The biggest problem with a traditional water heater is the water storage space. Growing up in a large family, we siblings often had to fight each other for the shower spots because if you got stuck at the end of the line you were washing your hair in cold water. Water heaters hold a fixed amount of hot water at a time and once it gets used up it takes a while for more. Once you get to the point where you are feeling warm or cold water coming from the faucet turned to “hot” you are scraping the bottom of the tank. Eventually you just get water that rushes right through the tank and to where you are if you use it long enough. The tanks need time to fill up again as well as get heated up again and this takes time. Being the youngest in my family, I was often the last one in the shower line and mine were lukewarm to ice cold. Water heater tanks have been the norm in households for decades, but there is a new product out there that many people rave about. Tankless water heaters work in a completely different way so they never run out of hot water.
A tankless water heater can provide continuous hot water for as long as you need it. This technology works by running the water through a heat exchanger that can use either electricity or gas as the heat source. Water moves extremely quickly past the heat until it reached the desired temperature and then it is shipped through the pipes to where it is being requested. Because tankless units only run when you are using hot water they are much more energy efficient. Basically, when the faucet is turned on cold water enters the heater. It flows through the sensor that indicates that heat should turn on. The gas or electric lights the burner and water flows through the heat exchanger and out to the faucet. When the faucet is shut off, the tankless water heater turns off and waits again for the next use. This simple fix can save hundreds of dollars a year on energy costs because it turns off when you don’t need it.
Maintenance on the tankless water heater units are just as simple as they are on the traditional kind. And of course annual maintenance is recommended to keep them in top shape and free from problems. You can adjust the incoming water temperature to whatever you prefer as well as the minimum and maximum flow rates. Water heater repair should be a breeze if you ever need it because tankless units are easier to get into and provide more space around the unit.
If we had been given the opportunity when I was younger to have a tankless water heater in our home I would have jumped at the chance. A lot less fights would happen between us brothers and sisters. No matter where you would be in the shower line, it sounds like everyone would get a nice hot shower with a tankless water heater.