Traditional water heaters maintain a tank of hot water all the time. Usually they keep this water heated at around 120 degrees Fahrenheit day and night. While this is the most common means of achieving hot water at home, it’s not the only way to do it and more and more homeowners are turning to on-demand or tankless hot water heaters instead. There are some serious benefits that come along with these systems, but there are complications as well, so it’s important to understand what to expect from these systems before you make any sort of investment in them.
How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?
Tankless hot water heaters install in-line with your water supply, and use a powerful burner system to heat the water up as it is flowing through. The heaters take a minute or two to get water up to temperature, and then it can flow through at an almost constant rate.
What are the Benefits?
There are two major benefits of a tankless or on-demand hot water heater. The first is that you’ll save on energy expenses over time. Since a tankless water heater only creates hot water as it’s needed, it uses less energy than heaters that warm up water all day long. It’s common to save as much as 30% compared to your standard water heating costs with one of these systems installed, which can be a pretty significant amount saved over time.
Another benefit is that you don’t have to worry about running out of hot water. As long as you have a need for hot water, the system can continue to generate it for you. That means you can take hour long showers if you like, and multiple people can shower back to back without ever running out of water.
What are the Drawbacks?
Even though there are plenty of advantages to an on-demand hot water system, there are some downsides as well. The most notable downside is that you could experience low water pressure if multiple people or appliances are making use of hot water at the same time. Running a dish washer, a washing machine and a shower at once could result in a weak flow to everything.
This solution can be remedied by adding more than one water heater around your home, and it’s important to think about how many of these heaters you’re going to need to maintain a good steady flow even when you’re running multiple devices at once. The other major downside is cost. Tankless hot water heaters tend to be more expensive to purchase and have installed. This is especially true if you need more than one for your home.
Having a Tankless Heater Installed
Now that you know the benefits and drawbacks of an on-demand hot water heater, it’s time to think about how to get one installed in your home. Your best option is to sit down with a local plumber and to talk about your options and what the best approach is to convert your existing plumbing system to work with an on-demand water heater. Talk about whether you need multiple heaters around your property, talk about the cost involved to make the transition, and also discuss if there will be any extensive floor plan adjustments to fit the heaters around your home.
Only after going over all this information should you move ahead and actually have a tankless hot water heater installed in your home.