Being tankless in heating your water is an easy, if somewhat costly, upgrade that you can see immediate benefits from. Costs can vary from about $150 for point of use water heater to household ones starting about $450 going up to $1000 or more for top of the line models. Point of use models install directly under the water fixture which also means less heat loss and you can convert your water heating system slowly one water fixture at a time. But since most houses have at least two sink and a tub you will already go over the cost of the cheapest whole house tankless system. On the plus the up front cost can be spread out over time, and for smaller places such as boats, RV’s, campers, etc. it might just be what you are looking for.
The average household spends $50 or more a month just to keep hot water at the ready. This means that the hot water is heated and then stored in it’s tank to wait for use. Just like anything else that id hot and left to sit heat loss happens and then it needs to be re-heated, which just starts the cycle over again. Once the water is used the cycle is again in place till that water is used, and so on. That is a lot of wasted energy you are paying for just to have the convenience of on demand hot water. At that hot water is finite since the average tank system holds about 40 galleons and tankless can supply an infinite supply. Chyanging over to a tankless system lets you use as little or as much hot water as you need without the worry over running out or heating more than needed.
The lifespan of a tankless water heater, 20+ years, is almost double that of a convential water heater, 8 to 12 years, Also a tankless system is serviceable while most tank water systems are not. Tankless systems also can be installed outside your home or in a fraction of the space vacated by your convetnional one. It’s almost like adding a small closet to your home of usable square footage.
The conventional water heater is only about 40% to 60% energy efficient do to the heat loss through the exhaust and the walls of the tank. While tankless are 60% efficient for the gas version and 99% efficient for the electric version. So for those of you who have or are looking to change to personal energy systems this is one less drain of your limited energy production without lossing the comfort of hot water on demand.
For those who use radiant heat, tankless systems can work for you too., They can be installed in RV’s boats,mobile homes, sheds, barns, etc. So the applications seem almost endless for anyplace you need/want on demand hot water production. Plus since there is no storage tank associated with this system you won’t need to worry about it freezing and bursting in frigid temperatures. So there will be no messy floods to clean up as you can have from leaking or broken tank water heater systems.
Venting for theses systems is also flexible as some can be vented horizontally and vertically, some can even be vented through existing chimneys. Most of the newer models also have computer-monitored safety devices with automatic water and gas valves to make them as safe as possible.
Payback for the additional cost of these tankless varieties is 3 to 7 years depending on usage and model bought. If you have a smaller household the payback will be seen faster as you will no longer be constantly re-heating unused hot water. For a larger household the convience of multi-showering, either in a row or at the same time, will be noticed right away. That means no more worrying about when the 40 galleons are used up, about 20 minuets, when you are all lined up in the morning to start your day.
For anyone desiring a better way to have hot water in their home look into these tankless water heater at your local hardware/home improvement store or research models on the net. The benefits definitely outweigh the higher price tag. In addition you are adding value to your home.