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Can You Save Energy with a Tankless Water Heater?

Here at Interstate AC Service, we have a passion for green products and saving energy and thought you too would enjoy keeping abreast of the latest "green" gadgets. Water heaters account for 17% of your home's energy use, which is more than all other household appliances combined, so saving energy here can make a big impact on the environment and on your budget!

 

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless water heaters as the name implies, heat the water instantly as it's needed, without the use of a large "storage tank." By eliminating the need to keep a whole tank of water heated round-the-clock, just in case it's needed, you eliminate energy waste. You also reduce the air conditioning energy that is required to remove the waste heat around the water tank. A tankless water heater can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or propane, and can be 8-34% more efficient than traditional water heaters. Plus, because of their small size (about the size of a small suitcase), they can be installed anywhere, even a crawl space or attic.

Never Run Out of Hot Water Again

In many homes, running the dishwasher, laundry, and trying to take a shower at the same time is almost impossible without exhausting the capacity of the typical hot water storage tank. Tankless water heaters provide an "endless supply" of hot water because it is being made on-demand. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don't need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. A tankless water heater is best located near the place you want to use hot water, such as in the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. That way, little energy is lost getting the hot water to the point of use.

Caveats

A tankless water heater's output limits the flow rate to 2 5 gallons per minute, with gas-fired tankless water heaters having higher flow rates than electric ones. In a large household, even the largest, gas-fired model cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses in different areas of the house (for example, taking a shower and running the dishwasher simultaneously). There are two ways to deal with this: install two or more tankless water heaters in parallel, or install a separate tankless water heater near each appliance that uses hot water. Installing a separate tankless system near each appliance achieves the greatest efficiency (up to 50%).

Installation & Payback

Proper installation and maintenance of a tankless water heater will optimize its efficiency. The initial cost of a tankless water heater is more than a storage-type water heater, and you'll need the skills of a variety of tradespeople. Tankless water heaters require reconfiguring the existing water piping, installation of a new 120-volt electrical receptacle, and for gas-powered units, installation of a double-walled vent pipe through a side wall as well as a larger gas line. Thus, the installation costs are much greater: $2K-5K for a tankless (costs are dropping) vs $900-1300 for a traditional water heater. Plus, for tankless systems, yearly maintenance is required by a qualified technician, so that calcium build-up does not decrease the unit's efficiency.

ENERGY STAR® estimates that a typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater, depending on water usage and energy costs (gas or electric) in your area. And tankless water heaters have a much longer life - more than 20 years - compared to conventional water heaters, which typically last only 10-15 years. But, because of the higher purchase and installation costs, payback periods are generally on the order of 20 years or more for a tankless system.

Is a Tankless Right for You?

Studies reported that the majority of homeowners who switched to a tankless water heater were very happy with it. As long as you realize the upfront cost, you'll definitely save energy, and have unlimited hot water with a tankless unit. To help offset the upfront costs, there are some Federal Tax Credits (available until December 31, 2016 on gas-powered units only), and manufacturer's rebates offered. Plus, if you're going for LEED certification for your commercial or residential building, tankless water heaters may help you get there.

**Interstate AC Service is not a reseller or installer of tankless water heaters.

Important Tips & Advice

 

 

You often don't think about your heating or air-conditioning system until something goes wrong. But there is so much you can do to help keep your system from breaking down. We regularly post information to help you learn what you can do to keep your system running, to save money and energy.  Search our many posts, videos, and podcasts, for valuable information that is never a sales pitch. Subscribe to receive an email when something new is posted, so you won’t miss any important tips.

Choosing a Repair Company

Whether you’re talking about heating or cooling, repairing or replacing a system, you want a company that can advise you reliably based on what is in your best interest, not based on what is convenient or what earns them the most money (commissions). We'll help you choose the best solution to fit your needs. Check out our many posts at HVAC News You Can Use and our podcasts.

Going Green

We're concerned about the environment and know all the latest technologies - such as geothermal systems, LED lights, and smart thermostats - that can reduce energy and put more "green" in your pocket!  We've provided HVAC systems in certified LEED buildings and written many posts on ways to Go Green.

The Sign of Service

We are a repair company performing a full range of commercial and residential heating, air conditioning, energy management and comfort products service, maintenance, and installation. We are a locally-owned company serving Nashville-Davidson County and the surrounding counties including Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, and Cheatham.

Who We Are

Our service technicians are fully trained and experienced.  We can tackle the most complicated system to the simplest of systems – from large commercial plants to single-family homes.  Our ownership group of Eddie Hutton, Tony Anderson, Roger Eldridge,  Swaney Powers and Alan Seilbeck have over 125 years combined experience as leaders in the HVAC industry.

Dispatch

We are proud of our dispatchers that respond to your telephone call. When your system is down they make things happen. Our trucks are loaded with most parts needed for a quick repair. You can call day and night 7 days a week. Our normal weekday hours are 7:00AM to 5:00PM. Click on the button below to schedule a service call online. Emails and forms can only be answered weekdays from 7-5.”  

615-832-8500 Online Service Call

Maintenance

Did you know you should service your HVAC on a regular schedule – just like you would your car?  We have specialized maintenance programs to ensure the clean, energy efficient and safe operation of your HVAC systems.  This helps minimize service interruptions/breakdowns and maximize your equipment's lifespan.  All maintenance contract customers are assigned a primary technician that will get to know your facility and equipment and will treat it like his own.  You’ll receive discounts on repairs or new installations, and get priority service when it is cold or hot outside and you need service promptly.  Plus, maintenance contract customers are never charged overtime rates for emergency services after-hours, weekends or holidays. We’ll teach you how to save on maintenance costs by showing you things you can do yourself and when you need a technician. Here are some good posts:  Repair vs. Replace, Things to Try Before Calling for Service, Springtime Tips that Pay Off.

Commercial

Our team takes on HVAC projects for office, school, retail and industrial facilities. Check out these case studies:

Replacement of a 250-ton Cooling Tower

Ductless HVAC at Brentwood Middle School