It is becoming a popular trend these days to install a tankless water heater in residential homes. This is not really surprising when you consider that a traditional water heater has been shown to be less efficient than its tankless counterpart in terms of energy efficiency. Tankless heaters also last longer with a life expectancy of over 20 years. They are likewise easy to maintain, and their parts can be easily replaced.
Given these benefits, it’s no wonder that tankless water heaters are gaining popularity. Installing one in your home would be smart, especially if you consider reliable plumbing companies to do the work for you.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters are also known as demand-type or instantaneous heaters. They heat water only when needed, unlike traditional water heaters that store hot water even when you don’t use them.
How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?
A tank-based heater warms water and stores this in a tank until the time comes when you need to use it. A tankless model works differently:
- Detection – A tankless water heater can detect when hot water is required. Turning on a tap or shower valve turns it on and immediately goes into heating mode.
- Calculation – The heater calculates how much energy its electric equipment or gas burner will need to produce hot water using the water’s initial temperature.
- Delivery – The heater delivers the water at the desired temperature after calculating the required energy.
- Shut down – The tankless water heater turns off when the hot water demand has stopped.
What are the Different Types of Tankless Water Heaters?
There are three types of tankless water heaters, and they include:
These are water heaters that rely on a single heat exchanger to produce hot water. Hot exhaust gases work on heating the water, while vents are used to expel excess heat energy.
Unlike the non-condensing model, condensing water heaters employ a dual heat exchanging system. Its vents don’t allow heat from the primary exchanging unit to escape but use it to warm the incoming water supply, reducing the energy consumption of the primary heat exchanger.
The third type is the condensing hybrid. They have a small reservoir that eliminates the disadvantages of using short draws such as handwashing. Condensing hybrid units could be more efficient than the other two heater types based on the typical hot water consumption in residential spaces.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Tankless Water Heater
According to Denver plumbing experts, A Better Plumber, there are several factors to consider when you plan to buy a tankless water heater. These include:
The tank size will usually be proportional to its capacity, so consider this when selecting the right unit for your home.
Per data released by the Energy Information Administration, a typical American household consumes about 64 water gallons per day. If your family consumes less than this amount, a small water heater should be enough to meet your daily needs.
Choosing from the three types of water heaters mentioned previously should be easy as long as you know what suits your needs. Each type has pros and cons, so choose the one that will benefit your family.
Maintenance requirements are part of all plumbing fixtures, especially water heaters. Remember to choose those manufactured by reputable companies or have received good reviews. Units with the best construction standards are also recommended since they are made with the best parts and can expect to last for a long time.
Tankless water heaters have a higher energy efficiency than traditional models, but this should not be your only basis for buying a unit. Take the time to research its efficiency rating. Higher ratings mean the unit uses less energy, and you could save more money over the long term.
Extended warranties are a good option for water heaters because they are practically used daily. This will ensure that you are fully covered for any repair costs incurred if the unit you purchased has factory defects or suffered an early breakdown.
The tankless type is easily the most popular of the different types of water heaters currently available on the market. This is because it has several features that are not found in traditional models. However, buying a tankless water heater is not as easy as it seems. There are factors that you should consider to make your purchase a success. These include the size of the unit, the maintenance required, and the available warranty. A final factor is the installation of the water heater, which you should not attempt on your own. Ideally, you should hire expert plumbers when installing this type of heater since they have all the necessary skills and experience to complete the job.