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Home Energy Upgrades: Tankless Water Heaters

by Guest Post on Feb 3, 2011

Many homeowners today aim to incorporate more energy efficiency into home updates and renovations. One relatively simple update that can help save on energy consumption and cost is a tankless water heater. These water heaters utilize a less wasteful method of providing a home with heated water and take up less space in the home than do traditional storage tank water heaters.

A standard water heater keeps a storage tank full of heated water ready, and refills and heats water as it is used or when the temperature falls below a specified minimum level. If the water reaches the minimum temperature before it is used, it is reheated so that a certain temperature is maintained within the tank. It is apparent how a lot of energy can be wasted as unused water is heated and reheated in such a system.

As the name implies, a tankless water heater is a unit used to heat water that has no reservoir. Sometimes called demand water heaters, tankless heaters only heat water when it is needed. A gas or electrically powered burner heats the water when someone in the home turns on a hot water faucet, for instance. When the faucet is turned on, water is moved to the tankless heater, where it is heated, then on to the faucet for use. Since water is not stored in a tank, it is heated on demand, resulting in less wasted energy.

Tankless water heaters have different capacities, so you can install one large enough to heat all of the water for your home or small enough to cover just one bathroom or even one faucet. Tankless water heaters of different capacities essentially increase the water temperature based on its flow rate, so for instance less water would be heated for a faucet than for a bathtub faucet.

There are certainly many ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home with appliance upgrades, and replacing a storage tank water heater with a tankless one is one of them. Strict electrical requirements mean that you will most likely need to hire a professional for having a tankless water heater installed in your home.

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