At its core, a tankless water heater — also known as an on-demand or instantaneous water heater —provides hot water only as it is needed, without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the tankless unit, where it is heated either by a gas burner or electrical resistance heating coils, delivering a constant supply of hot water. 

Unlike storage tank water heaters that heat and reheat water to a pre-set temperature regardless of your hot water needs, tankless heaters heat water on demand, ensuring you never run out of hot water during a shower or while doing chores, like running the clothes washer.

Understanding Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters operate on a straightforward principle: heat water only when you need it. This provides significant savings on energy costs over traditional water heaters with a storage tank. On-demand heating eliminates the standby energy losses associated with storage tank heaters, making tankless heaters a more energy-efficient option. By directly heating cold water as it passes through the heater when you turn on a tap, tankless water heaters work to ensure that you can enjoy a hot shower or use hot water in multiple applications without the wait or waste.

Types of Tankless Water Heaters

There are primarily two types of tankless water heaters: electric tankless water heaters and gas fuel tankless water heaters. Each type has its unique benefits and is suited to different homes and energy availability. Electric units are often smaller and easier to install than their gas counterparts, making them a great choice for smaller spaces or as point-of-use tankless water heaters. Gas tankless heaters, on the other hand, tend to have higher flow rates, making them ideal for whole-home solutions where hot water demand is higher.

Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Electric tankless water heaters operate using electrical resistance heating coils to heat water on demand. These heaters are highly energy-efficient, converting almost all the electricity they consume into heat with minimal loss. Electric tankless water heaters are typically easier to install than gas models since they don’t require a gas supply or air supply system. They’re an excellent option for smaller households or for applications where hot water is needed at specific points of use, such as at a sink or shower.

Point-of-Use Tankless Water Heaters

Point-of-use tankless water heaters are compact electric units designed to provide hot water directly at the sink, shower, or other specific locations. These heaters are an ideal solution for providing hot water quickly where it’s most needed, reducing water heating times and energy costs. Point-of-use tankless heaters can be installed near fixtures to eliminate the delay and water waste associated with waiting for hot water to reach the tap from a centrally located heater.

Gas Fuel Tankless Water Heaters

Gas fuel tankless water heaters use a gas burner to heat water on demand. They are known for their higher flow rates compared to electric units, making them well-suited for families with greater hot water needs. These tankless units require access to a gas supply and adequate ventilation to safely expel exhaust gases, which can make their installation more involved. However, for homes with significant hot water demand, the investment in a gas tankless water heater can be cost-effective in the long run, offering energy savings and a constant flow of hot water.

Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters

Switching to a tankless water heater comes with a plethora of benefits:

Considerations Before Switching to a Tankless System

Before deciding to install a tankless water heater, consider a few important factors. First, assess your home’s hot water needs to choose the correct tankless heater size and type — electric or gas. Installation costs can be higher for tankless systems, especially when upgrading from a traditional water heater, due to the need for new venting or gas supply lines for gas units. However, the long-term energy savings and convenience of constant hot water can offset these initial costs.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance and Care

Regular maintenance is key to ensuring your tankless water heater operates efficiently over the years. Plumbing maintenance tasks include descaling to prevent mineral buildup, checking the air supply and ventilation for gas units, and cleaning the water filter to ensure unrestricted water flow. By having a professional plumber in New Orleans regularly monitor and maintain your tankless unit, you can avoid costly repairs and extend the life of your heater.

Upgrade to a Tankless Water Heater with Keefe’s

Ready to enjoy the benefits of tankless water heating in your home? Keefe’s A/C, Heating, Electrical, Generator & Plumbing is here to help! With our expertise in installing tankless water heaters, you can expect top-notch service, from selecting the right heater for your needs to professional plumbing installation and routine maintenance. Our team is committed to excellent customer service and ensuring your tankless water heater provides efficient, reliable hot water daily. Upgrade with Keefe’s and experience the comfort and savings that a tankless system can offer.