What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters, also called demand or instantaneous water heaters, heat water as needed without storing it in a traditional, bulky hot water tank. In an old-fashioned water heating system, hot water is stored in a tank, and a large quantity of water is constantly being heated to supply hot water to all faucets and appliances in the home. A tankless water heater on the other hand heats the water whenever a faucet or shower is turned on, eliminating the need for hot water tanks that waste energy by heating the water even when no one is using it. Having “on tap” hot water eliminates system operation in little or non-use periods such as night time or when you’re at work. Installing a tankless water heater will bring in energy savings and a tax credit of up to $1,500 is available to home owners who increase their home’s efficiency with one of these systems.
How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?
The technology behind tankless water heaters is not all that complex. Homeowners who are used to the idea of traditional water heaters might initially question whether a tankless system can supply enough hot water at the right temperature when needed, but in fact a tankless system creates an endless supply of hot water. A tankless water heater is installed either at the point of use, for instance underneath the sink, or like a traditional water heater anywhere in the house. A built-in computer inside the tankless water heater unit detects when a hot water tap is turned on and burners inside the unit instantly turn on, heating the water as it flows through the tankless water heater, supplying the home with virtually endless supply of hot water. When the faucet is turned off, the burners inside the tankless water heater automatically turn off and the system sets itself to a stand-by mode.
Why Switch to a Tankless Water Heater?
There are several benefits to replacing your old hot water tank with an energy-efficient tankless water heater:
- Save money and protect the environment
Because there is no need to constantly heat water stored in a large tank, tankless water heaters save money on your energy bill. A large chunk of a home owner’s energy bill is comprised of the cost of heating water, up to 30% of the entire energy usage of a household. This cost can be significantly reduced by replacing a hot water tank with a tankless water heating system. In addition to monetary savings, just by switching to a modern tankless water heating system you are reducing your daily energy consumption and benefiting the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. The government also provides a tax credit of up to $1,500 for switching to a tankless water heater, details for which can be found below.
- Endless hot water supply
Tankless water heaters come in all sizes to fit your unique water heating requirements that depend on household size and the number of appliances that use hot water, for instance a dishwasher and washer. When you choose a tankless water heater system optimized for your hot water needs, you will not run out of hot water because it is heated on demand, instead of being supplied from a storage tank that can run out of hot water when it is most needed.
- Save much needed space
By definition, tankless water heaters do not have a storage tank, and the units are much smaller in size and can fit underneath the sink or in a closet.
$1,500 Tax Credit for Installing a Tankless Water Heater
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed last February by President Obama, significantly increased the amount of tax credits available to consumers who switch from high energy consumption systems to energy efficient systems, such as gas tankless water heaters. The tax incentive covers 30% of the cost of the tankless water heating system, including installation costs, for a maximum amount of $1,500. Most gas, oil and propane powered tankless water heaters installed by the end of 2010 qualify for the tax credit, giving you a great reason for going tankless now.
Getting Started on Tankless Water Heater Installation
The first step when going tankless is to find out which model perfectly fits your needs and research reliable companies for professional installation service. Replacing your old water heater may seem like a formidable task, but experienced professionals with the expertise and top notch tools handle tankless water heater installations and clean-up efficiently without a hassle.