There has been a lot of talk on home remodeling blogs, magazines, and television shows about upgrading your existing system to a tankless hot water heater. But, what are the benefits of making this change in your home?
A tankless hot water heater (also called an instantaneous hot water system) does not utilize a water storage tank. Instead, water is heated as it passes through a smaller heating unit. This compact size is often a great way to save space and eliminate the need for a bulky water closet within your home or garage. It also means that you will never have to deal with taking a cold shower, as these units never run out of hot water. And, the possibility of a ruptured tank causing a flood in your home is virtually eliminated.
From a green living standpoint, tankless systems are also much more energy efficient due to the fact that they do not heat water until it is actually being used. Statistics have also shown that this method can lower utility bills as much as 20% in some households.
Most tankless water systems also come with a huge energy efficient tax rebate, depending on where you live. They also tend to last five to ten years longer than a traditional hot water heater, extending the period of time needed before having to find a replacement.
These systems are available in two forms: natural gas and electric. Usually, the best choice is determined by a) the desired gallon output and b) what type of water heating unit you already have in your home. Electric units generally cost a bit less than natural gas units, but will often have a smaller gallon per minute output than natural gas. Home heating costs are also taken into consideration, as natural gas to run the unit is currently cheaper than electric.
Units can be placed in several different ways, with two being the most common. A whole home unit acts in a similar fashion to traditional hot water systems in that a single unit is placed in a central location. An alternative is a point of use style, which places even smaller boxes under sinks or behind shower walls and only dispenses hot water to that one particular faucet.
So, what does it take to make the switch to a tankless hot water heater? Most plumbing companies will take a look at your existing unit and fuel source to determine whether or not the natural gas line or electrical circuit can handle the proper tankless hot water unit. In some cases, additional steel tubing (for natural gas) or a larger circuit (for electric) will need to be added. The unit can then be installed and can dispense hot water almost immediately.
For more information about hot water heaters, residential plumbing, commercial plumbing, septic systems, emergency repair, and/or sewer replacement, please contact Southern Plumbing today.