Most people know how a water heater works; the system heats a tank full of water and stores it for when you need hot water in your bathtub or sink. When it runs out of hot water, you need to wait for it to refill when you have a traditional tank-based water heating system. However, a tankless system provides hot water on demand without needlessly consuming energy.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
A tankless water system is exactly that: a water heating system that does not require a tank for storage. Instead, the heater warms water as it passes through the control system whenever someone turns on a hot water faucet. The system runs and heats water as needed, then stops when the person turns off the hot water.
While this sounds like a tankless water heater system can provide limitless hot water, it is important to remember that a tankless water heater is limited by the output of the heating element. The system will allow for a flow of hot water that the heating element can meet, and the heating element is usually an electric or gas-powered system.
ISSUES TO REMEMBER
There are some unique factors of tankless water heater systems you should remember. First, you may need a hot water control system for each water fixture in your home. For example, one may control hot water flow to the kitchen while another provides hot water to the bathroom. In homes with lower daily water use, a tankless system can reduce energy consumption by up to 35%, and up to 14% in homes with heavier daily water use.
Tankless systems offer other advantages, too. They are generally easier to service than traditional tank-based water heaters and have a lifespan of more than 20 years. They also include more replaceable parts to help extend their lifespans. The typical tank-based water heater will only last ten to fifteen years, by comparison.