Tankless Water Heaters
Here’s an energy-efficiency option you may not know about — tankless water heaters. In use for decades in Europe, this particular type of hot water heater is being used more and more in the United States. Although not a magic bullet that’s perfect for every situation, a tankless water heater installation can provide significant reductions in energy and water use while at the same time providing improved convenience. Our experts are experienced in installation, repair, and maintenance and ready to advise you on your choices and options.
We provide tankless water heater repair and installation services to all Ontario, Riverside, San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Corona, Temecula, Murrieta, Upland, Rialto, Yucaipa, Hemet, Chino Hills, Perris and Moreno Valley, California. Call us today to schedule an estimate.
How They’re Different, How Do They Work
Conventional water heaters use a big storage tank — usually 20-80 gallons for homes, with 40 gallons being the most common size. A gas burner and heat exchanger (or electric resistance element or heat pump) slowly warms the tank up to the thermostat’s setting. When you start using hot water or the tank cools down the thermostat turns the burner back on. If you use hot water faster than the burner can handle you run out and have to wait for the burner and tank to catch up (called recovery time). But most of the time the unit sits idle, slowly loosing heat no matter how well insulated it is (called standby loss).
Tankless water heaters rapidly heat at the rate you use it, right as you use it. Also called on-demand, instant, or flash hot water heaters it’s needless to say there’s no tank. So there’s no standby losses, improving energy efficiency.
Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters
Years ago they were used mostly in locations such as home additions and hotel rooms due to their small size. They’re still great for that, but there’s a few more advantages as well that are leading to more widespread use.
- Never running out of hot water, so there’s no waiting for recovery.
- Some 30% less energy use.
- There’s no waiting for hot water to work its way through long pipes.
- That saves the water that’s wasted while you’re waiting. That also saves energy, as pipes have standby losses whether they’re insulated or not.
- After a few seconds, the temperature is steady.
- No more suddenly cold showers when the washing machine cycles on.
Reducing Tank Size
If you’re considering a bathroom or granny-unit addition for your home, or need to expand capacity at your business, a tankless water heater installation is often a great solution.
Since April of 2015 federal energy efficiency standards require advanced technologies for conventional hot water heaters with tanks above 55 gallons. Below that size those standards require more insulation, making replacements a bit larger so they might not fit in the existing space. With one or more tankless water heaters you may well avoid some significant costs by avoiding the replacement of a traditional water heater that’s above 55 gallons while still doing your part in energy conservation.
Tankless Water Heater Installation
Tankless units do cost more, and their installation is a bit more involved. It may be necessary to upgrade wiring for electric units or increase gas line capacity for gas-fired units. The need for exhaust venting limits tankless water heater installation locations for gas models, but electric models can go just about anywhere. Even if it means switching from gas to electric many people find that the convenience benefits alone make it worth while.
Tankless Water Heater Service
Even conventional water heaters should have an annual drain and flush to deal with sediment. For tankless water heaters, an annual cleaning to remove lime scale buildup is even more important to maintain energy efficiency and to keep the warranty active. It’s critical in areas with hard water (unfortunately, most of Southern California). That’s because the high-performance heat exchanger in a tankless unit has tiny channels that are easily clogged. But the procedure is quick and relatively straightforward and is an opportunity for a safety and performance inspection.