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Tankless Water Heaters: Hot Water On Demand For The Cold Mornings Ahead

Posted on December 11, 2012

Tankless water heaters solve one of the major drawbacks associated with conventional water heaters: the tank. A storage tank heater has a limited capacity of available hot water. Once the gallons inside the tank are used, residents have to wait for another tank to heat. Tankless heaters store no water. Instead, they heat water entirely on-demand according to the requirements of the home. Here’s an overview of tankless technology:

Tankless heaters install directly into the cold water line very close to the point of demand, such as a kitchen or bathroom. They are often mounted on a wall. Cold water flows through a tubing loop inside the heater where it is flash heated by gas or electrical heating elements. Heated water then flows a short distance to the faucet or shower.

Most residential tankless water heaters output two to five gallons of hot water per minute without any decline in the rated temperature. When demand on a tankless heater exceeds the supply, the  water temperature output declines at a predictable rate but does not go completely cold like a storage tank system. To solve problems where demand frequently outstrips a tankless heater’s capacity, a second heater can be installed in parallel or dedicated to a single particularly high-demand output, like a washing machine.

The efficiency of tankless heaters is related to hot water usage of the household.  Homes that use less than 41 gallons of hot water per day can receive efficiency improvements up to 34 percent over a standard storage tank heater. For optimum efficiency, gas-fired tankless heaters that utilize electronic ignition instead of a standing pilot light should be installed.

Tankless heaters cost more initially, however have longer expected service life than storage tank heaters, which usually fail from corrosion or sediment accumulation. Tankless water heaters incorporate a greater number of replaceable parts than a storage unit and have an average life span of 20 years.

Comfort Systems serves Wichita and surrounding area homeowners with experienced heating, cooling and plumbing sales and service. Ask us for more information about the benefits of a tankless water heater in your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about tankless water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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