For many of us, the joys of the holiday season mean a full house. With this great joy comes a lot of laundry, washing dishes and of course… showers! It truly is the season that puts your water heater to the test.
While your house may not always be at maximum capacity, it might be a good time to start thinking about switching your electric or gas tank water heater to a natural gas tankless water heater.
We asked our resident natural gas appliance expert, Phil Beasley, “What is a natural gas tankless water heater and who should consider a tankless water heater and why?” (This is one of Phil’s favorite subjects, so we did reduce his comments!)
Q: What is a tankless water heater?
A: Tankless water heaters (also known as continuous water heaters) heat water only as needed. Traditional tank-style water heaters are constantly working to heat water, which wastes energy. To understand the difference, think of your car as an example. You wouldn’t keep it running all night just to use it for your morning drive to work. So, why would you keep your water heater running when you’re not using it? With tankless water heaters, when hot water is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the tankless unit and is quickly heated. As a result, tankless water heaters supply a constant flow of hot water and when sized correctly, can supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses.
Q: Who should consider getting a tankless water heater?
A: It really depends on how much hot water you use. If it’s one or two people in the home, your return on investment may take a little longer to acquire. If you have kids, there’s more reason to look into tankless. Between the piles of laundry, dishes and showers, kids can use a lot of hot water. I also suggest tankless water heaters if you have a garden tub. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say they can’t fill up their garden tub. Their tank water heater just can’t provide enough hot water. With a tankless water heater, you finally can enjoy that garden tub.
Q: Can a tankless water heater be installed in the same place as my old tank water heater?
A: Absolutely. Tankless water heaters are compact and easy to install. They can be installed in a utility room, garage, basement, attic or ideally on an outside wall. Rather than taking up useful floor space, a tankless water heater is mounted on a wall. A digital temperature control can then be mounted next to the unit or in any room.
Q: Do tankless water heaters cost less to operate than traditional water heaters?
A: Yes. Because you are only heating water when you need it, you are not wasting energy to heat excess water, which is also more energy efficient.
Q: What is the lifespan of a tankless water heater?
A: Tankless water heaters are built to last more than 15-20 years and are manufactured using copper and stainless steel. In contrast, you’d probably have to buy two or three traditional water heaters over the lifespan of just one tankless water heater.
Q: How much can I expect to save on my monthly bill if I install a tankless water heater?
A: Test results have shown that a tankless water heater costs about 40 percent less to operate than an electric water heater and about 30 percent less than a natural gas water heater.
Alagasco is currently offering a rebate up to $800 when you switch from an electric water heater to a natural gas tank or tankless water heater, and a $200 rebate if you replace your old natural gas water heater with a new natural gas tank or tankless water heater.
Think a tankless water heater might be the right choice for you? Compare and shop to find the right fit for your home and contact an Alagasco Gas Advantage Contractor to get your new water heater installed.