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Tankless Water Heaters: No More Fear of Cold Showers

One summer, I was on vacation, and six of us stayed in one house with one bathroom and one shower. This made a rush for the first shower not only a race to be ready first but it was also a race for the hot water. If you were number six, you had better plan on being cold. Although the temperatures raged outside and we did heat-building activities such as mountain climb, the cold water never felt good.

In my opinion, water heaters are fantastic. I am so grateful that I do not need to boil my water for a bath and that my dishes are squeaky clean. However, one of their downfalls is that they only heat a set amount of water; when that water is gone, it is gone. On the flip side, if one does not use all the hot water in the tank, then it just sits there. What happens when hot water sits? It does not stay hot. Therefore, all that energy and heat used to heat that water is wasted. This is known as standby loss.

The good news is that there are other options than a typical 40-gallon tank water heater. There are tankless water heaters. Instead of heating up water to store, the tankless water heater heats up water as needed. The tankless unit is much smaller than a typical water heater and is mounted on the wall. When a faucet is turned on, cold water enters the unit and travels through several pipes and tubes that heat the water. It then travels to the sink, shower, washing machine, etc., or wherever needed. When the faucet is turned off, there is no standby loss because there is no place to store the water.

Regarding racing for the shower, a tankless water heater is the best because there is an endless hot water supply. The water could run for a month straight and stay hot (though I don’t recommend this experiment; it would be very costly, and you would not get much out of it). In addition, because there is no standby loss of hot water just sitting around and losing heat, this system is much more energy-efficient and cost-effective than a traditional water tank. Tankless hot water is especially good if you have a larger family because more people mean more showers, laundry, dishes, etc. The hot water will not run out. It is important to realize that, though it is endless hot water, it is not instant hot water. A tankless water heater is a higher initial investment, and the installation is more labor-intensive than a traditional water heater. However, that investment will usually be paid off with savings. If you are not sure that you are ready to make this financial investment or do not need a new water heater, another way to save money is by installing low-flow showerheads. These will use up less water in the tank, allowing more hot water showers per tank.

Questions, concerns, or comments? Interested in learning more about a tankless water heater? Contact FLAME!

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