How does a tankless water heater work? Tankless water heaters are an alternative to the traditional storage tub or tank. You must know the different functions of a tankless water heater if you are considering to install it in your house.
A tankless water heater can be a great compliment to your everyday needs, especially when you don’t have to worry about running out of hot water. Tankless water heaters are uniquely designed to deliver unlimited and continuous supply of hot water as needed, providing convenience for families. Conservation of energy is also made possible by using this kind of technology, as hot water is only used when needed.
A tankless water heater works on the basis of a continuous heat source that delivers hot water as needed. It is known as unit heaters, indirect or non-storage type water heaters because they do not have a storage tank where hot water is stored after heating.
How does a tankless water heater work
The Hot Water System in your home, including a tankless water heater, converts thermal energy (heat) into the water flow. When you turn on the hot water faucet, a series of devices inside your main water line absorb the heat from the water flowing through it. This heat is converted into an electric current that creates bubbles in moving water.
The bubbles cause air to move underneath them and that too generates heat which continues the flow of bubbles throughout your entire home-circulation system. The end result is hot water at your faucet. This results in a more efficient use of heat, and greater comfort during showers because the water has been heated from cold to 120°F-140°F in as little as 10 seconds.
Tankless hot water heaters are beneficial because they don’t have to store heated water and waste energy doing so. They only heat the water as it is needed, giving you more control over how much of your energy is used and how much money you end up spending.
Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters
- The main advantage of tankless water heaters is that they can produce hot water instantly, compared to traditional tank-type water heaters which only provide hot water once the cold water supply has been turned on.
- Tankless units also typically use less energy and are more environmentally friendly than their conventional counterparts.
- Most homeowners will find that in the long run, tankless water heaters pay for themselves because they reduce energy costs by 30-40%.
- The average family of four will likely spend about $500 per year on water bills for a basic tank water heater. With a tankless water heater, the cost to operate drops dramatically because there is no fuel cost. Homeowners also save on electricity costs since they only need to power the water pump and not the entire heating element.
- Easier installation.
- Less installation cost because there are no pipes to install.
- Less space is required for the water heater since the plumbing is not required.
- Environmentally friendly due to lessened use of energy and no storage containers needed.
Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters
- They do not operate at peak efficiency all the time.
- Tankless water heaters can be more expensive because they require electricity to operate and have a higher initial cost compared to tank-type heaters.
- While they are effective at heating water, they also mean a loss of efficiency in the water heater itself. It also means that you need to make sure someone else is using the water in case of emergency or you could possibly have an outage in your home. You need to be aware that they can get very hot and could burn someone who touches it.
- Tankless water heaters are more complex than conventional electric or gas water heaters because they usually employ multiple smaller heating elements rather than one large heater.
The lifespan of Tankless Water Heaters
These heaters are eco-friendly and produce less waste than traditional water heaters, typically using 80% less energy. This results in energy savings of 40% or more. The lifespan of a tankless water heater depends on the model and how carefully it is cared for, but most models should last 10 to 15 years. Tankless systems use a small tank heated by an electric circulation system, usually with a built-in electronic control that senses when your home needs hot water and switches on the water pump.
They’re more expensive to buy, but their long life and energy efficiency make them worth the investment. Most have an automatic shut-off valve that stops the flow of water if the tank runs out, so there’s no need to remember to turn them off. Many also have a sensor to stop the water flow.
It is important that you clean the unit with vinegar and water after using it so as to prevent rusting. Be sure to turn off the water supply when you are not using it; just like any other electric appliance, a tankless water heater becomes easy to damage if left on accidentally. Use only the manufacturer’s recommended light bulbs in your tankless water heater; otherwise, it will be prone to failure.
Difference between Electric and Gas Tankless Water Heaters
There is a significant difference between electric and gas tankless water heaters. An electric tankless water heater uses an air gap, or open pilot light, to heat water. An energy-efficient design results in significantly lower operating costs when compared to a gas-powered tankless water heater.
The main difference between both types of heaters is that with an electric water heater, the element does not have its own fuel source; instead, it depends on electricity to power the element and produces heat. In contrast, a gas-powered tankless water heater contains an internal heating system that relies on propane or butane to turn a mechanical pump on.
Installation of Tankless Water Heaters
Installing a tankless water heater is an easy DIY project that can be done by yourself. This type of water heater does not have a storage tank, but instead, relies on a water filter and heat source to heat the water as soon as you turn it on. They are usually instant hot which means there is no waiting for the pilot light to light. Tankless heaters use R134a refrigerant and most models will have at least one thing going for them that makes them more desirable than their R22 counterparts: smaller size, less energy consumption, or lower price.
Cost of tankless water heater
The cost of a tankless hot water system includes the base cost of the water heaters, plumbing, and electrical installation. The amount you will pay will vary depending on the type of system you choose. You should compare prices from at least three or four companies before making your final decision on what type of system to purchase.
Be sure to factor in any rebates into your final cost when comparing prices. The tankless water heater does not use energy transfer by heating the water from a source such as a gas line, oil line, or electric line. The energy is supplied by a dedicated 120-volt circuit that delivers energy to heat the water. Check here to know the size of the water heater you need.
The maintenance requirement of Tankless Water Heaters
A tankless water heater uses a dedicated tank to store cold water. The stored water is heated as needed, eliminating the need for a hot water heater and associated plumbing. Maintenance of tankless water heaters is limited only by regular cleaning.
Tankless Water Heaters come in two main types: Those that use a secondary heat source such as gas or electricity, and those that don’t need additional energy sources. All models are easier to install than traditional water heaters of similar capacity, and they require less ongoing maintenance as well.
In the Nutshell
A tankless water heater saves space by having no storage tank. Instead, it uses a high-pressure hose and basin to heat the water that is sent from the main water line to a small radiating device where it quickly rises up into steam. This heating system uses much less energy than traditional tank-based models, helping you save money on your electric bill. It also gives you more hot water without waiting for boilers that need to be refilled. The only problem with this new technology is that it’s quite expensive, but this cost reduces in the long run.
By using a mix of advanced electronic controls and high-pressure plumbing, this type of hot water heat proficiency can deliver as much as 75 percent more than traditional tank-based models. This makes it ideal for those with large families or demanding jobs that require constant boilers’ attention.