How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

Originally published in February 2018

It may be confusing figuring out which new water heater would be right for your Peachtree City home, especially if it’s for new construction. There are several options available, but you’re probably most familiar with conventional storage water heaters, which maintain a reservoir of hot water in a storage tank. However, a tankless or demand water heater could be the better fit.

Tankless Water Heater Overview

Also known as an instantaneous water heater, a demand-type water heater only produces hot water when you need it. It doesn’t store hot water in a tank like a conventional water heater, which is associated with great energy loss. Because of how it works, a tankless hot water system can save you 25 to 75 percent on your energy bill by comparison.

How a Demand Water Heater Works

The concept behind how instantaneous hot water works is rather simple. When you turn on a faucet in your home, cold water travels through your pipes. Shortly before it emerges from the faucet, the water passes through a flow sensor that activates a heat exchanger. Then, the water warms up as it circles through the heat exchanger.

The design of a tankless system uses 9 percent less energy than a conventional system and can supply hot water constantly. Since there’s no tank with a set amount of stored hot water, you don’t run out of hot water. You also don’t have to wait for the tank to refill before you can use it again.

How Much Hot Water Can It Produce

The flow rate for a demand water heater depends on the type of heating element that it uses and its size. A standard system can provide 2 to 5 gallons of hot water per minute. Keep in mind that electric-powered systems have lower flow rates than gas-powered ones. While this is usually enough to accommodate most family’s demand, sometimes a tankless water heater can’t keep up with simultaneous use. For this reason, it can be beneficial to install one system for bathrooms and another for appliances.

Do you have more questions about water heating equipment for your home? You can learn more about your options on the Jones Climate Control services page or by calling us.

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