How Tankless Water Heaters Work

We use hot water for a variety of tasks around the house, but we rarely think about where it comes from. If you’re a homeowner, you may be used to seeing storage tank water heaters, which use a large tank to heat water and store it so that it is available at any time. But tankless water heaters have grown in popularity over the years thanks to their ability to heat water quickly and efficiently. So how can a unit heat water instantly without the use of a tank?

A tankless water heater is a “green” alternative to storage tanks that can help you save money over the years and may last longer than conventional units. Curious about how they work? In order to understand tankless water heaters, let’s a take a look at how standard units heat and store hot water.

Storage tank water heaters store water in a large tank to use whenever it is needed. First, cold water enters through a tube that leads to the bottom of the tank. Then a heating mechanism—either a gas-powered burner or an electric-powered heating element—heats the water, which rises to the top of the tank since hot water naturally rises above the denser, colder water. A tube sits at the top of the tank to supply hot water to the home, and cold water continues to cycle in as a replacement.

The problem with storage tank water heaters is the standby energy loss associated with continuously heating standing water. With a tankless heater, water is heated instantly to eliminate this loss. Tankless water heaters simply work through the use of a heat exchange system. Electric coils or gas activate to generate heat as soon as a hot water tap is turned on in the house so that hot water can immediately reach the faucet. Tankless water heaters may not be able to handle multiple jobs at once, so some homes may have several tankless water heaters, each mounted near the tap that activates it.

Want to know if this system is right for your home? Call Sound Heating for more information about tankless water heaters in Gig Harbor!

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