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Q and A: Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are gaining popularity for good reasons: They’re compact, long-lasting, and can dramatically cut your annual water-heating costs. Even though they’re becoming more mainstream, many homeowners still have many questions about these units.

We’ve rounded up several FAQs regarding the installation and operation of demand-type water heaters so that you can make an informed decision.

Does a Tankless Water Heater Provide Instant Hot Water?

Tankless units heat water the instant you need it. A rapid-fire heating mechanism brings water to your desired temperature within 15 seconds. This is what makes tankless water heaters so efficient. It heats water on demand rather than waste energy keeping warm water on standby.

However, just like a conventional storage unit, it still takes time for hot water to reach your faucet or showerhead. The distance between the water heater and the fixture determines how long you’ll wait.

If you want to speed up delivery, you have a couple of options to consider:

A point-of-use water heater: Install an electric tankless unit in each room where you need hot water fast, such as the master bathroom.

A recirculating pump: A tankless unit with a recirculating pump pushes cold water in the pipes back through the unit to be reheated so you’ll always have hot water at-the-ready.

Does a Tankless Water Heater Ever Run Out of Hot Water?

A plumber will determine the unit’s size, ensuring everyone in your household gets the hot water they need.

A high-output water heater, for example, should be able to keep up with two showers at the same time. If the unit can’t meet demand, it will slow the flow or deliver lukewarm water. So, be sure to have the unit installed by a water-heater expert.

How Much Money Will a Tankless Water Heater Save?

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a tankless water heater saves the average household around $100 annually. You may be able to save even more by adjusting the temperature to 120° and insulating your pipes. Newer models are Wi-Fi compatible, allowing you to change settings and monitor gas and water usage from your smartphone. Tankless water heaters also outlive tank-type systems by about ten years.

Can I Install a Tankless Water Heater Myself?

Installing a tankless unit is definitely a job you should leave to the pros. A professional installation considers several factors, including:

  • The average temperature of the water coming into the heater
  • The peak demand for hot water
  • The heater’s efficiency

The installation also involves proper venting and connecting gas lines, and depending on your jurisdiction, a permit is likely to be required. That’s why you should turn to the water heater experts at Plumbing & A/C Medic. Our plumbers are backed by many years of experience, so you can expect us to do the job right the first time. To schedule your appointment, call 602-878-9314.

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