetime of the water heater, on gas bills compared to a standard storage model. Gas tankless models are a great choice for new construction and major remodeling, but they are also becoming popular as a replacement for gas storage water heaters.”
There are many different sizes and styles of tankless water heaters, including electric, natural gas, and propane, in single-room or whole-house sizes. Generally, you can replace an existing conventional water heater with a similarly powered tankless unit, however there are considerations depending on the type of tankless water heater. For electric systems, additional voltage and amperage may be required. For gas systems, there must be proper ventilation and the correct size gas line.
Before purchasing a tankless water heater, you will need to determine your hot water usage, which is measured in gallons per minute (GPM), and figure out your maximum hot water demand. A typical shower requires about 2.5 GPM; dishwashers, washing machines, and other appliances all place additional demands on hot water production. Therefore, if you have multiple people showering or multiple appliances using hot water at the same time, you will need a larger water heater that delivers more gallons per minute.
The average energy savings and additional lifespan make tankless heaters a viable option for many homes. In addition, many state and local utilities offer rebates and incentives for converting to energy-saving appliances, which can help mitigate the cost of installing a tankless system. However, if an additional gas line needs to be ran, a tankless water heater may not be the best option for your home due to the added cost which can run thousands of dollars.
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