Running out of hot water is a tale as old as heated indoor plumbing itself. Everyone remembers a time or two when they were right in the middle of a relaxing, well-deserved shower and suddenly the water went from comfortably hot to painfully cold. It is a horrible feeling and something nobody wants to experience. But what can you do about it? Luckily, we have a solution to this age-old issue: the tankless water heater.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Most people are familiar with the older, more cumbersome version of a water heater. While very common, these tank storage water heaters have many disadvantages when compared to the newer tankless version of the water heater.
If your setup currently consists of a tank storage water heater, then when you turn on the hot water in your shower, hot water comes from your water heater’s reserve of preheated water. Comparatively, a tankless water heater works on demand. When you turn on the hot water in your shower, a tankless water heater uses regular, cold water that runs through a pipe into the heater, where it is then instantly heated on its way to your shower.
Tankless water heaters can be made with either gas or electric elements, both of which are effective for immediately heating the water.
The Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters: What Makes Them So Popular?
Compared to the old, clunky tank reservoir water heaters of yesteryear, instant hot water heaters have many clear advantages. Their popularity has skyrocketed in the years since their introduction to the market and consumers are happy with the change. Here are some distinct advantages of tankless water heaters:
- Continuous supply of hot water
- Only heat water on demand when you need it
- No need for constant energy to keep water hot around the clock
- Much smaller units
Traditional tank storage water heaters require a lot of energy to run. They store large quantities of cold water in their tanks, where they then have to use up constant energy to keep the water hot at all times. You can easily see how this requires much more energy than simply heating the water when it is needed. Experts say that this difference can result in 30% to 50% less energy being used in tankless water heaters. This major reduction in energy use provides a decrease in cost on utility bills and helps you to do your part to leave a smaller footprint on the environment in your daily life.
Never running out of hot water again is one of the greatest benefits of switching to a tankless water heater. Complaints about running out of hot water are rampant in homes that still use tank storage water heaters. This issue is made even worse at times when everyone is stuck inside the house for an extended period of time or when you have visitors like friends and family staying over at your house. Anyone who has lived in a home that uses a tank storage water heater knows that after a few people use the shower, someone will inevitably be left with nothing but cold water. Tankless water heaters completely revolutionize the way this works, making entertaining guests much easier on everyone.
Compared to clunky tank storage water heaters, the size difference of a tankless water heater is remarkable. Tank storage water heaters require much more space, as their tanks must be large in order to contain the gallons of water they need to keep hot. On the other hand, tankless water heaters tend to be much smaller units, as no tank is required. They also tend to be placed on the wall rather than taking up precious floor space or closet storage like tank storage water heaters often do. This difference may not seem like much to some people, but it can be especially crucial in smaller homes where every square foot matters.
Electric or Gas Tankless Water Heaters: What’s the Difference?
While there are many differences between tank storage water heaters and tankless water heaters, the differences between the two main types of tankless water heaters are much fewer in number. Most tankless water heaters currently in use are of the gas variety. But that does not necessarily mean gas is the better option. Choosing between the two comes down to which version is better for your particular needs and setup. So, it is important to understand what you’re looking for, what your budget is, and what your home is compatible with before you make your final decision.
Here are some of the most important distinctions between gas and electric tankless water heaters:
- Price range
- Use of electricity
- Endurance (how long it will last)
- Housing specifications
One of the main differences between gas and electric tankless water heaters boils down to efficiency. Although less commonly used, electric tankless water heaters are actually much more efficient when compared to their gas counterparts. Most electric tankless water heaters have efficiency ratings at or above 98%. Comparatively, most gas tankless water heaters come in at somewhere around 80% to 85% efficiency. Although it’s only around a 10% to 15% difference in efficiency, this distinction can have a substantial impact on your utility bills at the end of the month, and over a year’s time, those numbers can add up. So, efficiency is certainly something worth considering.
Of course, another important number to consider is the price tag. When comparing gas and electric tankless water heaters, one of the main reasons why gas water heaters are more common is because of their lower price tag upfront. Plus, aside from the initial cost of the equipment itself, it’s important to factor in other costs such as installation and updating housing specifications.
Installing a tankless water heater is not something very many people have the knowledge and skill to do on their own, so professional help is often advisable. Updating your specifications to meet the requirements of the equipment is also necessary to avoid any issues down the road and to make sure the tankless water heater is fully functional in your home.
We Can Help!
We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air can help with all of your tankless water heater installation needs. Our team of experienced experts knows everything about proper installation, maintenance, and repair of tankless water heaters. We provide friendly and affordable service all over southern California from Murrieta to many surrounding counties.
Aside from tankless water heaters, we also provide installation, maintenance, and repair services for many other household needs, such as air conditioning, plumbing, heating, and solar. Call We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air in Murrieta today for all the information you need! Our team will be happy to schedule you an appointment and address any questions or concerns you may have about tankless water heaters. We have been providing quality services throughout southern California since 2000.