Few things are more annoying in life than that unpleasant feeling you get when the hot-water supply runs out during a shower. That cold blast makes you wish for a way to enjoy hot water on demand. Fortunately, a tankless water heater can easily grant your wish.
Tankless heaters provide hot water only when needed — “on demand” — rather than storing and continually reheating water in a tank in anticipation of demand. Americans have become so accustomed to storage tank-type water heaters, which have been around for roughly a century, many remain unaware of how their tankless counterparts work or their energy- and space-saving advantages.
First some basics. Tankless water heaters know exactly when to turn on and off. A flow sensor detects an open faucet, shower or washer, igniting the burner inside the tankless unit. The burner heats the water until you turn the fitting or appliance off, at which point the burner immediately stops. Tank-type water heaters, on the other hand, expend energy 24/7, continually heating and reheating water to a set temperature, even when you aren’t home.
With energy ratings in excess of 80 percent, tankless units are 20 percentage points more energy-efficient than conventional tank-type water heaters, leading to savings on energy bills every month. By eliminating a giant tank, wall-hung tankless units also save on space. Finally, tankless avoids the buildup of mineral deposits over time at the bottom of a storage tank, while also eliminating the nightmare scenario of a tank bursting and flooding the floor.
Condensing tankless water heaters, a “step-up” from regular tankless units, boost efficiency further by utilizing a secondary heat exchanger to capture additional heat from the combustion gases before they escape up the flue. Condensing heaters use this extra heat to preheat incoming cold water, resulting in efficiency ratings over 90 percent.
Either type of tankless water heater saves money, space and personal comfort over the long run, ultimately delivering a payback on your investment. Noritz tankless water heaters are backed with a 12-year warranty, or roughly double that of a standard tank unit. What’s more, recent advancements have narrowed the installed-cost gap between tank and tankless, meaning it’s becoming more affordable than ever to enjoy hot water on demand.
With tankless, you’ll be able to take shower after shower without any chilly surprises — in the shower or in the mail.