How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

  1. Baby in bathtub

When you think about water heaters, you probably envision that big, cylindrical storage tank that takes up a lot of room in your utility closet or laundry room. While these conventional tank water heaters have long been used in Indiana homes, tankless water heaters are growing in popularity due to their energy efficiency and other important benefits. Homeowners want to know – how does a tankless water heater work? Mission Mechanical has your answer.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

The traditional tank style water heater is a storage water heater. Water is heated by the system then stored in the tank for use. Hot water is held in the tank until a hot water tap turns on and requests it, requiring constant heating to maintain temperature.

How a tankless water heater works is much different than the conventional tank water heaters. Most tankless heaters are known as on-demand water heaters. This means they heat water when a hot water tap turns on and calls for hot water. They do not preheat water and hold it in a water tank for times when it is needed.

Because of their on-demand style of operation, a tankless water heater works to provide constant hot water for the household. With a tank model, only a set amount of hot water is available for use and when it’s out, you must wait for the tank to refill. With a tankless water heater, the unit heats water as needed so you always have access to the hot water you want, wherever you want it.

Fuel Sources & Flow Rates

Tank style water heaters measure capacity by the number of gallons of hot water that can be stored within the tank. Since tankless water heaters don’t store hot water and they create it on demand, their capacity is measured by flow rate. The unit’s flow rate represents how many gallons of hot water it can generate in one minute. Most tankless water heaters offer a flow rate between 2 to 5 gallons per minute.

How a tankless water heater works can be powered by natural gas or electricity, depending on the model. Typically, gas units will come with higher flow rates than tankless water heaters that are powered by electricity. To size a new tankless water heater correctly, you’ll need to account for the number of hot water uses that may occur simultaneously within the home.

Tankless Water Heater Savings

How a tankless water heater works is by eliminating standby heat losses and constant energy use associated with tank style water heaters. By eliminating these needs for fuel or electricity, tankless water heaters can be much more energy efficient to use.

  • If your household uses 41 gallons of hot water or less in a day, tankless water heater use can be 24 to 34 percent more energy efficient versus conventional tank water heater use.
  • In households with a high daily hot water demand of approximately 86 gallons per day, tankless water heater use can be 8 to 14 percent more energy efficient than using a tank style water heater.

Tankless Water Heater Installation 

A tankless water heater can help Indiana households save energy and access a constant supply of hot water for all uses. Contact Mission Mechanical today to request an estimate for tankless water heater installation in your home.

Posted in: