To Tank or not to Tank


The question is not just “are tankless hot water heaters a good investment?” but “do they help save water?” Yes, they could very well be cost-effective and a mode of conservation both, but the latter takes priority, don’t you think? We want to do our part to save water, but even if it costs more, wouldn’t we still be on board? Dwindling resources are such a vital issue, that they beg for open discussion. It is not a money matter. If it were, we would do the cheapest thing to heat water, disregarding whether or not gallons are wasted daily. We might even eschew the innovative, getting more popular tankless water heater.

I’m assuming you agree about the conservation part. That said, what about those newfangled tankless notions! Did you know that heating water takes up a third of your home’s energy budget? That would prompt anyone to want an energy efficient device that is said to be 22% better than the old tank versions. Not so. They cost so much that it takes years to recoup your expenditure! So that argument should be laid to rest.

Back to the water issue. Will that make us pop open our wallets? The tankless water heater is great in principle. It heats water “on demand” and doesn’t store it, hence the name. Simple. When you want, or I should say need, hot water, cold or tepid water enters the system to be heated by a unit that is switch-activated. It can be either gas or electric depending upon what is already in place as a power source in your home. Every heater, and sizes do vary, has a specific amount of water it will heat, which is measured in flow rate as gallons. The desired temperature can be pre-set and is also a variable. Water heaters are for the entire dwelling or are “point of use”, say for a kitchen or bathroom alone. The latter are smaller and cheaper. It seems less wasteful to do it by space, doesn’t it? Once you assess your utility bills and see your usage, you will know which way is the most economical. But cost aside, if more flow rate comes from a large household system, and the output is too great for the current residents, then logically you could say that precious water is wasted. If you live in a desert area where drought is common, this can really make a difference!

You might think this a small matter household by household, but then you have to add them street by street, city by city, state by state, and so on. Then we are talking real numbers. That’s what counts in the long run. Too many people say that they don’t matter when it comes to water usage. It’s one bath, or one laundry loan, or one lawn sprinkling system. Boy is that putting your head in the sand! Think about this tankless water heater system as just a sample of how one family can make an impact in something that normally gets no notice or concern.