anytime plumbing
17 Sep

Tankless Water Heaters

At Anytime Plumbing, many of our customers have chosen tankless water heaters when it was time to replace the old tank model once it quit working.  These appliances are also referred to as instantaneous” or “on-demand” water heaters because they only produce hot water when it’s needed.  However, what they don’t produce is the energy loss that storage tank water heaters do when they’re in “standby” mode.  Furthermore, this type of water heater can be a valuable upgrade for your home.

How does this type of water heater work?

The specialists at Anytime Plumbing will tell you that the operation of tankless water heaters is pretty straightforward because they heat water without having to rely on a storage tank like standard models do.  When you turn on your hot water in the bathroom or kitchen, cold water enters the tankless unit where an electric element or gas burner heats it up.  Consequently, tankless models can deliver a continuous supply of heated water at a rate of 2 to 5 gallons per minute. This is an efficient system of heating water and most homeowners prefer it.

What are the best applications for using tankless water heaters?

Some larger households need more than one tankless water heater, especially when there is a possibility that multiple users will need hot water simultaneously.  For instance, running the dishwasher at the same time that someone else is taking a shower.  You can overcome this problem by installing two or more tankless models (if your budget will allow you to do so).  Anytime Plumbing Santa Cruz plumbers can connect these parallel to one another when there are multiple demands on hot water usage.

Separate tankless water heaters can be installed for appliances such as washing machines or in homes with higher levels of hot water usage.  Other applications include:

  • as a booster for a solar-powered water heating system
  • as a booster for appliances
  • hot tubs or remote bathrooms

Keep in mind that tankless models are roughly 24% to 34% more energy-efficient in homes where hot water usage is 40 gallons or less per day and 8% to 14% more energy-efficient in homes that average about 86 gallons daily. Thus, if you are looking to install a new tankless model, it is better to opt for an energy efficient tankless water heater.  

What power source is better where tankless water heaters are concerned? Electric or gas?

Once you’ve decided to have Anytime Plumbing install a tankless water heater, you’ll need to decide whether you want an electric or gas-powered unit.  Unlike deciding between a storage tank and tankless unit, there’s no hard and fast rule.  Both versions have their advantages and disadvantages.  In most instances, the right choice depends on your home’s capabilities, household’s needs, the climate where you live, and your own personal preference.  Here is a comparison chart of the two:

 Electric Water HeatersGas Water Heaters
Purchase cost$500-$700$1,000-$1,200
Installation costLow for mostHigh
Long-term usage costsHigher but stableLower than electric but could rise in the future
Flow rate capacity8 GPM in warmer climates and 3.5 GPM in colder onesAt least 8 GPM or higher
Maintenance needsMinimalAnnual
Venting requirementsNoneNecessary
Environmental impactDepends on energy sourceFossil Fuel dependent

What else should you know about tankless water heaters?

In addition to the above information, there some additional considerations to be aware of before you make the switch to a tankless water heater from Anytime Plumbing.  First of all, the up-front cost of a tankless model, whether electric or gas-powered, will be higher than that of the conventional storage tank models.  HoweverowH, tankless water heaters have a longer life expectancy (about 20 years) as well as lower energy and operating costs which could offset the cost to purchase one.  Conversely, storage tank models will last up to 15 years at best. If you ensure regular maintenance, the need for repairs is less which helps you save more.

When is the electric version recommended versus the gas version?

You should consider purchasing an electric tankless model if you live in an all-electric home, even if you’re currently using a tank model water heater.  This is because making the switch from electric to gas can be very complex and costly.  If you need a larger supply of hot water throughout the year (especially during winter), then we normally recommend a gas-powered model.  If you can afford the up-front cost of the gas version, you’ll enjoy the savings you see on your monthly utility bills. If you are unsure about the right model, you can always consult with our experts.

To learn more about tankless water heaters or to inquire about the installation costs of one, contact Anytime Plumbing at your convenience. Call us now!

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