Tankless water heaters heat water in basically same way as tank water heaters, except they don’t store the heated water. Instead, tankless water heaters heat water on demand when it’s needed. This greatly reduces the amount of energy needed to heat water and ensures that there is a virtually endless supply of hot water.
When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water is drawn into the tankless water heater. A sensor detects the flow and activates a gas burner, which warms a heat exchanger. The water circulates around the heat exchanger and exits the water heater when it reaches a pre-set temperature.
By heating water only when needed, rather than maintaining a full tank of hot water at all times, tankless water heaters operate with greater efficiency than standard tank-type water heaters. In addition to greater efficiency, tankless water heaters will last about five to 10 years longer than a conventional tank heater. They also take up much less space, when mounted to an exterior wall.
On the downside, a tankless system can cost significantly more than tank-style heater and are more complicated to install than traditional water heaters. The trade-off is immediate energy savings and a greater lifespan with the tankless unit.
Have questions about tankless water heaters? Call Anthony’s Plumbing. We can help answer all your plumbing and hot water questions.