What Is An On-Demand Water Heater?

When looking for a new water heater, you are sure to hear about on-demand water heaters. But you might not know exactly what this unit is or how it works. All you know is that everyone is raving about what they call a new way to provide hot water for your home. But there are many more facts that you will need before you can make a well-informed choice about an on-demand water heater or a traditional unit for your Montgomery home.

On-Demand VS. Traditional

A traditional water heater is what most of us grew up using. The water heater had a larger tank that kept a specific amount of water hot at all times. And while we thought that it was great to always have hot water just a short distance from the faucet, it has its downside as well. The amount of hot water we had access to was limited by the tank size. And when it was gone, it took time for the water heater to refill the tank with hot water.

In comparison, an on-demand water heater has no holding tank. And that is why these units are also sometimes called tankless water heaters. These water heaters only heat water when there is a demand for it. So when you turn on a hot water faucet or shower, the system heats the water as it flows through the pipes to the faucet. In the end, these are two very different ways to provide hot water to your home. And as such, each one has its pros and cons.

On-Demand Pros

One of two common benefits of an on-demand water heater will be your favorite, depending on your priority. First, because the water is heated as it flows through the water lines in your home, there is no limit on your hot water supply. As long as you have a faucet running, there will be more hot water created. So you never have an issue with running out as you could with a traditional unit. This is a significant benefit to larger families who have a much higher demand for hot water at certain times of the day or night.

The other significant benefit to on-demand water heaters is their energy efficiency, which also translates to lower operating costs. The unit uses roughly the same amount of energy to heat your water as a traditional water heater. But it does not waste energy reheating the water that is sitting in the holding tank 24/7. Think about all the hours you are away from home. On a typical workday, that could be up to ten hours. And if you are sleeping another seven hours, that is a total of 17 hours or almost two-thirds of a day that no one is using hot water. But your traditional water heater is still burning energy to keep that holding tank of water hot. On-demand water heaters eliminate that waste and a significant chunk of your energy bill. And because the workload is reduced, a tankless water heater has a life expectancy of around twice the length of a traditional unit.

On-Demand Cons

The biggest drawback for many homeowners is the higher cost of an on-demand water heater. The unit is significantly more costly to purchase. If it is replacing a traditional unit, there is additional repiping that might also be required. But once installed, you will find that the reduction in your utility bill will provide an excellent return on your investment.

To learn more about on-demand water heaters, call (334) 206-8878 to schedule a free estimate from the pros at Alabama Home Pros.