What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

One of the latest inventions in terms of heaters have been the tankless or storage-less water heaters. These heaters are also known as instantaneous water heaters and are not like the traditional storage heaters, as the name states. These water heaters have managed to make a place of their own due to the fact that they provide hot water when needed and do not have any standby energy losses. Hence, this helps in saving money for the user. Here, you will be able to assess whether tankless water heaters are good for your use and if their mechanism is worth it or not. Below, we have listed down all the important details regarding the tankless water heater.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

Tankless water heaters are special heaters that manage to heat water directly without having a storage tank. Hence, when you turn on a cold water tap, the water runs through the pipes and goes into the unit. Depending upon the type of heater, either an electric or gas burner would turn on to heat the water. This would result in a supply of hot water that may have a limited flow rate.

A gas-fired water heater has a higher flow rate as compared to an electric water heater. However, when using water in a household for more than one purpose simultaneously, even the gas-fired water heater may not be able to provide enough water. In such a case, installing two to three such water heaters on each outlet may do the job to provide enough gallons of water.

Advantages of Having a Tankless Water Heater

  • Saves Energy and Money

One main advantage of using a tankless water heater instead of a storage-tank water heater is that it can save up to 8-50% energy, depending upon the amount of hot water you use in the house or how many heaters you place in the house. The more such water heaters and the lesser the amount of hot water required, the more energy you are likely to save. This helps in reducing operating costs for the user.

  • Durable and Long-Lasting

Tankless water heaters are likely to last much longer as compared to storage or tank water heaters. This is so because tankless heaters are much more durable. Most such heaters can work for over 20 years and have easily available and replaceable parts, making them even better. On the other hand, storage water heaters last about 10 to 15 years if kept according to their maintenance needs.

  • Takes up Lesser Physical Space

The tankless water heaters are also smaller in size as compared to storage water heaters. This allows the user to place the heater in any possible place. Not just this, but tankless water heaters are also available in many designs and advanced technologies if you compare them to storage water tanks.

  • Provides Safety by Temperature Control

Tankless water heaters are likely to control water temperatures. This means that it avoids any kind of temperature spikes or accidents. As compared to a storage-tank water heater, a tankless one is a safer choice in terms of temperature control.

Disadvantages of Having a Tankless Water Heater

  • Cannot Cater To All Needs Simultaneously

Since a single tankless water tank may not be able to cater to the needs of an entire household, placing such heaters on each water outlet may be problematic for the user. Not just this, but this may also increase the cost for the user.

  • More Expensive Setup Cost

A tankless water heater is comparatively more expensive as compared to a storage water heater. This is so because it involves advanced technology. This may be a drawback for users who prefer pocket-friendly items or water heaters.

  • Constant Supply of Fuel

Although tankless water heaters can avoid costs in terms of standby energy losses, a constant supply of gas or electricity can reduce the savings. For this, choosing the right model and discussing the requirement of gas for the light pilot may help reduce the costs on the whole.

  • Cannot Work During a Power Outage

Another disadvantage of having a tankless water heater is that in case of a power outage alongside an electric heater, the supply of hot water would be disrupted or would stop completely. However, tank-based water heaters can still manage to provide hot water as long as there is water in the storage tank.

What Factors Must You Consider Before Buying a Tankless Water Heater?

  • Size
  • Costs (One time or running costs)
  • Type of fuel and availability
  • Efficiency in terms of energy
  • Model

Installation and Maintenance (Professional or Self)

A very important aspect of any tankless water heater is the installation method or way. This is because proper installation can maximize the efficiency of a water heater. However, installation and maintenance depend upon many factors. These factors include climate, source of fuel, safety, building requirements, and personal preferences.

It is advisable to have a qualified and proper plumber or installer to avoid any kind of accidental issues later on. You must consider requesting cost estimates and seeing if the company coming to install the water heater has proficiency in local building codes and needs.

However, if you plan to install the tankless water heater yourself, do make sure to consult the manufacturer. This is advisable because the manufacturers usually have a manual they follow. These are sets of instructions enabling a user to install the product. This manual may also include the maintenance details for the machine.

Final Words

Tankless water heaters are the latest and most efficient water heaters available in the market. In today’s world, finding something to reduce costs and energy losses is not common. Hence, even though these tanks-less water heaters might have some cons, they are still a ‘win-win’ in all situations as they save energy to a great extent.