Choosing Tankless Water Heaters: A Guide for Newbies

Up to 15 percent of a household’s energy budget goes to heating water for bathing, laundry and washing dishes, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Much of that energy is wasted by keeping a tank of hot water ready even when there’s no demand for the water. Choosing tankless water heaters can help to reduce that waste.How tankless water heating systems work

Unlike traditional water tank systems, tankless systems heat water only when you need it. To do this, the water passes through a small system of super-heated coils en route to your faucet. With a tankless system, you don’t have to pay for hot water you’re not going to use. You’ll also never run out of hot water, as long as the system has been sized properly for your anticipated needs. Tankless systems can be powered by electricity, propane or natural gas.

Whole house vs. point-of-use systems

Choosing tankless water heaters can be confusing. There are two basic kinds of tankless models. One heats water for just one outlet, such as a bathtub or a kitchen sink. The other type of system is centrally located and heats water for multiple outlets. In larger households, it’s not unusual for a whole-house unit to be used for most of the water-heating needs, with smaller point-of-use units installed for special needs or areas.

Tankless water heaters typically hang on the wall and take up much less space than the traditional water tank. In addition, since there’s no risk of flooding with a tankless system, these units can be located anywhere in the house, even outdoors with proper protection. They don’t have to be located in the basement. This mobility can help reduce the “lag time,” the time it takes to get hot water from the heater to the faucet, since the tankless heater can be sited closer to the points you use hot water.

If you need help choosing tankless water heaters, or if you have questions about whether such a system is the right choice for your Kansas City area home and family, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve been helping homeowners like you with their heating, cooling and water-heating needs since 1983.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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