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Why Tankless? What does changing a water heater really mean for your home?

Why Tankless? What does changing a water heater really mean for your home? December 22, 2014

Tankless water heaters, also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, provide hot water only as needed. They do not produce standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters, which can save money as well as being better for the environment. On the Energy Star website they state, “By heating water only when needed, ENERGY STAR certified gas tankless water heaters cut water heating expenses, while also providing continuous hot water delivery. Gas tankless models are a great choice for new construction and major remodeling, but are also becoming popular as a replacement for gas storage water heaters.”

Are these savings and environmental statements always true? The benefits to the environment are a resounding yes. A 2008 Consumer Reports article reported that gas-fired tankless water heaters used about 22% less energy than their storage-type counterparts. A 2010 study by the Center for Energy and Environment in Minnesota found that gas-fired tankless water heaters save an average of 36% over storage water heaters. So far, so good.  On the contrary, Consumer Reports found the cost of tankless models to range from $800 to $1,150 plus about $1,200 for installation, compared with $300 to $480 for storage water heaters and $300 for installation.

With all that being said, there are numerous reasons why tankless is the better choice for your home.

  • Tankless water heaters do not end up in landfills
  • Reduce CO and Nox emissions. Some tankless models receive approval for low emissions (CO, Nox).
  • Reduce energy consumption and its environmental impacts.

The energy used to heat your water comes from a variety of sources: coal, natural gas, nuclear power. So when you use less energy using a tankless water heater you’ll make a positive environmental impact in the following ways:

  • harmful waste bi-products
  • expensive remediation costs
  • Depletion of the natural resource base
  • and wildlife habitat loss and biodiversity threats.

Local Business owner Pam Blount of Pam Blount Plumbing & Supplies, Inc. says their sales have increased greatly over the years, and that many homeowners request tankless when purchasing for a new build, remodeling or replacing. She has yet to come across any complaints from the many units she shells. She does suggest however, that when deciding to go with electric, make sure you contact a licensed electrician to ensure the load capacity in your home or condo is the correct amperage to handle the new load and states that “gas is always better”.

William Meleski

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