So your water heater has finally died on you, and you’re looking for a new one so you don’t have to take ice baths anymore. Tankless water heaters have been getting a lot of attention in the industry lately, and you may have even had a professional or two recommend it to you in the past. Tankless water heaters have plenty to recommend them, but like practically all systems they are not a “one-size-fits-all” water heating solution. It’s important that you know at least a little bit about the differences between tankless water heaters and other water heater types, before you settle on a type that you feel would suit your needs best.
The Anatomy of a Tankless Water Heater
The most important thing you need to know about a tankless water heater is right in the name: it doesn’t use a storage tank. This is both a positive and a negative thing, depending on how you look at it in different situations, but we’ll get to that later. Rather than a storage tank, the tankless water heater uses a heat exchanger similar to a boiler system. When there is demand for hot water, the system activates and begins to run water through the heat exchanger on the way to the faucet. The heat exchanger is heated by either a heating coil or a burner assembly, depending on the type of fuel the water heater uses. When demand for hot water subsides, the system shuts itself off again.
When a Tankless Water Heater is Helpful
Tankless water heaters were designed in an attempt to compensate for some of the shortcomings of tank water heaters. They don’t operate 24/7, as tank water heaters do, which allows them to save energy on an annual basis. They also take up far less space than tank water heaters, which is important in some homes that don’t have the space for a massive system. Tankless water heaters are ideal for people who are looking to cut down on their energy costs without having to skimp on their water heater output.
When a Tankless Water Heater is Not Ideal
There are a couple of times when it’s perhaps not the best idea to install a tankless water heater. First, you should consider using a different system if you live in a home with a lot of occupants. The more people in the home, the more demand they’re probably going to put on the water heater. Tankless water heaters can cope with multiple sources requiring hot water at once, but they are more easily overwhelmed than tank water heaters. Second, you should consider a tank water heater if you want your hot water right away. Because the tankless water heater has to start from scratch every time, it’s not going to be able to supply hot water quite as quickly as a tank water heater will.
Douglass Cooling & Heating offers comprehensive tankless water heater installation services in Mountain Brook, AL. Contact us for an appointment with one of our experts.