Do you frequently run out of hot water?
Is your traditional tank water heater not keeping up with your daily household hot water demands?
Are you tired of choosing between doing your laundry, washing the dishes or even taking a shower?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of the above questions, then I highly recommend that you consider installing a tankless water heater also known as an instantaneous, on-demand water heater.
Here is everything you need to know about the tankless water heater.
What is a tankless water heater?
A tankless water heater is a modern system that generates hot water on demand. As the name states, it does not require a hot water storage tank.
All you have to do is turn on the hot water faucet, and hot water will be constantly supplied for as long as you need it.
Also Read: Heat pump hot water systems in Sydney
How does a tankless water heater work?
A tankless water heater uses either electric or gas energy; it all depends on what you are comfortable with or what is available to you.
When the hot water tap is turned on, it triggers the heating element installed in the system (whether gas or electric) to start heating water instantly as it flows through it until the tap is turned off.
The heating elements also have temperature control sensors that adjust the water to the required set temperature.
This means that as long as the water and energy supply is available you will have a continuous water supply at the temperature you desire.
Things to consider when installing an instant water heater
➡ Cost: If you have the budget to buy a unit and pay the installation costs. Tankless water heaters are much more expensive than traditional tank-style heaters.
➡ Energy source: where there is no propane or gas line, electricity can be used as energy for heating water on demand.
➡ Hardness of water: if the water is hard it is advisable to install a treating system to prevent constant clogging of the water heater.
➡ Ventilation: the venting pipes must exit an outside wall or through the roof.
➡ Installation: consider hiring a good skilled plumber for the installation. You don’t want to have leaks and poorly done venting and wiring.
➡ Maintenance: consider an outdoor tankless water heater because it is easy to install and maintain.
➡ Long-term use: It’s advisable to install a tankless water heater if you are planning to stay in your house for a long period of time.
This is because a tankless water heater will serve you for more than 20 years without the need for replacement making it a worthwhile investment.
Tankless water heater installation
A tankless water heater is a small unit that can be installed in any part of the house without causing inconveniences such as leaks and spills, since it does not have a storage unit, unlike traditional tank water heater.
Installing tankless water heaters – whether gas or electric – requires trained personnel, because it entails making sure there are no leaks, and of course that the system works as it should.
A skilled person will also be able to determine the best tankless water heater for your home based on the number of people in the house, the device that will be using hot water, and how frequently hot water will be used.
The initial installation is a bit expensive, but it is all worth it as it doesn’t need to be changed or replaced regularly.
That said, it is good to note that tankless water heaters using gas energy are more expensive to install in comparison to those using electricity.
Tankless water heater lifespan.
Tankless water heaters last two times longer than traditional water tank heaters.
While tankless water heaters using gas energy are more expensive to install, they are documented to last ten years longer than electric tankless water heaters – which are estimated to last approximately ten years.
Advantages of tankless water heaters
1. Endless supply of hot water
For as long as there is gas or electric energy supply and steady flow of water, you will always have instant hot water supply any time.
You can even do your laundry and wash the dishes throughout the day without having to worry about hot water shortage.
2. Safe to use
In comparison to other water heater models, tankless water heaters are very safe, because you don’t need to worry about leakage that can cause damage to your roof or home.
Worse still, the leakage from traditional water heaters can cause accidents such as electrocution if water leaks on electricity cables or devices that are connected to the electricity.
3. Space saving
When installing a tankless water heater, you don’t need to move things or put up structures to create space for the device They only require a small space, and they can be moved easily if needed.
Because the tankless models are compact, they can be placed anywhere inside or outside the house, as long as they are covered from rain and other hazardous environmental conditions.
4. Money saving
If you are looking for a long-term money-saving solution, then you should consider a tankless water heater.
These heaters have a long life which helps you save on maintenance and replacement costs.
You also save on energy bills, because it only heats water when you need it, unlike the tank model where water is continuously heated.
It also helps you save on water bills, because you don’t need to keep flushing stale water to wash away the bad smell, and you also don’t waste water while constantly checking water temperature.
Tankless water heaters last for about 20 years which is a very long period if you compare them to tank water heaters, which lasts much less and need constant replacement.
6. Energy saving
The heater energy source, whether gas or electric, only gets used when you turn on the hot water tap.
As such, you can control the energy you use, unlike the traditional tank water heater that keeps heating and preheating water. It is expected to save up to 50 per cent of energy over tank water heaters.
7. No stale water
If you’re the kind of person who is rarely at home, with a tankless water heater you don’t have to worry about bacteria or foul odours that occur when heated water stays in the hot water storage tank for long.
8. Time saving
Tankless water heaters provide heated water in seconds, almost instantly at the exact temperature you require.
They are convenient and save time, as you don’t have to wait for water to get heated before doing your chores.
9. No risk of exposure to toxic metals.
Unlike the tank model, tankless heaters do not have a storage unit that can corrode due to water hardness.
Disadvantages of tankless water heaters
1. higher cost of installation and the unit
The initial cost of a tankless water heater and its installation cost are twice or thrice (depending on the model you choose) compared to a tank water heater, and it will only pay off after years of usage.
2. Only works with gas and electric energy.
When there is a shortage of gas or electric energy, you will have no hot water and will have to wait until the energy resumes to do your chores or take a shower.
3. Reacts to slow water flow
The tankless water heater is very sensitive to slow water supply.
When the water supply is not steady, it will generate cold or lukewarm water. If this happens, you need to check your water filter and the well-being of your general water supply.
4. water temperature inconsistent .
When many outlets are using hot water, the temperature of the water may keep changing which is a turn off, because the small unit can only serve one faucet at a time.
5. Not suitable for water with high levels of minerals.
Additionally, a water softening system should be installed because hard water causes the water heater to wear out fast before the expected time.
Pros & Cons of Tankless water heater in infographic
Tankless water heater: Conclusion
Just like any other product in the market the tankless water heater has its share of disadvantages; however, tankless water heaters have many advantages over the traditional tank-style water heaters and last even longer.
Are tankless water heaters worth it? I would say your household hot water needs should guide you, plus how much you value durability and long life span.