Electric tankless hot water heaters come in very useful sizes – from something that looks like a loaf of bread to some size of a PC. All have the capability of providing instant hot water on demand.
Installing a tankless hot water heater while a new home is under construction makes good sense, especially for gas units that require more to make them operational. Some require a larger gas line as well as category III venting materials. Some have exhaust and fresh air as a combined system.
Tankless hot water heaters are also a good choice for most retro projects, and should be considered a good choice for second homes and weekend retreats where the percentage of standing hot water is wasted.
Tankless hot water heater models offer great savings in a variety of ways. For instance, the compact size means less natural resources are needed for manufacturing. Parts are replaceable, opening the possibility that the tankless hot water heater you buy today may be the last one you will ever need. And probably one that you can repair yourself, with mail order parts, if you choose.
Here are a few other advantages:
- No wasted energy
- Longer life
- Smaller models for single source use
- Less corrosion and deposits
- A way to avoid peak energy charges
Less is more
Even shipping translates into an advantage. Because of their size and weight, tankless units are not as affected by factors such as rising transportation costs. An electric whole house tankless hot water heater can be shipped to your home, and be operational the same day.
If there is a downside it could be that electric models may not be very economic in northern climates. But even in such cases there are ways to adapt:
Limiting hot water usage to one or two faucets at a time decreases the need for a more costless tankless hot water heater
Minimizing pipe runs and insulating accessible pipes reduces heat loss.
Passive preheating water before it taken in by the water heater saves energy
The principle of a tankless hot water heater is simple; it turns on when you need it and turns off when you do not. No wasted energy. If you are interested, ask around, home improvement reps, friends and neighbors may have information to share, and this can be very useful because installing a tankless hot water heater is a local matter.
Pin down the cost
Costs can vary, everything from rates your utilities charge, to labor for installation. The difference in energy rates between gas and electric utilities varies by state. Statistics from the DOE show that natural gas rates have been on a steady increase for the past decade. Propane is even more expensive.
Electric is much cheaper in some states than others. All this makes choosing a gas or electric tankless hot water heater a local matter.
But once you do the results become global. Environmental issues pop up almost daily in the media so that we are becoming conscious of how much the planet needs our support. And if you are like me, you are reminded every time you put the trash out. This is why I was happy to discover tankless water heaters. A tankless hot water heater means I'm doing something good for the environment and with no hardship to me. Sounds like a win-win.