The water heater in your home is one of the most important appliances you own. While you might pay more attention to your refrigerator or laundry machine, your water heater plays a fundamental role in your day-to-day life.
These days, more and more people turn to tankless water heaters when it comes to heating their homes. It’s not hard to see why, either. Tankless heaters take up less space, ensure a constant supply of hot water, and generally use less energy.
So how do you know if a tankless system is the way to go? There are various options, and sifting through the vast amount of information online can be overwhelming. Luckily however, we’re here to help!
Whether you’re buying your first water heater or replacing an older one, this article will teach you everything you need to know about tankless water heaters, to help make your decision easier.
What is a tankless water heater?
Traditional water heaters work by heating a tank of water in advance, then using that water whenever it is required. If the heater is on, it will replenish the supply of hot water in the tank.
As the name suggests, a tankless water heater gets rid of the storage and only heats water when required. For example, when a hot tap is turned on, cold water flows through the tankless heater. A heating element is activated, warming the water, and delivering a flow of hot water from the tap. Once the tap is turned off, the tankless system shuts down as well.
What are the benefits of a tankless water heater?
Because tankless heaters don’t store hot water, they don’t require a large tank. This means they can be small, compact, and easy to fit into smaller spaces than traditional heating systems. They can be wall-mounted or tucked away under the stair – wherever suits you best.
Tankless heaters heat water whenever it is needed, meaning that you always have hot water on demand. You don’t have to worry about emptying the tank or running low on water, so you can fill large tubs without worrying about ending up with a cold bath!
Traditional water heaters store large amounts of previously heated water, replenishing the supply when it runs low. Not only does this mean that you sometimes end up with more hot water than you need, but you also end up with standby heat loss. A tankless heater means you only heat the water you need, making them far more energy-efficient than their wasteful counterparts.
As well as being energy-efficient, tankless heaters are also better for the environment. They usually use natural gas or propane, and because they are more efficient, they waste less energy.
Long service life
If looked after properly, tankless heaters can last for over 20 years. Tankless systems are designed to be repaired, and almost every part can be easily fixed or replaced. Because they don’t store water, you don’t have to worry about leaks either, so you’ll have no concerns about water damage or a costly replacement tank.
What are the drawbacks of a tankless water heater?
The initial purchase and installation costs for a tankless heater can be pretty expensive, sometimes nearly three times as much as traditional water heaters. Tankless heaters tend to be cheaper to run, and are, overall, good value for money, but it is worth taking the upfront costs into account when making your decision.
A tankless water heater installation in your home may require a number of upgrades. In older buildings, you might need an electrical upgrade, as tankless heaters require more power to run. If your chosen system is a non-condensing one, you will also need to install category III venting material.
Your tankless system can only deliver as much hot water as it can heat at any one time and can’t fall back on stored water to make up the difference. If your family’s hot water needs are high, a tankless heater may struggle if everyone is using hot water at once.
How do I know if a tankless water heater is right for my home?
Tankless heaters offer some excellent benefits, and if you can take advantage of them, a tankless system is a great choice. There are some considerations to think about for larger families and older homes, but overall tankless systems are a great choice.
If you’re still unsure about which hot water system will work best for you, you can check out our comprehensive guide to different water heaters. For all other queries or plumbing issues, visit our website.