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How Does a Tankless Hot Water Heater Work?

A tankless hot water heater is an innovative and efficient home appliance that can replace your traditional storage tank water heater. The principle behind a tankless water heater is quite simple: it no longer requires the use of a storage tank to keep the water hot, but it instead warms the water as it passes through the system using a heat exchanger. So what does this mean for you as a home owner? A tankless hot water heater can save you up to 40% on your energy bill, and provide you with an endless supply of hot water.

How does such a water heater actually work? Well, the process of heating the water starts only when the tankless hot water heater senses the demand for hot water flow, which occurs when you turn on your hot water tap. You may turn it on in the shower, at the kitchen sink, or in the laundry room. No matter how much hot water you require, the tankless hot water heater will heat the water as it goes through the heat exchanger, which is activated by the incoming water itself. The moment the hot water tap is turned off the heat exchanger shuts down, saving energy, and therefore, money. This is quite different from traditional hot water heaters, which store large quantities of heated water in a tank.

The role of the heat exchanger is to produce hot water on demand instead of continually heating water stored in the tank. That is also the reason why a tankless hot water heater continuously delivers hot water no matter how many hot water taps are open. With the storage water heater system, the water keeps running out especially when hot water is needed in several places in the house. The fact that your tankless water heater no longer uses energy to keep water hot when it’s not being used makes them significantly more efficient.

With the elimination of standby heat loss, tankless hot water heaters have gained popularity in recent years as home owners have become more environmentally aware and cost-focused. Wasting energy is no longer an option in today’s era of high energy prices. Therefore, many homes have upgraded to tankless hot water heaters as they have come to understand the convenience, efficiency, and cost-saving nature of these appliances.

However, you should not consider the tankless hot water heater as an instant hot water provider. Instant hot water does not depend on the type of water heater you have, but on the lag time, which really depends on the configuration of each home. Lag time is the time that it takes for hot water to reach your faucet. The larger the house is, the longer the lag time. There is only one solution that can partially solve this problem and that is a point-of-use tankless hot water heater, which is installed very close to your hot water outlet, such as underneath your kitchen sink.

Whole-house tankless hot water heaters are powered by natural gas or propane, while point-of-use hot water heaters are electric. Choosing the fuel type depends on specific factors, such as local prices and exiting pipelines in your home. It is important that you consult a hot water heater specialist before you make such a purchase to make sure that you choose the most cost-effective solution for you as far as initial investment and longer term savings.

If you are looking to upgrade your current hot water heater to a tankless water heater, talk to an advisor at Reliance Home Comfort today. We offer affordable monthly water heater rentals that include lifetime services plans, so you can count on your water heater to keep providing you with an endless supply of hot water.

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