How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

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Are you a Tampa resident thinking about buying a new water heater? Whether you’re buying a new unit for a new home, or simply replacing your current one, it’s important to keep in mind that you have several options to consider when selecting a unit. That’s why it helps to get expert advice. Quality plumbers in the Tampa Bay area will gladly explain why a particular model may be right (or wrong) for your needs.

For instance, you might want a tankless water heater. Depending on a number of factors, this option may be superior to other units.

Although you should listen to the advice of expert plumbers in Tampa, FL when they recommend a specific kind of water heater, in the meantime, the following points will help you better understand what a tankless model is, how tankless water heaters work, and whether they can meet your needs.


What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

How do tankless water heaters work

As the name implies, the primary difference between tankless water heaters and traditional units is the absence of a tank in which water is stored. Water is heated up on demand instead.

There are a few reasons this might be appealing to you. First, tankless water heaters are generally smaller than tank-based models. This means they take up less space in your home. You can also choose to buy a unit that heats water for the entire home, or smaller individual units that are installed near their point-of-use. For instance, you might buy a small tankless heater for your kitchen sink, keeping it out of sight in the cabinet beneath.

People sometimes choose these units if their homes are large. Having multiple water heaters in key spots reduces the amount of time it takes for water to travel from the unit to its intended destination.

That’s not the only benefit of tankless water heaters. Additionally, because they don’t store water, and instead only heat it up when you need, they can be more energy-efficient than other units, helping you save money on bills in the long run. This is also a point worth keeping in mind if you want to conserve resources. Many people switch to tankless water heaters at least partially out of a desire to be more eco-friendly.

Tankless water heaters also help you save money thanks to their lifespans. The average tankless water heater will still work reliably (as long as it’s properly maintained) for 20 years or more. Tank-based models usually need to be replaced after 15 years, if not earlier.

That’s not to say a tankless water heater is right for everyone. If you use a lot of hot water on a regular basis, or if you have a large family, this type of unit might not meet your needs. Thus, it’s smart to thoroughly discuss this topic with a plumber before deciding which kind of unit to buy for your home. They’ll help you make the right decision.


How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

Understanding how these units provide hot water is easier when you first understand how other models work. With a tank-based unit, a certain amount of hot water is stored, allowing you to use it whenever you need. This means the unit needs to keep that water hot in the meantime. That’s the main reason tankless water heaters reduce energy costs. With them, there’s no need to consistently maintain a ready supply of hot water.

Again, they heat water up and supply it only when you need it. They are able to do so through a heat exchanger.

This component isn’t that rare. Odds are good it already plays a role in your daily life. Heat exchangers are present in several common appliances, including refrigerators and air conditioners.

In a tankless water heater, the exchanger is activated when you turn on a hot water faucet or showerhead. The exchanger creates heat either through electricity or gas, depending on the specific unit.

The water flows from your pipes and circulates in the exchanger. This transfers heat directly to the water, which completes its trip from your pipes to your faucet or showerhead.

On that topic, it is worth noting that if you do choose to switch to a tankless water heater, you may want the small point-of-use units instead of the whole home units if your home is fairly large. In a large house, the amount of time it takes for water to reach its destination can be long, causing you to run the faucet longer than you otherwise would. This could actually cause you to use more water than you’d use if you had a different unit. Again, these are all issues you should feel free to discuss with your plumber when making a decision.

You should also keep in mind that whole home units usually run on natural gas or propane. Thus, if your current natural gas line isn’t long enough to fuel the unit, you might have to run a new one before installing it. This is an additional expense to consider when choosing a new water heater for your home. That said, the long-term savings may be worth the upfront costs. On top of that, if you choose to install multiple point-of-use heaters instead of a single unit, you can find models that run on electricity instead.


How the Right Plumbing Service in Tampa Helps

A water heater is something you rely on virtually every single day of your life. It’s also a major investment. Choosing the right one is crucial for obvious reasons. While the information here should have helped you get a better sense of how tankless water heaters work, it’s still a good idea to discuss the topic with professionals.

At Easy A/C, offering plumbing services to people like you throughout the Tampa area, our experts will be glad to answer any questions you have. We don’t simply repair and install water heaters. We also help our customers feel they are choosing the right units for their homes. If you’re thinking about switching to a tankless model, get in touch with us today and learn more about how we can help.

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