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Choose a tankless water heater

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Tankless (or instantaneous) water heaters are innovative, increasingly common appliances that can consume 8 to 34 percent less energy than storage tank water heaters. Unlike conventional models, tankless water heaters do not maintain a reservoir of water that must be maintained at high temperatures; instead, they heat the water on demand as it is needed.

How to choose a tankless water heater

If you are interested in installing a tankless water heater, contact local contractors in your area; as with conventional water heaters, they are difficult to install yourself. Those who do choose to install a tankless water heater in their home should take the following steps:

  • Confirm local regulations: Consult local laws and statutes. These may affect the ability to install such units.
  • Estimate water use: Consider their anticipated water demand. Improved technology has enabled tankless water heaters to meet the demands of high water-use homes (up to 86 gallons per day), but these models are expensive.
  • Pick a location: Decide on the location of the unit within the home. The closer the unit to the source of water use, the more energy-efficient it will be.
  • Decide quantity: Choose whether to install one central water heater, or several units throughout the home. For some households, installing multiple tankless water heaters in various bathrooms or kitchens can be more practical than one larger unit.

Find it! Tankless water heaters

There are a wide variety of tankless water heaters on the market, with different features and functionality. We've picked some readily-available models to give you an idea of what's out there.

Choosing a tankless water heater helps you go green because…

  • They cut down on energy use by eliminating the conventional water heater's reservoir, which must be maintained at high temperatures even when water is not being used.
  • They can be used in conjunction with solar thermal water heaters for even greater energy-efficiency and CO2 reductions.

Americans spend more than $15 billion a year to heat the water in their homes.[1] Much of the energy expended on water heating in the home is used simply to maintain the heat level of water in conventional heaters while they are on “standby.”

Purchase and installation of a tankless water heater is typically two to four times more expensive than its conventional counterpart, but they reduce energy costs by 10 to 20 percent, have a longer lifespan, and have a payback period of three to eight years.[2] They can also reduce energy use by 8 to 34 percent.[3] Smaller tankless units receive the highest energy savings over their conventional counterparts.

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