If your home has a traditional storage-tank water heater, did you know that the storage tank’s inefficiency is a big factor in how high your hot-water expenses are? In fact, hot-water costs can amount to as much as 25 percent of your total energy consumption. A storage-tank water heater heats the water, and then stores it until you need it. However, that water gradually cools, and then has to be reheated multiple times throughout the day, as its temperature falls below your water heater’s thermostat setting.
However, a tankless water heater produces hot water much more efficiently than a conventional storage tank model. A tankless water heater only heats water as you need it. There’s no storing of hot water that slowly loses its heat, only to have to be heated again. If you size a tankless water heater properly, to the demands of the hot-water consumption of you and your loved ones, you can save up to 34 percent of the energy that a conventional water heater consumes.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind about tankless technology:
- The purchase price of tankless units is higher than conventional storage units. However, the longer expected service life of a tankless unit—up to 20 years—combined with greater energy efficiency, will offset the higher sticker price over time.
- Tankless units must be accurately sized to the hot water demands of your home. Because no water is stored, if the gallons-per-minute (GPM) demand on the unit exceeds its flow rate, water temperature at the output will decline. Sizing requires calculating the GPM household demand from all sources during peak daily usage, and then selecting a tankless water heater that can maintain the specified temperature at the required flow rate. Installing secondary tankless heaters dedicated to particularly high-demand sources, such as a kitchen or laundry room, is another way to ensure that household needs are met.
- You should inquire about the energy costs to run the standing pilot light if you’re shopping for a gas-fired tankless water heater. Because the pilot light does not contribute to heating water in an on-demand unit, that energy is wasted. Consider a tankless water heater that replaces the conventional pilot light with an intermittent electronic igniter for maximum energy savings.
In South Florida, Robert R. McGill Air Conditioning is known as the comfort development company. Call us for more information on the comfort and economy benefits of a tankless water heater.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Palm Beach County, Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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