Since a tankless water heater instantly heats the water, you don’t have to pay when it isn’t being used.
The standard way to heat water in your home was to have a water heating tank. It was designed to hold a reserve of heated water, so that the water was ready when you needed it. The tank varied in size to accommodate the size of your home and the people in it, but the idea was that it would hold water in a reservoir until someone used it. A water tank is perpetually heating, even when not in use. So, the water in the tank is constantly being heated – kind of like it’s “waiting in the wings.” All the while, the water tank cost money to heat water that was just waiting to be used at some point.
The tank was a great idea – after all, everyone likes hot water. But to keep it stored in a tank that’s continually being heated sounds like a whole lot of wasted energy – and with reason, because it is. Like leaving lights or heat on waiting for someone to come home, traditional hot water heaters work when they really don’t need to and when you don’t want them to.
What is a Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless water heater is a device that delivers hot water from the point of dispersion. There is no need for a tank full of water to sit idly being heated while waiting to be used. The tankless system heats the water instantly as it is being used. It only uses energy when you are using hot water. Since it instantly heats the water, you don’t have to pay when it isn’t being used.
Not only do you save money by not heating water that’s waiting to be used but when you store water in a tank, you end up with sediment at the bottom of the tank that can be harmful. When you use a tankless water heater, the water comes straight from the water source without sitting in a tank until you are ready to use it.
Are there Any Disadvantages to a Tankless Water Heater?
The only disadvantage to a tankless water heater is that it is expensive up front. If you need a new water heater, then replacing it with a tankless might make sense, but whether it’s a good idea to make the conversion just for energy conservation might be debatable. Tankless water heaters can be expensive not just to purchase, but to switch over to and install. For the average homeowner, although it will save you in energy costs monthly, putting the money out up front might not be in your current budget.