TANKLESS WATER HEATERS

Tired of running out of hot water? That’s not a problem with one of these compact, ultra-efficient units that heat water as you need it. Here’s what you need to know about choosing, installing, and living with a tankless water heater from Garattic™.

The way most households heat water is extremely wasteful. We fill up big 40 to 50 gallon storage tanks, then pour energy into them 24/7, year in and year out, to make sure we have hot water at the ready whenever we want it.

But often it doesn’t work out that way. If a teenager takes a long shower, or a spouse settles in for a tub soak, there can be a long wait for that emptied tank to reheat. Then there are the nagging worries: Is it filled with energy-robbing sediment? Will it spring a leak? Both are reasonable concerns, as tanks generally fail in 8 to 12 years.

How does a tankless water heater work?

Illustration by Doug Adams

How it works information by Thomas Baker, This Home Sold.

These are the arguments for investing in a tankless water heater. It generates hot water only when you need it—and for as long as you need it—saving 27 to 50 percent of fuel costs over tank-type heaters. (A typical gas-fired tank wastes 40 to 50 percent of the fuel it burns.)

And because there’s no tank to fail, there’s almost no chance of a catastrophic leak. What’s more, since their introduction in the United States in the 1990s, tankless heaters have become increasingly sophisticated, with features like built-in recirculating pumps (for “instant” hot water), and wireless connectivity that tells you via smartphone exactly when a unit needs maintenance.

Sign up to have a pro provide annual service, including cleaning or changing water and air filters and checking the burner. In areas with hard water, a vinegar flush every 500 hours keeps mineral buildup—scale—from clogging the heat exchanger. That 20-minute task can be done by either a pro or a homeowner.

Gas-burning tankless water heaters should operate for 20 years or more, two or three times longer than tank-type heaters. Tankless electric units have shorter life spans, on the order of 7 to 10 years.

THEY ARE SAFER – Unlike a tank-type heater, they won’t spill gallons of water if they spring a leak, or harbor Legionella bacteria, or tip over in an earthquake. And because the air-supply and exhaust vents are sealed, carbon monoxide can’t leak into the house due to backdrafting.

THEY ARE EASY TO WINTERIZE – Owners of vacation homes know well how long it takes to drain a water-heater tank before closing up a house for the winter. With a compressor, you can drain a tankless heater in a few seconds; then you just unplug it.

THEY ARE COMPACT – Newer tank-type water heaters have grown bigger as federal regulations now require thicker insulation to reduce standby heat loss. So they may not be able to fit into spaces where an old heater of the same capacity could go. Tankless gas heaters are about the size of a suitcase and hang on the wall.

READY TO LEARN MORE?

Give us a call today, or book an appointment, to find out why a tankless water heater is crucial to providing your family with total home comfort.