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W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

The History of the Tankless Water Heater

If you’re interested in installing a tankless water heater in your home, you may want to learn more about how they have evolved over the years. Tankless water heaters have greatly increased in popularity over recent years, but they were actually first created over a century ago in 1889! 

Keep reading to learn more about the history of tankless water heaters and why you might want to invest in one. Then give us a call for a tankless water heater in Daleville, VA. After all, more and more homeowners are switching to tankless water heaters for their many benefits. 

The First “Tankless” Water Heater

The first tank and tankless water heaters were invented back to back in 1889. A tank storage water heater was designed first, but it was made of thick copper so it was very expensive at the time. The tankless version was called an instantaneous gas water heater at the time. It used a gas actuator valve to heat water without a storage tank. Both options were powered by gas. 

Tankless Water Heater Improvements

It wasn’t until 1929 that the first electric tankless water heater was invented. Since electricity was more widely available, this made it more available than the gas-powered versions. But the electric tankless systems did not work quite as well, so gas-powered tankless water heaters maintained their popularity.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that tankless water heaters began to gain efficiency. Prior to that, both gas-powered and electric-powered tankless water heaters paled in comparison to the storage tank design. Over the next 20 years, technology improved enough that tankless water heaters gained efficiency and surpassed the popularity of the tank models in Europe and Asia. By the mid-1990s, they began to gain traction in the United States.

Tankless Water Heater Benefits

The two benefits of a tankless water heater that we hear about most often are the endless supply of hot water and the potential to gain back some of the storage space in your home. If you’re tired of timing your showers based on the size of your current water tank, a tankless water heater might be the right option. Of course, you could always upgrade to a larger tank, but depending on your family size that might not be enough.

Tankless water heaters usually mount to a wall and take up very little space. If you have a water tank, you have to dedicate space in a closet or in your garage for it. While a water heater is definitely necessary, losing storage space to a large tank can be a major downside. 

And tankless water heaters are also far more energy efficient. A tank water heater uses energy around the clock to maintain a supply of hot water. A tankless water heater only uses energy when you actually turn on a hot water tap, faucet, or showerhead in your home. The rest of the time it isn’t using energy, which means you’re spending less on your monthly energy usage.

We can help you make the best choice for a new water heater. Rely on the experts at W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning and schedule an appointment today.

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