Tankless water heaters – you have heard about them I am sure, but what are the advantages that are offered by the tankless water heater and when should you consider them? This week, we are beginning a series of stories from our customers. These stores are real-life situations and the solution we recommended to them and why.
The Problem: Cold Showers
We had a call recently from an existing customer who was having a problem with his two 50 gallon hot water tanks, or so he thought. He insisted that the tanks were not efficient enough. Although his house was of a size larger than what most folks own; still, he thought that two 50 gallon tanks should certainly be enough! And, “to boot”, the tanks were turned up to their highest hot water settings!
We asked about how many family members were in the home that are the heaviest hot water users, and at that point, the customer happened to mention his two teenage daughters. “Well”, we said, “that just might explain why there’s not enough hot water to go around; I used to have a teenage daughter myself.” The two tanks could not keep the two teenage daughters supplied with enough hot water! That was the problem. Although this may sound a bit extreme, guess it just could happen. The homeowner wanted a solution.
The Solution: Tankless Water Heater
We suggested the installation of two tankless water heating units (also called “on demand” units). They heat your water only when you turn on the faucet. And even better, they also offer a continuous, reliable supply of hot water for as long as you need it (they never run out). “Just think”, thought the homeowner, “my daughters can take showers forever and never run out of hot water!” He then said, “I’ll buy them!”
The tankless units usually operate conveniently on natural gas or propane. Another advantage is that they eliminate the extra cost of keeping 40 to 50 gallons of water hot in a storage tank; so they save on your energy bills. According to Energy Star, some tankless units are so energy efficient, that they have energy factors as high as 95.
A tankless water heater uses 30 to 50 percent less energy than units with tanks, saving a typical family about $100 or more per year; or, in the case of our homeowner, upwards of $225 per year, depending on water usage, of course. When the unit is sized properly, it can effortlessly deliver a continuous supply of water at preset temperature levels; as much as 5 to 7 gallons of hot water per minute, which is ideal for filling a big hot tub or a whirlpool, or even taking two long showers at the same time! They only need enough power to heat the amount of water necessary at any given moment, thus avoiding standby heat losses associated with larger storage water heaters. Your gas turns on only when there is a demand/call for hot water; that is, it only uses your gas whenever the faucet’s turned on!
Tankless Water Heater: Space Saving
Hugh also explained to the homeowner how the two tankless water heaters can mount directly on a wall, and are much more compact than the 40 or 50-gallon standard water storage heaters. The tankless water heaters take up little space in comparison to a couple of typical hot water tanks, especially ones that are 50 gallons each. The homeowner gained a pretty big area back for storage that basically amounted to used/wasted space previously with the two larger hot water tanks.
Additional Tankless Water Heater Advantages
Some tankless units may come with a federal tax rebate of $300. And they typically last 5 to 10 years longer than storage tank heaters; some even up to 20 years.
An on-demand water heater also scores high in safety. There’s no possibility of flooding due to a ruptured tank. And a lot of models are equipped with safety features to prevent scalding water from reaching your faucet. Some of the more recent models include monitoring systems that provide details about water pressure and flow so that just in case of a system failure, the machine could turn off the heater. For more information on tankless advantages and disadvantages, you can see a previous blog that we wrote last year.
Call Proudfoot Today
To be sure, if you are interested in having a tankless water heater installed in your home, you should hire a professional like Proudfoot Plumbing, Heating and Air that is familiar with these products and their installation. Proudfoot has the necessary experience installing and servicing them. Please contact us or give us a call at 1-412-461-2198. We will be glad to help out and/or make recommendations for you on the installation and maintenance of your new tankless water heating system.