Tankless Water Heating: a Good Fit for Your Home?
If you’re thinking of switching from a standard storage water heater to a tankless water heating system, you need to know all the facts if you hope to make the right decision for your home. Here’s what to take into consideration:
- No standby energy loss: The biggest reason to make the switch to tankless water heating is to enjoy lower energy bills. This is accomplished by supplying hot water on demand by quickly heating water as it flows through electric- or gas-powered heating elements instead of storing hot water in a tank until you call for it. This can increase efficiency by up to 50 percent.
- Instant hot water: Conventional tanks take 20 to 60 minutes to heat back up after you drain a lot of water taking a shower, running the dishwasher and doing a load of laundry, for instance. Tankless water heaters take no time to reheat because of their on-demand functionality.
- Lower flow rate: Tank water heaters can push out 7.5 to 9.5 gallons per minute (gpm), which is enough to perform multiple hot-water tasks at a time. Tankless water heaters can only deliver 2.5 to 5 gpm, in most cases limiting your hot water use to two activities at a time.
- Higher cost: Gas-fired tankless water heaters are the most expensive. Electric tankless water heating systems are less costly, but they still require a larger investment than a storage water heater. The gas tankless units are cheaper to operate from month to month.
Options for Overcoming the Downsides
- Install multiple tankless water heaters: Some homeowners will supplement a whole-house tankless unit with one or more point-of-use units serving specific areas, such as the kitchen and laundry room.
- Take advantage of tax credits: They expire at the end of 2013, but you can qualify for $300 in federal tax credits for installing a gas-fired tankless water heater.
For more information about upgrading to a tankless water heating system, please contact us at Sobieski Services, Inc. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: John Hritz