Saving energy with tankless water heaters

2013-04-20T00:00:00Z Saving energy with tankless water heatersMichelle Krueger Times Correspondent
April 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

As interest in building homes that are energy efficient and economic to operate continues to grow, many people are giving thoughtful consideration to the type of water heater they want.

According to the US Department of Energy, water heating is the second largest energy expense in our homes, accounting for anywhere between 14 and 25 percent of a typical utility bill. Compare your usage with an average family that takes three showers, washes on load of laundry, runs the dishwasher once and runs faucets nine times – the equivalent of nineteen draws – using approximately 77 gallons of hot water. Some days, those “nineteen draws” can happen before 9am at my house.

For those who are building a new home and interested in exploring energy conserving water heating methods, a whole-home gas tankless water heater could help keep more money in your bank account (water heating bills are usually about 30 percent lower according to ENERGY STAR) while reducing your family’s carbon footprint at the same time.

A popular option in new construction, tankless water heaters provide on-demand hot water. Unlike a tradition tank that heats a reservoir of water 24/7, a tankless unit is active only as needed. When hot water is needed, cold water travels through the tankless unit and a gas burner quickly heats it to a preset temperature.

One of the biggest operational benefits of tankless water heating that people appreciate every day is the fact that they virtually never run out of hot water.

Check with your builder and weigh the merits of installing a tankless water heater in your new home. While the cost may be a bit more than a traditional tank, the labor required to install a tankless water heater is about the same in new construction. On the other hand, installation costs during a remodel or replacement can make tankless a much more pricey option.

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