Tankless Vs. Traditional Water Heaters
If you are looking to save money on your electric bill, you could be in hot water. Quite literally, your cost savings could be found in the type of hot water heater you have in your home. If you have a family, take multiple showers daily, not to mention doing loads of laundry, well, your hot water use could be pretty high.
When it comes to your water bill, water heaters make up nearly 17 percent of your home’s electrical usage. That’s more than all other household appliances combined! It may be time to take a look at your water heater and determine if a tankless water heater is an energy saving option.
What do we mean by tankless water heater?
A tankless water heater also sometimes called a demand-type water heater, generates hot water only when needed. That compares to a regular storage water heater that keeps a tank of hot water on standby.
How does a tankless water heater work?
When a hot water tap is turned on, water enters the unit via a pipe. That water is then heated using a gas burner or electric unit. Gas-fired tankless water heaters can produce 2-5 gallons of hot water per minute. Homes that have a greater demand for hot water can utilize two or more tankless water heaters connected in parallel to meet demand. Or you can install a tankless water heater dedicated to specific appliances like the dishwasher. Some types of tankless water heaters have their own thermostat so you can control and vary the temperature of the water they produce.
Is a tankless water heater right for my home?
Answering that question requires an examination of your water bill. If your home uses less than 41 gallons of hot water each day, then a tankless water heater can be 24-34 percent more energy efficient than a conventional storage tank, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. In homes that use 86 gallons per day, a tankless water heater can be 8-14 percent more energy efficient.
While the initial cost of installation for a tankless water heater may be more expensive, it has proven to have a longer operating life of more than 20 years and of course saves homeowners money on their energy bill. The U.S. Department of Energy has a tool to help you calculate the annual operating cost of your water heater to help determine which is most cost efficient for you. You can find that tool here.
Changing the way your hot water is produced is only one factor to lowering your energy bills. Fixing leaks, washing clothes in cold water, using low flow toilets, and purchasing energy efficient appliances can also make a difference on your water bill.