Q:

What is a tankless hot water heater?

A:

Quick Answer

Tankless water heaters are water heating systems that heat water as necessary instead of continuously heating water stored in a tank. When cold water enters the tankless hot-water heater, the device uses a heat exchange to heat the cold water.

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Full Answer

Tankless water heaters cost more than traditional water heaters but are more energy efficient because water is only heated on demand. In addition, tankless water heaters are generally more space efficient due to the lack of a water storage tank. The different types of tankless water heater models include electric, propane and natural gas.

Although the initial cost of tankless water heaters exceeds the cost of traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters usually last longer and have lower operating costs. Most traditional water heaters last between 10 to 15 years, while tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of over 20 years.

The costs of operation for tankless water heaters vary depending on the model. Tankless water heaters tend to be more energy efficient for homes that consume less water. In addition, electric models are usually more cost and energy efficient than gas models. Families can save more than $100 each year in operation costs by using a tankless water heater instead of a traditional water heater.

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