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Here’s a quick primer on tankless water heaters.

First, we need to talk about typical/conventional water heaters. These water heaters heat water to about 150° to 170° Fahrenheit. Once the water reaches its designated temperature, the unit temporarily shuts off until the water temperature cools down again. The water heater then cycles back on to keep the water hot. The system runs 24/7 for the life of the water heater. Remember that the water heater operates all day and night, even if you’re away on vacation. The culprit is “standby loss.” The hot water temperature naturally drops in the water heater and plumbing system, so the water heater must kick on periodically to maintain the desired temperature. Again, this is due to “standby loss.”

Now we can understand why tankless water heaters are more efficient. It’s because tankless water heaters don’t need to maintain hot water. Instead, they heat the water almost instantaneously when you want hot water in your kitchen and bathrooms. Once you turn off the hot water, the tankless boiler turns off until you turn on the hot water faucet again. So, there is no “standby loss,” and that’s where most of the efficiency comes in. These water heaters gain efficiency by capturing more heat from the fuel due to condensation, which will be the subject of another email.

Tankless water heaters are more expensive to purchase and install but will save you money due to their substantially lower operating costs and longer life expectancy.


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