Tankless Water Heaters Are Not New
Tankless water heaters are not new. However, you may be surprised to learn that the first electric tankless water heaters were introduced in 1929. Unlike today's models, which will save you money, in 1929, they were costly to run, which was unfortunate timing considering that 1929 was also the first year of the Great Depression. Nevertheless, despite the expense, tankless water heaters were popular in places where homes had no access to natural gas or smaller houses where there was not enough space to have a standard storage-tank water heater.
While the technology for tankless water heaters has been around for about 100 years, they only became popular in Europe over the last 30 years. In the United States, these tankless heaters have gained in popularity over the last ten years.
As tankless water heater technology improves, the list of benefits continues to grow while people's concerns continue to shrink. One of the biggest benefits of a tankless system is that it is more energy efficient than a standard tank. When you have a storage tank, the water is constantly being reheated over and over. With a new system, the water is heated on demand, giving you up to a 35% reduction in energy use compared to a traditional system.
A tankless system costs more than a standard storage tank system. However, they are less expensive to run, so you will make back the cost of the new heater in a relatively short time. You will also save on maintenance. Depending on the water's use and quality, a tankless system can go 4 or 5 years before any maintenance would be needed. However, suppose you have issues with hard water. In that case, it is recommended to have the heater maintained once a year to clean out any mineral buildup on the heating coils, which will severely reduce the heater's efficiency.
Without a large tank, the tankless water heater takes up a lot less space. In fact, unlike a standard tank, which takes up floor space, the tankless system is mounted on a wall freeing up that space.
No more waiting for Hot Water
There are some days that it seems that everyone wants to take a shower at the same time. So the shower appears to be constantly running for far longer than the average shower. If you have two full bathrooms, one person could take a shower in one room while another person is taking a bath in the other. When that much water is being used at once, a standard tank heater cannot keep up, and if you are the last one to take a shower, you will probably be taking a cold shower. You can wait a couple of hours for the water to heat up, or you can deal with a cold shower. Several years ago, one of the issues with tankless systems was that water temperatures were inconsistent and couldn't keep up when there was a high demand for hot water. Many of the new systems have improved so that the hot water supply can seem endless, even in homes with a high demand for hot water.
It is a great time to look into a tankless water heater if you are getting ready to replace your water heater. Remember that the average lifespan of a standard water heater is about 10 to 12 years. So, if your heater is approaching the end of its functional life, it may be a good idea to replace it before you wake up one morning to cold water and a flooded basement. Don’t wait for the disaster to happen. If you plan the transition now, you have more options and a greater chance of getting the perfect system.