How They Work
All heating systems work by heating water that passes through a tank or coil system. In a traditional heater system there’s a large tank that both holds and heats water, keeping it at a constant temperature for use when you need it. However, energy is wasted keeping the water hot even when it’s not being used; this is called standby heat loss. Tankless systems heat water as it passes through the system to a faucet or shower, providing hot water on-demand.
One of the biggest strengths of a tankless system is its small size. Because you don’t have to worry about finding room to fit a large tank, on-demand systems have significantly more flexible placement options. Tankless systems come in two varieties: point-of-use and whole-house. Point-of-use systems are designed to heat only one or two outlets. Tank-heating systems often result in some water loss due to lag time. It takes time for the hot water to make it to the faucet you’re using, forcing you to run the water longer than necessary. By placing a tankless system directly next to or near the faucet it will be used for, you can significantly reduce lag time and save water.
Because tankless systems provide water on-demand instead of holding it at a certain temperature for extended periods of time, they experience significantly less standby heat loss. In homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, tankless water heaters can be anywhere from 24 to 34 percent more efficient than a standard tank heater. It’s possible to save even more if you install individual point-of-use systems at each hot water outlet.
Most tankless systems last several years longer than traditional tank heaters. While the initial cost is often higher, tankless heaters are equipped with parts that are easily maintained and interchangeable. As a result, most have a life expectancy of more than 20 years. Tank systems, on the other hand, often only last between 10 to 15 years. The longer the lifespan of your tankless system, the more money and energy you’ll have a chance to save.
Water Heater Installation and Maintenance
Tankless water heating units are available in both gas and electric models. If you’ve chosen to switch to a tankless heating system, make sure you find a professional installer you can trust. The expert technicians at South West Plumbing are trained on an ongoing basis to ensure they can perform any repair or replacement job. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a service appointment.