For a long time, water heaters with tanks dominated the market, but tankless water heaters have emerged as a strong competitor.
Before we dive in and compare the two systems, it’s important to understand how tankless water heaters work (also called a demand water heater).
How Tankless Water Heaters Work
Traditional water heaters have cold water delivered to the tank where it is heated by a device inside and stored there until you turn on the hot water inside the house.
With a tankless heater or demand unit, water is heated on an as-needed basis. When the hot water is turned on, cold water runs through the pipes and is heated as it passes through the unit either by gas burners or an electric device.
As a result, hot water is delivered at a constant rate.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters
Typically tankless heaters can provide 2-5 gallons of hot water per minute, so if there are multiple demands for hot water a single unit may not produce an adequate amount. In this case, installing multiple units may be a wise choice.
Initial costs may also be higher with a tankless solution, however, they tend to last longer than storage water heaters and offer potential savings because they are more efficient.
Energy Savings of a Tankless Water Heater
According to energy.gov, if your home uses less than 41 gallons of hot water a day, demand water heaters can be 24-34% more efficient than their tank counterparts and 8-14% more efficient for homes using around 86 gallons per day.
If you install a tankless water heater at each appliance using hot water, you may enjoy energy savings of 27-50%. But in all our years of plumbing in the Lehigh Valley, very few customers have found this to be a viable option. One in-reach solution we've seen often in larger homes has been a tankless water heater assigned to a high usage zone, such as the kitchen, while another unit handles the rest of the home.
Thinking about a tankless water heater? Talk to the experts at Agentis. We’re ready to help.