New Jersey Tankless Water Heaters
Heating water can account for almost 20 percent of a home's entire energy costs. Therefore, it's no surprise that homeowners are always looking to adopt the next big thing in technology that will reduce energy consumption and cut energy costs. There has been a lot of hype surrounding tankless water heaters recently, but do the benefits of these systems outweigh the drawbacks?
Storage Tank Water Heaters
Water heaters with storage tanks are the most common type. In this type of heater, water is stored and heated in a large insulated tank until it is needed. When the tap is turned on, the water comes out of a pipe on top of the tank and flows through pipes to be distributed to the home. There are two types of storage tank heaters: natural gas and electric. Natural gas storage tank heaters typically cost more money at the time of purchase but only use about half the energy of electric heaters and, therefore, cost less money to operate.
Although water heaters containing storage tanks are very popular, there are some drawbacks that have driven homeowners to consider a tankless solution. The largest problem with storage tanks is that the supply of hot water is finite. If you're a large family who takes several long showers in a row, you may notice the supply of hot water dwindling. It takes time to replenish the water in the tank and it takes time to heat this new water that enters the tank. A normal sized water heater could start to run low on hot water after three or four long showers. Depending on the number of people in your household and your usage habits, this may not be a problem, but it is the most common reason for the switch to a tankless system.
In addition to water supply issues, storage tank water systems usually require more energy to operate. Rather than heating the water as it is drawn from the tank, the entire tank is kept hot. This results in some wasted energy beyond what is typically required for your hot water usage.
Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters
Due to some of the problems with storage tank water heaters, more consumers are turning towards tankless models for their homes. Instead of storing hot water, tankless systems use heating coils to heat the water as it is needed. Because only the water that is needed is heated by the coils, a tankless system is much more energy efficient than a water heater with a tank. You can lower your impact on the environment and also lower your energy bill when you replace your system with a tankless.
In addition to the massive energy savings, a tankless water heater can provide you with a near endless flow of hot water. Although these systems are still limited to a certain number of gallons per minute, a tankless system will not run out of hot water after several showers, unlike a hot water tank.
Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless systems make many improvements to storage tank water heaters but they do come with some disadvantages. If your home uses electric heat, you may need an expensive upgrade to your home's electrical system in order to support this type of water heater.
Since tankless water heaters only provide a limited flow of hot water per minute, they are not ideal for homes where water is being drawn for several uses at one time; for example, running two showers at the same time or running a dishwasher and clothes washer at the same time.
Despite these potential issues, there have been many improvements made to tankless water heaters over the years. For example, the problem of inconsistent water temperatures has been largely resolved through the use of recirculation pumps and some models using a small buffer tank containing a supply of hot water.
Despite some of the disadvantages of using a tankless water heater, there are many benefits that may outweigh them for your particular situation. If you are unsure if a tankless water heater is right for your home, contact Van Natta or give us a call today at 201-391-3700.