How Owning a Tankless Water Heater is Green
You could be thinking about going to a tankless water heater for a number of reasons. Installing a tankless water heater, in a new property or replacing a traditional water heater in an existing home, is eco-friendly and green. So you may add that to the positive side along with cost savings, comfort, space, and maintenance reasons. With a tankless water heater, most users save on energy bills and there are others ways a tankless water heater is a better efficiency and environmental choice for your home.
Making the Change
Most houses built before about 2010 using a tank water heater for hot water. These work by storing water in the large tank and having a flame regularly lit under the tank to continuously keep water hot. This is a fine unit for turning on a fixture anywhere in the house and having hot water pretty quickly and a large, dependable supply of hot water.
The expense of keeping the hot water hot all the time, with the pilot light on and the water circulating all the time, can be high. It’s much higher than your actual usage of hot water. While there are benefits to always having hot water on demand, the negative aspect is you’re paying to heat the water basically around the clock.
A tankless water heater heats water right when you need it, and only when you need it. This removes standby heating entirely. This saves fuel usage, which is good for the environment and your budget. Your water heater only being on when you need hot water will let you track your energy used for water exactly.
Another green benefit of a tankless water heater is most models run on electricity instead of gas. Electric power is more eco-friendly and economical in most locations.
Efficient Hot Water
The more efficient a product is, the greener it is. You’re getting what you need with less wasted energy.
A standard water heater uses a lot of energy to keep standby heat going. This is energy being used while you’re not getting anything out of it.
As the warm water sits in the tank, it gradually cools down, although the storage tank is insulated. With gas standard tanks, heat is additionally lost through the vent. This means gas tank water heaters have an energy efficiency of 70-80%. Electric tank water heaters have an 80-90% energy efficiency.
With a green electric tankless water heater, standby heat loss is almost zero, permitting an energy efficiency of 99%. This adds up to significant energy bill savings.
A traditional 40-gallon tank sounds like it’ll hold 40 gallons of hot water. This really doesn’t mean you could get 40 gallons of hot water from it at a time, or before the hot water runs out, at least for a short time. When you begin running water from the tank, cold water enters the tank. In reality, you may get about 30 gallons of hot water. A tank water heater may be set to 125-140 degrees in part to counter this issue. The water you get, even once much of the original water is out of the tank, will stay hot enough. This is using more energy than you’d expect.
How a Tankless Water Heater Works
Tankless water heaters are made in both gas and electric models, each has its advantages. Tankless heating units operate by running water with a heating source at the point of use rather than having a tank and heating large amounts of water at once.
- Conserving Energy
If you live in a colder region, that gets rough winters, you may consider a gas tankless water heater. It will give you hot water during a power failure and likely save money on your electric bill. According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, tankless water heaters can be 24-34% more energy efficient.
- Less Space
Tankless water heaters save space in your home. In fact, tiny house homeowners often use tankless systems. Tankless heaters are good for anyone who has limited space, wants to make more use of a garage or wants multiple tankless heater devices, but each in a small, convenient space inside the house.
- Flow Rate
Most tankless water heater units give a water flow rate of 2-5 gallons per minute. For large homes, or families which may use multiple fixtures simultaneously, more than one tankless heater may be recommended. Considering that on-demand water heating systems now normally last longer than a standard tank water heater, installing several point-of-use systems is still a good investment.
The lifespan of a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters are smaller, occupy less space, and are verified to last up to 30 years with normal, simple upkeep. They aren’t prone to combustion, corrosion, or deterioration like conventional water tanks. It is easier to change parts for a tankless model, which makes it better for someone trying to reduce waste and maintenance expenses.
Tankless water heaters have the advantage of using running water instead of holding calcium and lime deposits from hard water continuously. Hence, tankless models last longer. Fewer parts can break, or corrode over time. This is why tankless heaters can run for 30 or more years.
Generally, a tankless water heater can save you more than $100-150 a year on an energy bill. The real advantage is they run on less power, minimize energy waste, and are a lot less likely to do long-term damage to the environment as fewer of them will end up in landfills over the coming years. If you’re looking for a way to go green without breaking the bank or investing thousands on expensive devices, it’s the method to go.
South End Plumbing specializes in leak repairs and water heater installation, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in tankless water heaters – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.