How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

Published October 2013 by

Because of their many benefits, tankless water heaters have gotten significant attention over the past few years. Some of these benefits include safety, energy efficiency, and convenient sizing, as well providing a reliable source of hot water for your home. If you decided to make the switch, you’ll need the assistance of Sacramento HVAC specialists to make sure the system is installed perfectly. You might well be wondering just how these devices make all of those perks possible.

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Operate?

These units heat water without the use of the conventional storage tanks. This idea was inspired by an observation of how much heat is wasted by conventional heaters with storage tanks. Because hot water is provided on demand, tankless heaters waste less energy than would be radiated from pre-heated water stored waiting for you to use it. You only heat what you need.

So, how does the system work?

There are two types of instant on-demand water heaters — gas and electric:

  • When you turn on the faucet or whatever thing you need hot water for the electric heater receives cold water, a heating element is switched on that will bring it to the required temperature, and the water is pumped through. An electric tankless unit uses a flow switch that is turned on when water starts flowing.
  • Gas systems systems use propane or natural gas as heat exchangers. When a gas unit senses water flowing in the pipes, gas flows through to the burners. These burners light up and heat up the water flowing past.

How do you save your monthly water bill using this system?

If you know how traditional water heaters operate, you must have observed that the water in the storage system has to heat up before it is released. And most storage tanks are quite large so this takes a lot of voltage and time. On the other hand, a tankless unit allows you to enjoy continuous flow of hot water which is heated by less than 60% of the energy used in conventional systems. Best of all, the heater comes with a control board that allows you to set the precise temperature you’d like your water to be.

Pros of a Tankless Water Heater

  • You’ll never again have to wait for the tank to fill with hot water, or run out mid-shower, because the water is heated on-demand.
  • Since these units don’t require room for a tank, they’re ideal space-savers for smaller homes.
  • Their energy efficiency means you save both money on your energy bill and wasted resources from heating water before it’s needed.
  • In certain states, making energy efficient choices such as a tankless water heater entitle you to tax rebates or credits.

The Cons

Nothing is perfect, and as much benefit as these units provide, they also come with a few drawbacks:

  • The systems are initially more costly to acquire and install than conventional units.
  • Your water might take a bit longer to reach the ideal temperature than you’re used to.

Despite the few negative aspects, tankless water heaters are a great way to heat your water more efficiently. If you’re interested in installing one, you can consult with Sacramento HVAC specialists to help select, install, and maintain the ideal tankless water heater for your home. They can also provide valuable advice on other ways to reduce your home’s energy consumption.

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