Tankless Water Heaters

May/June 2002
A version of this article appears in the May/June 2002 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
Click here to read more articles about Hot Water
May 01, 2002
    Q:    It seems like I waste a lot of water while waiting for the hot water to get to my faucet. I have heard that tankless water heaters can provide instant hot water. How true is this, and can you recommend them?     A:    Tankless water heaters (also called demand or instantaneous water heaters) are designed to heat water as needed rather than draw it from a tank that stores preheated water.However, a tankless water heater is not an instant water heater. It can not cut the time it takes for the hot water to travel to your faucet. But the small size of many tankless water heaters allows them to be installed almost anywhere, which can translate into less waiting.         In general, tankless water heaters are both water and energy efficient, as they don’t store hot water, but heat cold water only at the time of demand. Opening the hot water tap allows cold water to flow into the heater, and this flow triggers the heating element or burner to turn on.A valve or thermostat controls the heater ...

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