Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters (also known as demand water heaters) heat water directly without the use of a storage tank, so they provide hot water only as it is needed. That means they don’t produce the standby energy that a standard tank hot water heater does.
How A Tankless Hot Water Heater Works
When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the tankless hot water heater unit. Then, either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water, but they can only supply so much hot water at one time. Therefore, taking a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time could be a problem. In that situation, you can install two or more tankless heaters, connected in parallel for simultaneous demands of hot water. You can also install separate tankless water heaters for appliances like a clothes washer or dishwater that use a lot of hot water in your home.
Other areas where a tankless hot water heater would be useful include:
• Remote bathrooms or hot tubs
• Booster for appliances, such as dishwashers or clothes washers
• Booster for a solar water heating system.
The initial cost of a tankless water heater is more than the cost of a conventional storage water heater, but tankless heaters will typically last longer and have lower operating and energy costs, which could offset the higher purchase price. Most tankless hot water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years. In contrast, storage water heaters last 10–15 years.
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