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W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

What’s a Tankless Water Heater Good For?


You’ve probably heard about “tankless water heaters,” which are becoming more common in homes across the country. You may not know much else about them, so like many people who are new to this technology, you might wonder if there’s any real advantages to getting one. 

In simpler terms: “What’s a tankless water heater good for?”

The simple answer is: “Lots!” The longer answer is below…

What Makes a Tankless Water Heater Different

The conventional water heater that homes have used for decades is known as a storage tank water heater. You’ve probably got one in your current home. This type of water heater stores a supply of water in a large tank and keeps the water heated for use when a tap turns on in the house.

A tankless water heater doesn’t have a tank, as the name indicates. What it does instead is heat water “on demand.” When a tap turns on in the house, water flows through the tankless water heater and activates the burners or electric heating elements to come on and start heating the water. The water heater continues to heat the water moving to the tap until the tap shuts off. When the water stops moving, the heat shuts off as well.

How a Tankless Water Heater Can Be Beneficial

Now that you know the basics of the tankless water heater, it’s easier for us to explain why you might benefit from one:

  • Lower energy consumption: A storage tank water heater must provide continual heat to keep its water supply at the right temperature. A tankless water heater only uses heat when there is a need for water, and because there’s no standby heat loss from water sitting in a tank, a tankless water heater uses much less energy than a standard water heater. Tankless water heaters can often pay for their installation after 5 to 8 years.
  • Unlimited hot water: The water supply in a tank water heater can be depleted, and it may take half an hour before another supply is ready for use. A tankless water heater will never run out of hot water—it just keeps heating up more as long as there is demand. 
  • Longevity: The continual energy use and the stress of using a storage tank cause a tank water heater to age faster than a tankless one. You can expect 20 years or more of use out of your tankless water heater, rather than the 10–12 years of a tank water heater. 
  • Small size: Since tankless water heaters don’t have a large storage tank, they take up much less space. Most can hang on the wall of a garage or a basement and leave no footprint at all.

Are There Drawbacks to a Tankless System?

Yes, and you’ll want to talk to our technicians regarding whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks when it comes to your home. If we think a tankless water heater in Goodview, VA is an excellent option for your situation, we’ll tell you.

Contact W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning for your water heater needs. Southwest Virginia’s Choice Since 1985.

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