If you are like the rest of Alaska homeowners, you rarely give time or attention to your water heater until you start experiencing some problems with it. It is not that you must keep flaunting your water heater to other people or keep a photo of it in your purse, but your unit also needs some care and attention. Make sure that you inspect it occasionally to assess it condition. Issues like gas leaks or having a bad wiring can have disastrous effects on you and your home. But the usual problem you’ll face when it comes to these issues is having a preposterous energy bill. Once you begin to notice that your current unit is consuming so much energy, it signifies that you need to look for a tankless water heater. But then, what sets them apart? Here are recommendations by the professional plumbers.
A STORAGE WATER HEATER’S MECHANISM OF ACTION
The most common home water heater nowadays is the storage type, or plainly referred as the regular heaters. It is usually in the form of a bulky tank that you’ll encounter in a home’s utility room or basement. These tanks can accommodate a minimum of 20 gallons of water to a maximum of 120 gallons. The cold water originates from the tank’s bottom and is heated up as it rises to the top. It heats water by the use of gas or electricity. The water at its top is also constantly heated up. The hot water you use when you take a warm shower or when you wash the dishes comes from the water at the top of your water heater’s tank.
ISSUES CONCERNING STORAGE WATER HEATERS
One of the main issue concerning the use of a storage water heater is that it is not a highly efficient equipment because heat can escape it through the walls of the tank. It is true that tanks have enough insulation, but the warmth is sucked away from it since its usual location is in a cool and wet room. In short, your home’s water heater is working nonstop to provide warm water on demand. Its work becomes futile when you left home for work today, and no one was in the house to consume the warm water. Here is another common issue you encounter with your unit. Having a big household means having more people who consume warm water. Several people can take showers simultaneously and eat up the warm water supply. Of course, your tank only produces warm water at the top of the tank. If many people continually deplete the reserve, the last person to take a shower will have no more warm water to use and end up shivering inside.
ANOTHER OPTION IS TO BUY A TANKLESS WATER HEATER
Although tankless water heaters have been in existence for quite some time now, it is only in recent years that it has skyrocketed in popularity. It became a famous household item because of the idea of creating a greener and more livable home. A tankless water heater aspires to solve the issue about to standby heat loss and losing supply of warm water by removing the tank in the equation. A tankless water heater produces warm water by letting water pass through a burner so that it becomes warm by the time it cycles. In short, anybody can have access to hot water whenever they need it.
Since there is no physical tank in your home, you do not lose heat’s energy efficiency that often dissipates. Also, you no longer have to worry about not having a warm water supply by the time you need it. These units are usually powered by gas and smaller too. You can hang it on your wall and save space in your basement or utility room. A tankless water heater proudly claims that it has an endless hot water supply and much cheaper to operate in comparison to a regular storage water heater.
CONS OF A TANKLESS UNIT
You might have the impression that a tankless water heater is the holy grail of regular hot water supply since it disperse unlimited warm water. At the same time, it also saves you money with its lower energy cost in operating. But there are exceptions. Using these tankless water heaters also have a few challenges, which it is not able to establish dominance in hot water heaters preferred in most Canadian homes.
- MORE EXPENSIVE INITIAL COST – a homeowner’s finances is greatly affected by the replacement of their standard storage water heater with a tankless one. The usual cost of installing a water heater is multiplied by three to four when you opt to purchase a tankless water heater. This info alone is enough to scare potential buyers. Despite the fact that their big investment will be paid off by big savings on succeeding water bills, a lot of homeowners are not crazy with the idea of parting with their hard-earned money. They’ll have doubts whether to assume the expensive initial cost of a tankless unit.
- FLOW DEMANDS – a new tankless water heater usually needs the least volume of water flow that is around half a gallon every minute before it starts to kick in. in short, a tankless water heater requires you to run the faucet on its maximum flow even if you only need a little amount of warm water for your usual cup of tea or when you need to brush your teeth.
- HAVING AN UNLIMITED HOT WATER SUPPLY IS BAD – one of the bright side, when you have a tankless unit is that it is capable of supplying warm water even if several people simultaneously take showers consecutively. This occurrence usually happens if you have teenage girls around the house. A shower that begins to lose hot water supply after 20-25 minutes inside the bathroom is a sign that the person who is fond of taking long showers should finish his bath and leave the bathroom soon. But when you have a tankless water heater in your home that deliver an unlimited supply of warm water, household members will likely prolong their showers and bath for 40-45 minutes and use more water than necessary. By doing so, you contradict the energy saving feature of tankless units. After all, it is the reason you have the tankless model in your home first and foremost. In a home where its members tend to slack and take long showers, it is beneficial to set-up a timer. But then, you are spending money again on another household item.
- SOMETIMES HARD TO INTEGRATE – tankless water heaters come with bigger burners to keep up with the demand for providing hot water in a snap. As a result, you’ll also need an enormous gas line than your existing one at home. Most models are operated by gas while some are electric. You’ll encounter another challenge here since what you have right now is not enough to supply the warm water demand of your household. Another flaw in the system is the need for a bigger air flow, which beats the benefit of having a small unit now. You’ll end up having to provide a big enough space to ensure that installation of a tankless unit is possible.
Like with any other household equipment, a tankless water heater has its advantages and disadvantages. If you aim to convert your home to a greener and more environment-friendly location, installing a tankless unit will take you one step closer to your goal. But once you made the decision, you need to look closely inside your home and come up with individual evaluations.