Is a tankless water heater for you?
A tankless water heater, also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heater, provides hot water only as it is needed. This can save you money in the long run over a conventional water heater, which continually heats water in the tank to be at a certain temperature.
How a tankless water heater works
Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank, and are becoming more very popular in energy-conscious Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Tabb, Grafton, Smithfield, and James City County.
When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Either a gas burner or an electric element heats your water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water, whereas you need to wait for the storage tank on a conventional water heater to fill up with enough hot water.
According to our plumbers, tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2–5 gallons (7.6–15.2 liters) per minute. Gas-fired tankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than electric ones. Sometimes, however, even the largest, gas-fired model cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses in large households.
For example, taking a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time can stretch some tankless water heaters to their limits. To overcome this problem, you can install two or more tankless water heaters, connected in parallel for simultaneous demands of hot water. You can also install separate tankless water heaters for appliances — such as a clothes washer or dishwater — that use a lot of hot water in your home.
Advantages & Disadvantages
For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. They can be 8%–14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water — around 86 gallons per day. You can achieve even greater energy savings of 27%–50% if you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet. ENERGY STAR estimates that a typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater.
The initial cost of a tankless water heater is greater than that of a conventional storage water heater, but tankless water heaters will typically last longer and have lower operating and energy costs, which could offset its higher purchase price. Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years. They also have easily replaceable parts that extend their life by many more years. In contrast, storage water heaters last 10–15 years.
Selecting a tankless water heater
Before buying a tankless water heater in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Tabb, Grafton, Smithfield or James City County, our plumbers encouraged you to consider the following:
- Fuel type and availability
- Energy efficiency (energy factor)
Installation and maintenance
Proper installation and maintenance of your tankless water heater by a professional plumber can optimize its energy efficiency.
Proper installation depends on many factors such as fuel type, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues. It is always wise to have a qualified plumbing company install your tankless water heater. When selecting a plumber, some important questions to ask are:
- Request cost estimates in writing
- Ask for references
- Check the company with your local Better Business Bureau
- See if the company will obtain a local permit if necessary and understands local building codes.
If you’re looking for plumbers to help you pick the right tankless water heater, we’ve been doing it successfully throughout Hampton Roads since 1987 and we’ve earned an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau. To get a free phone estimate, please call us at (757) 467-0000 or click here to email us.
More about our tankless water heater company
Since 1987, A-1 Sewer & Drain Plumbing & Heating has consistently served the commercial and home plumbing needs of satisfied customers in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Tabb, Grafton, Smithfield, and James City County. With nearly 30 years of work to our credit, our local plumbing company is extremely proud of its A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau. Our Class A Contractor plumbing company has more than 260 years of solving every plumbing emergency from a clogged kitchen sink to a tankless water heater installation, which means we’ve seen it all – the good, the bad and the ugly – and we will solve your plumbing problem with integrity and professionalism.