Every home, hotels and restaurant must need at least one tankless water heater. It provides quick and easy access to hot water as and when you need it.
In a conventional water heater, the water is stored in a tank and then heated. This hot water then reaches its destination through pipes. Whether you need the entire tank of water or not, you have to get the whole water in the tank heated.
This results in a lot of energy being used up for heating. A solution to this problem is the tankless water heater.
What is a Tankless Water Heater?
The tankless heater is an on-demand heater that provides hot water as and when you require. There is no heating and storing of the water, unlike a conventional water heater. Thus, there is no energy loss associated with the heating of water.
How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?
As mentioned earlier, a tankless water heater does not have storage to store water and heat it. When the tap is opened, cold water enters the unit through a pipe. It is then heated using gas or electricity. This hot water then passes through the pipe to its destination tap.
Thus, in the case of a tankless heater, you get the hot water instantly. You do not have to wait for the tank to get filled and then heated.
What Are the Different Types of Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters are available in different types
Residential Tankless Heater
- Electric tankless water heater: In this type of water heater, electricity is used to heat the water. Since power is more costly when compared to other forms of heating, this type of water heater is not very energy efficient.
This type of water heater can be installed only if your house is wired correctly to heat the water.
- Gas tankless water heater: This type of water heater makes use of gas for heating the water. They are considered to be more efficient than the electric water heater. But if you want to get the efficiency to the fullest, then you should go for a condensing unit.
A condensing unit makes use of heat from the exhaust fume for heating the water. Thus, the efficiency is very high.
Commercial Tankless Water Heater
- Commercial heater: This type of heater makes use of natural gas or propane for heating the water. This is because the commercial heater requires high heating and flow rate. Only natural gas or propane could meet these requirements.
What Are the Benefits of Purchasing a Tankless Water Heater?
- Small size: The tankless water heater is small when compared to a conventional one. Thus, it occupies only very little space. You can easily fit it besides the faucet for heating the water. Therefore, if you have a very small house where storage is a problem, then the tankless heater is the right choice.
- Use less energy: In the case of a conventional water heater, the water is stored in the tank and then heated. Whether you need the entire water in the tank or not, the whole water is heated up. This results in a lot of energy wastage.
In the case of a tankless heater, there is no storage of water. Only the water that you require is heated up. Hence, there is no wastage of energy.
- No wastage of water: A lot of water is wasted in a conventional heater when you wait for the water to get heated. In the case of a tankless heater, the water is heated instantly. Hence, there is no wastage of cold water.
- Highly durable: While a conventional water heater would last only for 10-15 years, the one without a tank would last for about 20 years.
What Are the Things to Consider While Purchasing Tankless Heater?
- Type of water heaters: Tankless heaters are of two kinds – Gas and electric. An electric heater makes use of electricity for heating the water. Thus, more power is required for this type of heater. In the case of a gas water heater, gas is used to heat the water. But the pilot light of the heater is on even when you do not need hot water. Hence, the electricity consumption is also more. Thus, you should carefully consider the pros and cons of both before finalizing on one.
- The flow rate of water: This depends on the number of appliances to which you want the heater to be connected. By doing a google search, you will get to know the water flow rate for the various devices you have at home. Once you add up the rate, you will get the total flow rate for all the appliances. The tankless heater that you purchase should have that much water flow rate.
If you cannot find a single water heater with the required flow rate, then you will have to purchase multiple heaters to connect to all appliances.
Other Things to Consider
- Cost of the heater: Tankless heater costs anywhere between $200 – $3000. This is just the cost of the heater, excluding the cost of installation. Higher the value, the higher will be the efficiency of the water heater. Depending on your budget, you can decide which price range to go for.
- Cost of maintenance: The tankless heater has several parts when compared to a storage water heater. Because of this, maintaining this water heater is not easy. In case of damage, getting spare parts and repairing the water heater can be costly.
- Warranty: What if something goes wrong with the water heater? Hence, you should also consider the warranty period before purchasing a water heater. Go through the warranty certificate and make sure that all the terms and conditions are favorable for you.
Thus, there are a lot of things to consider before purchasing a tankless heater. If you feel that the energy-saving from a tankless heater is much higher than a conventional one in your home, then you should definitely consider buying one.