tankless water heater

Tankless Hot Water Heaters Add Convenience

Rinnai Tankless Water Heater installed in a historic home remodel

Rinnai Tankless Water Heater installed in a historic home remodel

Imagine the luxury and convenience that comes from enjoying a long shower and not having the water run cold halfway through. One of the most in-demand appliances in custom home construction and home remodeling is the tankless hot water heater. Perfect for families who constantly run out of hot water or those looking to save energy costs, tankless hot water heaters qualify for a $300 federal energy tax credit and supply an endless demand of hot water.

Just as with any large purchase for the home, it is important to research the products available and understand the way in which tankless water heaters operate. An expensive purchase, tankless hot water heaters are not necessarily simple, over-the-counter systems. There are several factors involved with purchasing and installing an on-demand hot water heater and familiarizing yourself with the following basics will make your decision much easier.

How they work
On demand hot water heaters don’t store hot water, but rather create it as soon as needed. In tank-type water heaters, hot water is sent from the heater to your appliance, like a faucet or shower head. Hot water sits in the pipes and tank waiting to be heated and cools off when not used.

A tankless water heater works by heating the water directly. While it does not necessarily instantly produce hot water, it will not later run cold. There is no storage tank where water heats and stands by, ultimately cooling over time if unused. That waste of water and energy is what makes tankless water heaters more energy efficient, as they avoid standby heat loss.

Point-of-Use Tankless Water Heater
Depending how you want to use the tankless water heater, you’ll want to decide between whole house heaters or a point-of-use system. Point-of-use tankless water heaters provide hot water for small sources, like a cup of tea. Less expensive than whole house tankless water heaters, point-of-use heaters cost a few hundred dollars, minus installation. The point-of-use tankless water heater is relatively small and will usually fit inside a sink cabinet or in a closet.

Whole House Tankless Water Heater
Although more expensive than point-of-use heaters, whole house water heaters have higher gallon per minute flow rate capacities and can supply enough water for more than one fixture. For larger families, more than one whole house water heater might be necessary, as it is important to have a water heater that can handle the maximum flow of the appliances or fixtures you plan to use simultaneously. Whole house units are available in gas and electric varieties, however there are several additional expenses that come with the installation of whole house electric tankless water heaters due to the large amount of electricity required for operation.

Whatever option you choose, tankless hot water heaters add luxury to any household but also require professional installation and additional research. Working with a qualified general contractor is advised to learn more about choosing the right tankless water heater for your next home.

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