Should You Get a Tankless Water Heater?

If you are interested in a tankless water heater Austin, it makes sense to educate yourself on the benefits and drawbacks of the design. Because the water heater only heats water when it is needed, there is no need for a storage tank. Storage tanks require a good amount of room and the standby losses of heat from the tank can lead to an increase in your energy bill. Tankless water heaters are generally more low maintenance than conventional water heaters, with a lifespan of about 20 years. Finally, when using a tankless heater, there is no need to worry about leaks or water damage.

You may be curious about how a tankless water heater works. The cold water is pulled into the unit where it is heated. Tankless water heaters are available in either electric or gas. The electric models heat with a heating element, while the gas models use a burner. There is a never ending supply of hot water, because it is heated as it passes through the unit. You are limited on the speed of output, with most models delivering between 2 and 5 gallons of hot water per minute.

You can choose between small tankless units that fit right at their point of use or larger ones that supply an entire house. Smaller units greatly eliminate heat loss, as there is little to no loss through the pipes as well as no loss through the tank. While it would take several small tanks to supply an entire house, they do a nice job of supplementing a tank style heater in homes where it is difficult to keep up with the demand for hot water.

While tankless hot water heaters are a great resource, and many people find them perfect for supplying hot water and lowering energy costs, there are some disadvantages to these units. Because the water is heated on demand, it can be difficult to keep up with hot water demands at peak use times.

Another drawback is the need for installation of a modulating temperature control. Not all tankless heaters are equipped with these. You will want a professional, like the ones at Daniel’s Austin, to do this installation. Without a modulating temperature control, the water temperature can fluctuate during use and throughout the house. Electric tankless heaters require a large energy draw, which may require an updrade to your electrical system. Gas heaters must be vented to the outdoors.

Cost-wise, tankless heaters are available in a variety of price ranges. Small units that fit under your sink can cost as little as $200, while whole house units can cost over $1000. Aside from cost, keep in mind that a tankless unit lasts about twice as long as a tank system, and you have less energy loss through tank and hot water piping, which will cut your energy bills.

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Matthew Okafor