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  • Tankless Water Heater In Decatur

    Wondering Whether a Tankless Water Heater Is Right for You in Decatur? Everything you need to know about switching to a Tankless Water Heater.

    Tankless Water Heaters (sometimes called “instantaneous” or on-demand water heaters) are quite different from the traditional systems you are likely familiar with. As their name would imply, they don’t have a large water reservoir attached to them. The result? You don’t have to pay to heat a giant tank of water when you aren’t around to use it. This can have a measurable impact on your annual energy savings and utility bill – a feature many folks find very attractive.

    However, tankless heaters are not a perfect solution. Not everyone finds their quirks worth the annual energy savings, so you should evaluate your reasons for making the switch. To help you, we have compiled a comprehensive overview of how they work, their pros and cons, and selection criteria you should consider when making your decision.

    How Do Tankless Water Heaters Actually Work?

    You might be wondering how you can heat water without the use of a large storage tank. To accomplish this, they utilize ultra high-powered burners. Water gets heated quickly as it passes through the exchanger. The result is a near-constant supply of hot water. No need to wait for a tank to refill and heat; just keep the faucet turned to hot and you are good to go.

    So are there any limits to this wondrous technology? Of course. Each unit is primarily restricted by its output, limiting the overall flow rate. Most tankless units put out between two and five gallons of water per minute, although gas powered units tend to produce a higher flow rate than their electric-fueled counterparts.

    Regardless, even the most massive of the gas-fired models cannot supply enough hot water to fulfill multiple hot water based tasks being performed at the same time. If you are trying to take a shower while running a load of whites, you might find your tank’s limitations the hard way. Many homes overcome these limitations by installing either multiple units, or units designated specifically for certain tasks or appliances.

    By connecting them in parallel, you can create enough hot water flow to meet the large demands you place on your home’s water system. This can be especially handy when trying to solution for multiple washers, or even hot tubs placed on a remote part of your property.

    Give It to Me Straight: What are the Pros and Cons of Installing a Tankless System?

    While we have discussed some of the system limitations, there are still definitive benefits and drawbacks you need to be aware of.

    First, the benefits of tankless water heaters:

    • If your home uses less than forty gallons of hot water a day, the government estimates you could use up to 34% less energy to heat your water, versus conventional storage tank heaters. This savings goes up if you install an on-demand water heater at each hot water outlet. In real-world dollars, you are looking at as much as $100 a year, according to ENERGY STAR®.
    • Tankless heaters have a long, long life expectancy. We are talking more than twenty years when properly maintained. Yes, you may need replacement parts along the way, but those are easy to find and have installed. When you compare this to the 10 year life expectancy of most tank-style units, you are looking at a lower overall cost of ownership, depending on the unit.
    • If space is at a premium, on-demand units can give you some of your square footage back. In one instance, one of our customers was able to expand a half-bath into a three-quarter, just by reclaiming the space their older tank-model previously occupied. The bump in real estate value created more than enough offset for the cost of the unit.

    A few drawbacks of tankless water heaters to be aware of:

    • The upfront installation cost of a tankless heater is definitely higher than its conventional cousins. The technology is more compact, and more complicated, leading to a higher initial price tag.
    • In-spite of higher flow rates, gas-powered units do waste more energy. This is due to the need to keep a pilot light constantly lit. Depending on the unit, and your usage, this could offset any anticipated energy savings.
    • The term “instantaneous” can be a bit misleading. Is water heated immediately? Yes. But between your shower and that hot water is a lot of cold water standing in the pipes, plus the amount of water required for your unit to kick-in. If you have tasks requiring only a small amount hot water, your system may not recognize it needs to go to work. All-in-all, this can amount to a larger amount of wasted water, a good chunk of time spent waiting for hot water to arrive.

    You should note every one of those drawbacks has a corresponding plumbing solution (minus the upfront price tag). You aren’t required to leave your pilot burning; you can always light it on demand. And you can install a warm water circulation system if immediate hot water is important to you. It’s basically, a very small tank of hot water continuously pumping through your system, available immediately when you need it. This bridges the gap between the time you turn on your faucet, and the time your on-demand heated water actually reaches you.

    How to Decide Whether Tankless Is Right for Your Home

    A few things go into this evaluation. First, you should decide if some of the quirks we outlined above are enough to throw you off. If the answer to that question is yes, then you can go ahead and quit reading.

    However, you are still interested, here are the items you need to consider:

    • Fuel type: Propane, gas and electric are your only options.
    • Water cost: You could see an increase in water usage with a tankless system, so if your bill is high due to drought or other circumstances, tankless may not be the right choice.
    • Size: Calculate your peak demand usage, determine how often you’ll be running simultaneous hot water appliances, and find out if a tankless option still makes sense.

    If you’re in the market for a new hot water heater, or have questions you need answered before making a change, give Morningside Plumbing a quick call. We’ll provide you with speedy answers, and help you walk through each of the steps to determine if a tankless unit is right for you.

    You can call us at (404) 984 2092, or just click to drop us a line with all the questions you have about installing a tankless water heater.

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