If you're sick of running out of hot water in the middle of your shower, it's time you installed a tankless hot water system?
If you've got a big family, a tankless hot water system might just seem like a godsend to you. Let's look beyond the issue of saving money, which they do, and being trim and compact, which they are. The best thing about tankless heaters is that they heat water right on the spot, just when you need it.
Let's take a closer look at why this matters.
Why You Should Bother
Even in a relatively small household (heck, even if you live alone) you run the risk of running out of hot water when you need it. Think about all the things that use hot water: your dishwasher, your clothes washer, the mop bucket, and, of course, all those showers.
Often, taking a shower is a matter of trying to figure out how long you have until the water turns icy. So what happens if you miscalculate, which is easy to do? Well, you might be caught soapy just when you need hot water the most. It's happened to all of us, and it sucks.
This won't happen with a tankless heater.
How They Work
Tankless hot water heaters tend to be compact, rectangular units that fit on a wall and apply heat directly to the hot water pipes. Some are electric, some gas-powered.
Instead of filling a reservoir with a few tens of gallons of water and then slowly heating it up, and then trying to keep it warm until it gets used, a tankless system simply flash-heats the water on demand. The water flows through the system as it's needed, heating to the proper temp as it goes.
One thing to keep in mind about a tankless system is that because it produces hot water at need, it may not be able to produce a huge amount of hot water all at once. But this won't be a problem unless multiple people take showers simultaneously, or if you try to shower while the clothes washer's running.
And hey, at least you don't have to wait half an hour for the next 30 gallons of water to heat up.
Otherwise, tankless systems cost about twice as much to install as a tanked system, which is why buying one isn't a lightly-made decision, and should ideally wait until your current system dies. However, a tankless system will pay for itself in just a few years.
You see, tankless systems use far less energy, because they're not constantly trying to keep a big tank full of water at a steady temperature. This saves a lot of money in the long run--up to 50% annually on water-heating bills.
See how savvy installing a tankless hot water system really is?