Tankless Hot Water Heaters - Saving The Environment and Your Cash
If you are like me there is nothing more annoying than taking a hot shower and having the water suddenly change and make you feel as if you just plunged yourself into an ice bath. Old water heaters are large drums that heat a certain amount of water. Once that water is gone so is the temperature. You are sprayed with cold water because the heater has not had time to fully heat the water that is now filling the tank.
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If you are tired of running out of hot water then consider taking on the project of installing a tankless water heater (also known as on-demand). One of the great things about the tankless water heater is that you are saving money on energy and, in fact, qualify for a $300.00 credit on your taxes form the federal government as an energy tax credit.
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Tankless hot water heaters do not normally store water. This is why they are deemed as “on-demand”. The water flows through the tankless water heater and is heated as it flows over the element essentially causing you to never be without hot water when you want it. These tanks can either be gas or electric with gas giving the better results (and also no higher electric bill). There is a lot of hype going on about these products and there are issues that homeowners have to address before saying that these are for them.
The tankless water heaters come in “point-of-use” and “whole-house’”. The first is a unit that is small enough to heat something as simple as a cup of tea or coffee and the latter is large enough to take care of a house with two full bathrooms. The state where you live can also determine how much water your tankless heater can produce.
One issue that you may find with a tankless water heater (be it electric or gas) is the length of time for you to get the hot water. In a traditional water heater the water is in the tank and is already hot. You just need to wait for the pressure to send the water into the faucet. A tankless water heater does not start to heat the water until you turn on the faucet so you have to wait longer for it to heat up and that causes water waste. There are special pumps however, that can cut this time in half.
You may be losing some water but you will also be saving energy and then subsequently money. Most households have an average of 20% of their bills dedicated to what it costs to heat water the traditional way. This breaks down to an average of $200 for gas and $450 for electric water heaters. A tankless water heater reduces water heating 25%-50% depending on your region and if using gas or electric.
Japan and Europe have been using tankless water heaters as a means to conserve energy and reduce environmental harms. They have only been in the United States for about 30-years and have just started to gain popularity.