Why are real estate professionals investigating tankless water heaters? As technology evolves, so does the way we do things. What was once seen as the norm, is now being replaced by new and improved products and services. Storage water heaters have changed little in design since their invention toward the end of the 19th century. To this day, they are still being used in most homes and businesses in the U.S. and Canada. Yet, when we think about how much energy and water they waste and how much room they take, it’s a wonder why they are still being so widely used. Especially since there are more energy-efficient and compact options out there.
Tankless water heaters have grown in popularity for those very reasons. The advantages of tankless water heaters, including the ease of installation, are even making commercial businesses and multifamily housing providers take a second look. The price gap has narrowed significantly, and the water and energy savings certainly offset any extra costs for initial installation or even upgrading.
How Tankless Water Heaters Saves Money
Let’s start with energy savings. A traditional storage water heater works by heating up to 100 gallons of water and keeping it heated for use. The trouble is, whether or not that water is being consumed, energy is being used to keep it hot. If you take into consideration that water heaters are often stored in places such as garages or other rooms that aren’t temperature regulated, the heat loss requires even more energy to keep the water hot in cold temperatures.
Tankless water heaters on the other hand, heat water on demand. Rather than storing it, the water is heated in a line at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute and provides hot water much quicker than traditional tanked heaters.
Which brings us to the water savings. We’ve become accustomed to turning the shower on and waiting (sometimes several minutes) before the water heats up enough to climb in. Why is that? Well, the water that was once hot has now cooled after sitting in the pipes. And depending on the distance between your shower and the water heater, it will take that much longer for that cooled water to leave the pipes, leaving room for the hot water to arrive. So all of that water (which was once hot) goes down the drain, while the money comes out of your wallet.
Tankless heaters avoid this waste since they can be installed closer to the service points. If you have point of use tanks, they are installed directly under sinks and avoid water waste altogether. For a comparison of point of use tanks or whole house options, see this article for a breakdown of the one that’s best for you.
How Tankless Water Heaters Saves Space
No matter what type of tankless you use, they will save much more space than your traditional tanked heater. Tanks require use of square footage in a home or apartment. Tankless water heaters are installed on the wall or under sinks. This is especially important in smaller dwellings, such as apartments, where square footage needs to be used as efficiently as possible. A linen closet is a much better use of space rather than a place to store a water tank.
Related Topic: Water Conservation and Real Estate Management
The Bottom Line
What does all this mean for a typical family? According to the website Energy.gov: “For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. They can be 8%–14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water — around 86 gallons per day. You can achieve even greater energy savings of 27%–50% if you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet. ENERGY STAR® estimates that a typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater. When you consider that tankless heaters last much longer than traditional tanked heaters, this can mean significant savings. In addition, federal tax credits may be available which adds to your savings. This article in Property Management Insider shows how tankless water heaters are heating up the multifamily industry.
Have you made the switch to tankless water heaters? How do you feel about your decision?
Southern Energy Solutions is a provider of tankless water heaters for multifamily, property management, and real estate professionals. Contact us today for more information.