A tankless hot water heater will heat your water only when you turn on the faucet, and usually operates on natural gas or propane. How does it work? When you turn on the hot water tap, cold water is drawn through a pipe into the unit and is heated either by an electric heating element, or a gas burner. There are two basic types of tankless water heaters – small units that are usually installed right at or near the point-of-use and larger ones that are capable of serving an entire house. Tankless units waste less energy, because they don’t store hot water in a 40-50 gallon tank and keep it hot at all times, they just heat the water “on demand.” Tankless hot water heaters are compact and wall-mounted, and can use up to 30% less energy than units with tanks. They can be installed on a wall indoors with proper venting, or outdoors, which is less expensive and easier to install. Tankless units offer continuous hot water (no more draining the tank after a shower, and waiting for it to fill and heat back up again, until the next person can take a shower). The water is cleaner when it runs through a tankless unit, because the water does not sit in a tank which may have rust, scale, and corrosion. They can deliver hot water at a rate of 2 – 10 gallons a minute, depending on the size of the unit. The life expectancy of the unit is about 20 years, and they are typically warrantied for 12 years.
Tankless Hot Water HeaterErin Chapman