Traditional water heaters use a surprising amount of energy. They're often the greatest source of power consumption after air conditioning and heating. They're working constantly throughout the day to keep the water in the tank warm. However, there's a way to reduce the amount of energy you use to heat your water—switch to a tankless water heater. Here are a few reasons why tankless water heaters are more efficient than traditional water heaters.
1. Avoids Standby Energy Losses
Traditional water heaters lose a significant amount of thermal energy while trying to keep the water in the tank warm. Even though modern water heaters have much more insulation than older models, some of the heat in the water inside the tank inevitably escapes into the air surrounding the water heater. The thermal energy that's lost in this way is referred to as standby energy loss. Over time, these energy losses add up to major inefficiency.
Tankless water heaters avoid this problem because they don't have a reservoir of water that needs to be kept warm. Cold water is brought into the heater through the inlet pipe and rapidly heated whenever you need to use it. Since tankless water heaters can avoid standby energy loss due to heat escaping from the tank, they're more efficient than traditional water heaters.
2. Allows You to Set the Thermostat Lower Than 140 Degrees
When you set the thermostat on a traditional water heater, it's important to keep it at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer since most bacteria will be destroyed at temperatures between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease thrives at these temperatures. This presents another problem because water that's kept at 140 degrees Fahrenheit is too hot to shower with. For safety, it needs to be mixed with cold water at anti-scald valves installed in your plumbing fixtures.
Tankless water heaters don't have this issue. Since there's no standing water in a tankless water heater, there's no opportunity for bacteria to grow. This means that you can safely lower the outlet temperature on your tankless water heater below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping the temperature low means that your tankless water heater doesn't need to use as much energy to heat the water coming through the inlet pipe—the ability to lower the temperature is another way that tankless water heaters can be used to reduce your monthly power bills.
3. Can Be Installed as a Point-of-Use Water Heater, Minimizing Lost Heat From Water Remaining in Your Pipes
When you're using the shower or the hot water at a faucet, water immediately stops flowing into the fixture as soon as you turn it off. All of the hot water that was running towards the fixture will remain in your home's plumbing. Plumbing pipes are typically not insulated well, so the heat will rapidly be lost and your hot water will quickly become cold.
Point-of-use tankless water heaters provide a way to eliminate this problem. These tankless water heaters are small, inexpensive units that are installed near to a plumbing fixture. Like whole-house tankless water heaters, they turn on whenever you need hot water from that fixture. Point-of-use tankless water heaters are located next to the fixture, which minimizes the amount of water left standing in the pipes after you turn the fixture off. Installing point-of-use tankless water heaters next to your plumbing fixtures will minimize the amount of thermal energy that's lost due to hot water standing in your home's plumbing.
As you can see, there are several reasons why tankless water heaters are more efficient than traditional water heaters. Contact a tankless water heater installation service in your area and ask about the models they have to offer. You'll be able to supply your home with a continuous supply of warm water while slashing your energy consumption at the same time.