Tankless hot water systems: Are they right for your home?

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  • Author Sam Braidley
  • Published June 25, 2011
  • Word count 441

As a way of saving money on energy costs, many homeowners are moving away from the traditional hot water tank to a tankless, heat on demand system. These have come a long way since they were first introduced and now are capable of producing a steady supply of hot water for your home. Here is a look at a typical tankless hot water system and information you need in order to tell whether one would be right for your home.

How they save energy

A tankless hot water system is inherently more energy efficient than a standard system would be. A standard hot water system involves a large storage tank where water is kept at a specific temperature. Each time the water drops below that temperature, energy is expended to bring it back up to the predetermined temperature. Regardless of whether we need the water or not, energy is being used to keep it heated to a specific temperature.

How they work

A tankless water heater is actually very simple. With a standard system, a temperature sensor will determine when the water needs to be heated. In a tankless system, the act of turning on the hot water tap will signal the unit to begin heating the water. Because the water is being heated continuously it is almost impossible to run out of hot water. There is no tank to fill and therefore the time to heat the water is much lower.

The main difference in these systems is the fuel source used to heat the water. Natural gas models will use a natural gas burner to heat the water and electric burners will use electricity to do so. Other than that, the systems are more or less identical.

Choosing a system

You need to consider the size of the household when determining whether a tankless system is right for you. A large household will either need to use a traditional heating system as the use of multiple faucets may be more than one heating system can handle. Newer models are able to produce a higher flow rate than older systems could.

There are two types of systems. One is a whole home system which will supply heated water to all of the faucets in your home. The second type is an individual heater that can be installed on a single appliance or in a specific room. You may also be able to install two systems side by side.

Speaking with a qualified expert can help you determine the kind of flow rate you will need and you can then choose the model of tankless system that will meet your needs.

Sam Braidley is a author who writes on topics centered around green technology, for more information please visit his website. [http://www.greentech.ie](http://www.greentech.ie)

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