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If you are a San Antonio, TX, homeowner who’s tired of ending your showers on a cold note because you run out of hot water, then it is time you consider a tankless water heater. These compact, uber-efficient Tankless systems have a lot to offer, including a bountiful supply of hot water on demand. Let’s look at what you need to know about tankless systems—why they’re so popular and what you can expect if you decide to go this route.
Why Tankless Water Heaters?
To get a good feel for why a tankless water heater makes a lot of sense, let’s take a look first at your traditional water heater. It’s big, it takes up a lot of space, and let’s face it, it’s inefficient. It holds anywhere from 20 to 50 gallons of water, and that water mainly just sits there, piping hot, ready for use around the clock. Even if you’re not even thinking of showering, doing laundry, or running the dishwasher, your hot water heater keeps the water inside hot 24/7/365, so it’s ready for you when you need it.
If that sounds like a waste of energy, it is. What’s more, if someone beats you to the shower and uses up the whole tank, you have to wait for the water heater to heat up another tankful before you can hop in. On top of that, most traditional water heaters only last from eight to 12 years. And if one malfunctions and springs a leak, it can cause a lot of damage.
Tankless systems eliminate many of the problems that plague conventional water heaters. Tankless systems generate water only when you need it. For the typical user, this means an average savings of anywhere from 25 to 50 percent on energy costs, day in and day out, because it only uses energy when there is a demand for hot water in the home. And since there is no tank, there are none of the potential disastrous leaks that are experienced regularly by owners of conventional water heaters.
Some more reasons to love tankless systems:
- They’re compact. The average tankless gas water heater is around the same size as a suitcase and hangs on your wall. Tank-style water heaters are bigger than ever due to federal guidelines that mandate thicker insulation in order to reduce the loss of heat. Tankless water heaters fit in spaces where tank-style heaters do not.
- They’re super safe. Not only will they never leak out gallons and gallons of water to damage your floor, they also never tip over in earthquakes and they are not harbingers of Legionella bacteria, both problems that tank-style owners face.
- Winterization is simple and easy. If you have to winterize a hot water heater for a vacation home, you know it’s a pain. With the tankless water heat, just drain it and unplug it—and be done in seconds.
- Smarter than ever. Today’s tankless models are more intelligent than ever, overcoming many of the problems that troubled earlier generations and featuring components like built-in recirculating pumps that provide instant hot water and tech-savvy options such as wireless connectivity that lets you detect maintenance issues right from your smartphone.
How Does It Work?
The tankless water heater really is an ingenious creation. How it works, however, is rudimentary. You turn on the tap to the hot water, and the unit’s flow sensor detects water inbound to the heater, which triggers a signal to the control panel to begin hot water production. (If you have a gas model, then at this point, a fan that draws in air from outside opens up the gas valve and ignites a burner). Next, a heat exchanger latches on to heat and transfers that heat through water that’s moving through a tube, and a mixing valve then tempers this super-heated water as it exits the exchanger. A flow-regulating water valve adjusts the temperature, and then it’s delivered through the tap.
Small gas-fired Tankless systems start out at around $200, although high-output water heaters that can run up to two showers simultaneously can run more than $2,000. The average cost for a tankless water heater is $1,000 for gas models. Electric water heaters average from $90 to $900. When deciding if this type of water heater is right for you, factor in first-time installation fees, which will add to the cost. Keep in mind that you’ll want to go for professional installation by a local plumber, as the install can be quite complicated.
Size Matters When Choosing Tankless Water heaters
Tankless water heaters have a lot to offer, but you must choose a heater that is amply sized for the amount of water that you generally use in your San Antonio, TX, home. As a general rule of thumb, if you have just one bathroom with one to two people in the home, then choose a 140,000-BTU model. For two bathrooms and two to three people, then opt for a 190,000-BTU model; for a home with three bathrooms and four or more people, go for a 380,000-BTU Tankless system. When choosing a Tankless system, your plumbing professional is an excellent resource in determining which heater is right for you and selecting a heater that’s sized just right for your situation.
Can We Help?
At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, TX, we are ready to help you take the plunge into savings and bountiful hot water with a new tankless water heater. Call us now at 210-876-1629 for help choosing a water heater and to schedule installation. We’re just a call away—and ready to hop into action for you.