Realty Executives of Flagstaff

Wayne McCormick

Wayne McCormick


Realty Executives of Flagstaff


Tankless water heater is an efficient option

(Published on - 11/11/2015 5:59:27 PM)

For most families installing tankless water heater yields a substantial savings on utility bills, and some gas/propane models qualify for a $300 energy tax credit. No standard tank-type models qualify for the credit.

Tankless water heaters are not new. They have not been popular in American homes, but are common almost everywhere else in the world. It is a proven technology, and you never will have a rusted-out tank to replace.

Tankless water heaters are small and are usually hung on the wall or recessed (gas models) in a wall outdoors. Much of the cost of heating water with a standard tank-type water heater results from heat being lost through the walls and top of the tank. During summer, this heat loss to your home makes your air-conditioner run longer, so it is a double cost. During the winter, it does heat the air, but the water heater usually is in a utility room or basement, where warmth isn’t needed.

A tankless water heater has high output burners (gas) or heating elements (electric) to heat the water only as it is needed. If you do not use hot water overnight, the unit does not come on. In contrast, a tank-type model may come on several times to replace heat lost from the tank.

In addition to the utility-bill savings, a tankless water heater can supply enough hot water for endless showers, whereas a tank type water heater can run out of water by the third long shower. If you have just washed the dishes or done the laundry, the hot water may run out by the second.

The drawback to a tankless water heater is the instantaneous hot-water output is limited by the heating capacity of the unit. Depending upon the heating capacity, you may not be able to take two showers while running the clothes washer. This is a minor inconvenience to stagger the high-hot-water-usage tasks.

Gas models have the greatest instantaneous hot-water output, up to six gallons per minute. Because you seldom use straight hot tap water, this is more than adequate.

If you’re replacing an electric water heater, you’ll need additional circuits and wiring to a tankless unit.

No matter which type you need, select one with modulating heat output for steadier hot-water temperatures.


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