On Demand Water Heaters – What They Are and How to Find One

When you are looking over your home's electricity bill, just after your in home heating and cooling systems the second largest offender to a higher cost is your hot water heater. A standard water heater, one with a tank, is constantly working to provide you with hot water. Regardless of whether you are using it at the time, or you're even at home, a tank water heater will be consuming energy to keep your water heated to the predetermined temperature, generally 120 degree F. While these kinds of water heaters are great at giving you a ready supply of anywhere between 30 - 70 gallons of hot water, they are by no means doing your pocket book any favors. Tankless water heaters or as they are also known, on demand hot water heaters are an incredible energy saving product that is affordable and able to save you a lot of energy in that they only heat up your water when you need it.

On demand hot water heaters take into account how much water is being used, according to flow rate, and then directly heat up the water running through the pipes. There isn't a reserve of hot water that is being stored, such as with tank water heaters, and while you may not get the same degree of hotness from an on demand water heater, you won't run out of hot water either. At the same time there are a few ways you can maximize the amount of hot water you are getting from your on demand water heater and these include: not running the shower at the same time as the dishwasher, installing a low flow faucet system and shower head, and then having the points of hot water distribution in your house close together. If the distance of the the hot water lines running between faucets and other taps are shorter you will get the most out of your on demand water heater.

Tankless Water Heaters Can Save 10 - 30% Of Total Energy Costs

With an on demand water heater you can cut your home's electricity bill by anywhere between 10 and 30 percent. Not only that, but on demand water heaters have a longer lifespan than a tank water heater. Most on demand systems last 20 years instead of only 13 years like a traditional tank system. Especially if you are already looking to replace an old and worn out water heater in your home, going with one that is on demand will do you better in the long term; both in terms of lasting longer and saving you cumulatively each year on your electric bills.

What Should I Consider Before Purchasing an On Demand Hot Water Heater?

So what do you need to look for and consider before purchasing an on demand water heater? There are three main aspects and those are: fuel type, size, and water usage. The two methods to fuel an on demand water heater are gas and electric. If you are going with one that is electric you need to find out what amount of voltage and amperage it will need and then make sure that your own home's circuitry can handle that. Electric on demand water heaters can use up to 277V and this may be more than your home can handle, in which case you may want to set it up on its own supply. When shopping for a gas heater you will want to know what kind of gas your home is supplied with, natural or propane, and then also how much ventilation you will be able to give the water heater. If you buy an on demand hot water heater that has an Energy Factor of at least 0.8 you could be entitled to a federal tax credit.

Regarding the size of the on demand water heater you will need, you should think about how much water you use in your home and its floor area. For bigger homes you may need a few heaters to get the job done, or you could choose to install smaller water heaters to more local sites such as directly to the sink. You need to know the flow rate of all all the faucets and taps you will need supplied from the water heater, and how much of a raise in temperature you will want. Depending on the temperature of the cold water going into the pipes the degree of elevation could vary, but for example if you want 95 degree water and the cold water comes in at 45 degrees, you need an on demand heater able to increase the temperature by 45 degrees.

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Think About Your Application

Finally in regards to the application of your new water heater, this will mean how many taps each unit will supply. For just one sink you may want to go with an Eemax Single Point Electric, a Stiebel Eltron Point of Use Electric, or the Chromomite Instant-Flow SR Electric. For two points that are close by the Eemax Flow Controlled Electric is a good option. If you are living in an apartment or smaller home the Eemax Series Two Electric is great for this use. And for an entire home there are the Eemax EX280T2T Series Three, Stiebel Eltron Tempra Series, and the Rheem Indor Gas. On demand hot water heaters are a much more cost effective alternative to the standard tank models, and certainly in these economic times any savings are much appreciated!

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