Most people are familiar with how traditional water heaters work: a water tank fills with water
and is heated to maintain a particular temperature. It is then stored throughout the day until
needed for running dishes, drawing a bath, or running a hot shower. When the hot water runs out,
however, you need to wait for it to refill and heat back up. Conversely, when you are not using
hot water, the tank is nevertheless continuing to use up energy heating and maintaining the stored
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless water system is exactly what it sounds like: a water heating system that does not rely
on a tank for storage. Rather, the heater warms water as it passes through the control system as
it’s used. This means that the system is only heating water when a hot water faucet is in use.
When anyone turns off the water, the system stops and is not in use.
This makes tankless water heaters an “on-demand”; system, which can significantly reduce
energy consumption and associated costs – especially when water use is reduced. In fact, homes
with lower water use on a daily basis can reduce energy consumption by up to a third of those
with tank-based systems.
Limitations and Considerations
With all of these advantages, it can seem like tankless systems provide an endless stream of hot
water. It is important, however, to keep a couple of factors in mind. First, tankless water heaters
are limited in flow by what the heating element can meet. These elements are typically electric or
gas-powered systems. Your hot water flow will depend on the output capability of the system
you choose to install.
You may require separate hot water control systems for each water fixture in your home. One
system may, for instance, heat the water flowing to the bathroom, while another system controls
the hot water provided to the kitchen.
Nevertheless, tankless systems offer greater lifespans and maintenance over their tank-based
counterparts. Generally, they are easier to service and include more replaceable parts. On
average, tankless water heaters have a lifespan of about 20 years. Compare that with traditional
water heaters, which last only ten to fifteen years.
Is your current water heater in need of replacement, or are you considering upgrading to a more
efficient system? Contact one of our professionals today to find out more.