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How Propane Tankless Water Heaters Work

A Guide to Operation, Costs, Sizes and More

water heater service north carolinaA propane tankless water heater is so compact in size that it can easily be mounted on a wall. These units are about the size of a suitcase, which allows for installation in crawl spaces, attics, closets and other tight spaces.

But a lot of people wonder: how can something that small deliver a comparable amount of hot water than I received from my old tank storage water heater?

It’s really simple. When you turn on your hot water faucets or an appliance, a flow sensor will activate a propane gas burner to heat the water. The heating will continue until you turn off the faucet, which shuts off the gas burner

Isn’t that a better option than relying on your old storage tank water heater to heat water and store it for when you need it? This is not an ideal situation as the tank will definitely lose heat over time, especially if the hot water tank is located in an unheated space. And that costs you money!

By switching to a tankless model, your energy efficiency can improve by up to 40% and you’ll have access to virtually unlimited amounts of hot water – because you won’t have to worry about the tank draining and having to refill and reheat.

Why Don’t More People Have a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless propane water heater has a higher upfront cost than a traditional storage tank water heater, and that holds some people back. But if you’re patient, you’ll discover that you can save a lot of money on your water heating bills over time. It’s estimated that you can save more than $150 a year in annual energy costs compared with electric tank models.

And although tankless water heaters technically cannot run out of hot water since they are designed to always heat up more water on demand, they can sometimes be overwhelmed with demand when there are multiple taps or appliances operating at the same time. This problem can be solved by installing more than one tankless water heater in your home to compensate for times of heavy demand.

It’s also important that you protect your investment and keep up with your water heater maintenance from year to year. You’ll need to have your tankless water heater serviced once a year.

Finding the Proper Size Tankless Water Heater

There are two key factors that need to be considered when sizing a tankless water heater:

  1. Flow Rate: This is how much hot water you will need at any given time
  2. Temperature Rise: This is the difference between the incoming cold-water temperature and the desired temperature

You will need a professional to figure out which fixtures you plan to operate simultaneously and how much hot water each will use.

So, depending on key factors like how many tubs and showers you have, how often you’re running appliances like a washing machine or dishwasher, and how many of these would be in use at once, you can customize your tankless water heater to suit your needs.

So why not heat as much water as you need without paying to keep it stored? Remember, with a tankless model, you benefit from a constant supply. Simply turn on the hot water faucet!

Read about the benefits of a tankless unit if you’re considering a water heater replacement. And be sure to find out how you can save money with rebates if you’re ready for your next water heater installation.