The tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand water heater, is an energy-saving alternative to water heater tanks, which are often inefficient and bulky. Although they have been common in Europe for some time, residents inNew Orleansand other areas of the United States have only recently learned about the advantages of on-demand systems. From their small size to the increased efficiency and financial savings, tankless water heaters have a lot to offer homeowners. With a life span of more than 20 years, they also last almost twice as long as regular water heaters.
Before You Buy Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless systems are a great addition to your home if you want a constant supply of hot water spread throughout the day. But if you have a large, busy household, you might find it easier to stick with using a traditional hot water tank that can provide large amounts of hot water at one time. This is especially true for large families where hot water is used simultaneously to take a shower, wash clothes and prepare dinner.
Another reason you might hesitate to purchase a tankless system is the cost involved to install the heater and retrofit your electric or plumbing lines to meet the needs of the new system.
Effectively Using Your Tankless System
When used effectively, on-demand tankless water heaters can help you cut down on your utility bills and overall energy use. They can also lead you to reduce your water consumption, since they encourage you to think strategically about the water you use on a regular basis. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your tankless system purchase.
- Invest in a gas water heater, particularly if your household is large and you use a lot of water. Gas tankless water heaters have a higher flow rate than electric versions, meaning you get more hot water every time you turn the faucet on.
- Buy Multiple Tanks. Unlike the large and space-eating water tanks, on-demand heaters take up very little room and can be installed anywhere in your home that you need hot water, so you don’t have to wait for the water to snake its way from the tank, through your living room and bathroom and into the kitchen. Additionally, more than one tank will distribute the usage when you need simultaneous water in different parts of the home, like when you’re running the washing machine and the dishwasher at the same time.
- If you own a gas tankless heater, extinguish the pilot light when you’re not using it. When you leave the pilot light on all the time, you are warming water that doesn’t need to be warm, and you’re also wasting gas. Although this may not seem like a big deal, over time these little losses will add up.
- Use energy-efficient ENERGY STAR tankless water heaters and other appliances, like washing machines and dishwashers. A certified gas tankless heater uses a secondary heat exchanger that extracts more heat from the combustion gas and uses less energy than a regular gas tankless version.
- Lower your hot water consumption to help maximize savings. Take shorter showers, use low-flow shower heads, and only use the dishwasher when you have a full load to wash. Avoid using hot water when washing color clothes.
- Don’t waste water. It is easy to overuse water when it is so readily available. To lower your overall water consumption, remain vigilant when going about your regular routine. Turn the water off while brushing your teeth or washing dishes, fix leaks in your faucet or water line as soon as you notice them, and get your family in on the plan so they can also reduce their water waste.
- Turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater. The standard setting is 140 degrees, which is much too hot for families with small children. Turn it down to 120 and not only will you keep your family safe from burns, it will also minimize corrosion and build-up in your tank.
- Insulate your pipes to keep your hot water heater from working too hard during colder weather. Even in New Orleans, the winters can lower the temperature of the water that runs outside of your home. Your heater then has to heat that water up to room temperature and then to the hot temperature you set it to. One way to insulate pipes is to slip self-sealing sleeves over them, starting with exposed pipes and moving to those inside.
- Call your local utility company and see if you qualify for a tax rebate. Many state and federal programs offer incentives for homeowners who purchase and install energy-efficient or environmentally-conscious appliances or equipment.
- Install multiple systems in parallel instead of series. If you plan to use more than one tankless heater, you can increase the capacity of your hot water by installing them in parallel, which enables each unit to do the same amount of work. Connecting in series will leave one heater (the first one) to do all the work.
Tankless Water Heaters for a Less Cluttered Future
One advantage of a tankless system that often gets lost among its other attributes is the most obvious: its small size. Tankless water heaters take up little space, and this means more area for you to use for decor or storage. Perhaps more importantly, a 40-gallon water tank that has finished its 10-15 years of service has to be discarded with other trash, where it will sit in a landfill for decades with hundreds of other water heaters, appliances and furniture. Tankless water heaters last longer (up to 25 years) and will fit in a normal trash bag when discarded, taking up little space in landfills.
For all of your plumbing needs give bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of New Orleans a call at 504-291-6121.
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