Written on: March 22, 2021
Imagine it’s a cold winter morning (not difficult to do these days!). You start up your car and turn the heater on, then let it sit for a few minutes while it warms up. A few minutes later, you turn off the car and go back inside, because you won’t need the car for another hour. By the time you return, your car is cold again, so you have to repeat the process.
Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? But that’s more or less what happens in your water heater every day.
A standard water heater (one with a storage tank) heats water in advance and stores it in a tank so it’s ready when you need it. The problem is that you might not need it for hours, and in the meantime the water sits in a tank in your cold basement losing heat (we call this standing loss). Insulating the storage tank will help slow this process, but it won’t stop it altogether, so eventually the water will have to be heated a second time…which, of course, you’ll pay for.
Now, imagine a different kind of water heater – one that doesn’t store water at all. Instead, it heats water on demand, whenever you turn on your tap or hot water appliance.
That’s how a tankless water heater works.
By operating this way, a tankless system enjoys some important advantages over conventional water heaters, including:
As you can see, the advantages of a tankless water heater are pretty clear. So does it ever pay to chose a conventional water heater?
A tankless water heater can cost twice as much up front as a conventional storage water heater (sometimes even more), so that’s certainly a factor. Of course in the long run, the energy savings and longer equipment life make a tankless water heater a better investment.
Another cost consideration is maintenance: a tankless system should be professionally serviced every year, while a storage-type system could be a bit more forgiving if you skip your tune-up.
With all of this in mind, here are some rules of thumb for choosing between a storage or tankless water heater:
A tankless water heater can be a great option – as long as it’s the right choice for your Hudson Valley home, and as long as it is sized and installed by the pros at Downey Energy. Contact us today to learn more about tankless water heater installations in Dutchess County, Orange County, Putnam County and northern Westchester County.