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How Do Tankless Hot Water Systems Work?

19 October

Tankless hot water systems, also known as on-demand water heaters, have gained significant popularity in recent years due to their energy efficiency and ability to provide a continuous supply of hot water. Unlike traditional storage tank water heaters, tankless water heaters operate by heating water on demand, eliminating the need for a storage tank. This comprehensive blog will explore how tankless hot water systems work, discuss their advantages over traditional water heaters, and address frequently asked questions to help you understand this innovative technology.

Tankless water heaters deliver hot water efficiently and instantly. With their innovative design, these systems eliminate the need for a storage tank, allowing them to produce hot water on demand. When a hot water tap is turned on, the tankless heater activates, swiftly heating the water as it flows through the unit. This instant hot water feature provides unparalleled convenience, ensuring you have hot water whenever needed, without any waiting time.

Whether you’re taking a relaxing shower, washing dishes, or performing any other hot water-related task, a tankless water heater guarantees a seamless and efficient supply of hot water, making it an ideal choice for those seeking an instant hot water system.

How Do Tankless Hot Water Systems Work?

Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, operate on a simple yet efficient principle. When a hot water tap is opened in your home, cold water enters the tankless water heater unit. The unit’s flow sensor detects the water flow and initiates the heating process.

The instantaneous hot water supply is a key feature of tankless water heaters. As the water passes through the tankless heater, it is heated on the spot, and the hot water is delivered directly to the desired tap or fixture in your home. This continuous flow of hot water ensures that you never run out, even during periods of high demand.

Tankless Hot Water Installed Outside

Electric Tankless Water Heaters

In electric tankless water heaters, the unit is equipped with electrical resistance heating coils. As the cold water flows through the unit, these heating coils, powered by electricity, rapidly heat the water to the desired temperature. Electric tankless water heaters are popular for their ease of installation and versatility, as they can be installed in various locations, including under sinks or in utility rooms.

Gas Tankless Water Heaters

On the other hand, gas tankless water heaters utilise a gas burner that ignites to heat a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger, in turn, warms the water flowing through it. This design is particularly suitable for homes with a natural gas supply. Gas tankless water heaters are known for their high heating capacity and ability to deliver hot water at a higher flow rate, making them ideal for larger households or commercial applications.

When choosing a tankless water heater, it’s crucial to consider the type of energy source available in your home and your specific hot water requirements. The two main options are electric and gas tankless water heaters. Understanding the pros and cons of each type will help you determine which one best fits your needs.

Choosing The Right Type And Size

Most tankless water heaters come in either electric or natural gas models. If you can access natural gas in your home, a tankless gas water heater is usually the most cost-effective option. Tankless gas water heaters use a natural gas burner to heat water as it flows through the unit instantly. This provides a continuous supply of hot water on demand without maintaining a large tank of heated water like traditional tank water heaters. Tankless gas water heaters are extremely energy efficient as they only heat water when needed, rather than heating and re-heating a tank.

Plumber Installing Tankless Heater

On the other hand, if you don’t have natural gas, an electric tankless water heater is a good alternative. While less efficient than gas models, electric tankless heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water without a tank. When choosing either type of tankless water heater, selecting the appropriate size is crucial based on the number of fixtures in your home and peak hot water demands.

Tankless heaters are rated by maximum flow rate. Consider whether you want to run multiple showers or appliances simultaneously to make sure you choose a tankless heater that meets your household’s hot water requirements. A properly sized tankless water heater will provide constant hot water whenever needed.

Why Upgrade To A Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless hot water heaters offer numerous advantages over traditional storage tank water heaters.

First and foremost, tankless systems are highly energy efficient. Unlike storage tank water heaters that continuously heat and reheat a large volume of water to maintain a constant supply, tankless systems only heat water when needed. This eliminates standby energy losses and can save significant energy over time. Most tankless water heaters are more than 24% more energy efficient than their storage tank counterparts.

Shower With Tankless Hot Water System

Another significant advantage of tankless water heaters is their ability to provide a continuous supply of hot water. With a tankless system, you no longer have to worry about running out of hot water during high-demand periods. Unlike traditional tank water heaters that require time to refill and reheat the stored water, tankless systems deliver hot water on demand, providing an endless supply.

Additionally, tankless water heaters have a space-saving design. As they do not require a storage tank, they are much more compact and can be conveniently wall-mounted, saving valuable floor space. This flexibility in installation options makes tankless systems suitable for small and large homes.

Making The Switch To Tankless

Tankless hot water heaters provide many benefits, making them a smart choice for many homes and businesses looking to upgrade their hot water system. By heating water instantly as needed, tankless heaters deliver endless hot water while saving space and reducing energy usage. While the upfront cost is higher than traditional water heaters, tankless systems offer long-term savings and efficiency.

If you’re considering switching to tankless to enjoy unlimited hot water, reduced energy bills, and space savings, the Gold Coast Plumbing Company team can help. Our licensed professionals specialise in seamless tankless water heater installation and maintenance. Contact Gold Coast Plumbing Company today to learn whether tankless is the right choice for your home or business. Our team is here to answer all your questions and handle the tankless installation process from start to finish.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tankless Water Heaters

Is it worth switching to a tankless water heater?

Switching to a tankless water heater can be a worthwhile investment for many homeowners. Tankless systems’ long-term cost savings and energy efficiency make them an attractive option. Tankless water heaters can significantly reduce energy costs over time by eliminating standby energy losses and providing hot water on demand. The continuous hot water supply also ensures convenience and comfort for your household.

Do you run out of hot water with a tankless water heater?

No, you do not run out of hot water with a tankless water heater. Traditional storage tank water heaters have a finite amount of hot water stored, which can be depleted during high-demand periods. In contrast, tankless systems heat water on demand, ensuring a continuous hot water supply. As long as the unit is appropriately sized for your household’s hot water needs, you will not run out of hot water.

How long does it take to get hot water with a tankless water heater?

Tankless water heaters provide hot water almost instantly. Unlike traditional storage tank heaters that require time to heat the stored water, tankless systems heat the water as it flows through the unit. As a result, there is minimal wait time for hot water, allowing you to enjoy hot showers and use hot water fixtures without delay.

Are tankless water heaters more environmentally friendly?

Yes, tankless water heaters are considered more environmentally friendly than traditional storage water heaters. The energy efficiency of tankless systems leads to reduced energy consumption, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, tankless systems have a longer lifespan than storage tank heaters, reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing and disposing of units more frequently.

How long do tankless water heaters last?

Tankless water heaters are known for their durability and long lifespan. With proper maintenance, a well-installed and well-maintained tankless water heater can last up to 20 years or more. This lifespan is significantly longer than traditional storage tank water heaters, making tankless systems a cost-effective and long-lasting investment.

What is the disadvantage of a tankless water heater?

While tankless water heaters provide many benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Higher upfront cost – Tankless heaters have a greater initial investment than conventional tank heaters due to the advanced technology. However, energy savings often offset the initial cost over time.
  • Simultaneous use limitations – Large households with multiple fixtures running hot water simultaneously may experience a decrease in flow rate and temperature. Proper sizing of the tankless unit is key.
  • Maintenance requirements – Regular descaling and maintenance are necessary to remove mineral build-up and ensure optimal efficiency. With proper care, any issues can be minimised.