If you're tired of your kids and spouse using all the hot water before you have a chance to take a shower in the morning, it could be time to invest in a new hot water heater. A tankless model could be ideal if you have several people in your home that have a high demand for hot water. You can supply your whole house with hot water on a tankless heater, or have it added to supplement your current water tank. Here's how it works.
They're Powered By Gas Or Electricity
Tankless water heaters are naturally more energy efficient, but if your home has hookups for natural gas, you'll save even more on your energy costs. Natural gas tends to be less expensive than electrical power, so if your current water heater runs on gas too, you'll be glad to know you can hook up a tankless heater to either gas or electricity.
A Tankless Heater Works On Demand
The reason a tankless heater is so energy efficient is because it isn't working all day to keep water hot. Compare this to a traditional hot water heater that has to kick on and off to keep a tank of water hot all day. When you turn on the hot water faucet, water flows through the coils of the tankless heater and is instantly warmed up so you can take a shower or do dishes without having to wait for water to get hot and without worrying about running out of hot water. As long as the hot water faucet is on, hot water will come out. This is a huge benefit if you have a big family and everyone showers in the morning before getting ready for work or school.
The Size You Need Is Based On Flow Rate
When you buy a traditional hot water heater, you shop for one based on the size of the tank. The more people in your family, the bigger tank you need. When you shop for a tankless heater, you consider how many people will be using hot water at once. While hot water never runs out if it runs from a single faucet, if several hot water faucets are turned on at the same time, a small tankless heater may have difficulty keeping up with the flow rate. Therefore, you have to calculate the number of bathrooms and other hot water outlets in your home before you buy. That way, if two or three people shower at once, everyone will have plenty of hot water.
One good thing about tankless heaters is that they are so small, they can be installed just about anywhere. You don't have to worry about one taking up valuable space in your garage. You can install the unit indoors in a closet if you prefer. You might even want to buy a small tankless heater as a supplement to your main tank just to use in the master bathroom, so you'll never run out of hot water because your kids take long showers or baths.