Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Many Benefits of a Tankless Hot Water Heater

Why I Love My Green, Space-Saving, Water-Heating Device

I know I shouldn't play favorites, but as far as appliances go, this one's at the top of my list ;)


Comparing Hot Water Heaters


For the past 5 years, we've spent the summers at our quaint New England beach cottage on the Long Island Sound. And when I say quaint, I mean SMALL. 900 square feet, in fact. And while I love it for its quaintness, as the kids have gotten bigger, it's become abundantly clear that we need to maximize every inch of those 900 square feet. And thanks to our new Tankless Hot Water Heater, we've made some major progress! BTW, we're still in the final stages of this mini-renovation, so you're not going to see any super-finished, styled pics in this post (but I promise they'll come later).

As you can probably guess, our whopping 900-square feet included only one bathroom in its original 1928 design, and with 5 people living there full time (and visitors in and out all summer), an additional bathroom was first on our list of improvements to make. But where to put it?

We didn't have many options, and even some contractors were skeptical about making it work at all. But we lucked out when an architect friend offered to come by and take a look, and we are so grateful for her creative ideas, because the changes she suggested have enabled us to make some amazing quality-of-life changes in the cottage.

Why we got a tankless water heater

Basically the behemoth hot water heater we inherited with the house wasn't doing us any favors; all along we'd planned on replacing with with a tankless version anyway, but this project just helped move everything along. By replacing the original hot water heater with the tankless, we were able to maximize the closet space and fit the fridge, washer, dryer, and tankless all inside that original closet. The "vestibule" that originally held the washer/dryer became our half-bath, and we also gained a new, easy entry into the kitchen (added benefit: so much more natural light in the space).  And yes, I know. Having your washing machine next to your fridge isn't an ideal setup, but if that's what it takes to gain a bathroom and more natural light, I'll take that trade-off any day! And I'm going to dress it up with a cute little curtain... but again, that's a post for another day :)

Benefits of a tankless water heater by

Now that I've got you convinced of the space-saving benefits of a tankless hot water heater, let's talk about ALL the benefits.

Benefits of Using a Tankless Hot Water Heater

  • Saves Space (but you already know that now!)
  • Water is Heated On-Demand: Unlike a traditional hot water heater (which constantly holds and cyclically heats 30+ gallons of water all day long, even when you're not using it), when you use a tankless, the water goes into the device and is heated INSTANTLY. That means ONLY the water you need is being heated up when you need it; that fact alone can save 60% on water heating costs.
  • Tankless Models Last Longer than Tank Heaters (5-10 years longer!)
  • Access to Fresher Water: No need to worry about water that's been sitting inside a metal tank that's likely accumulating rust and scale!
  • Electric Models Don't Produce Greenhouse Gasses
  • If something should happen to the tank, you don't have to worry about a flood--it's not holding any water in there! :)

Why buy a tankless water heater?

You can see from the pics that we got an electric ECOSMART model, and we've been thrilled with it. We've tested it out with two showers going at once (the one upstairs and the outdoor shower), and we've had no problem with having enough hot water for both!

What do you use to heat your water? Have you developed any energy-saving tips?

This post is part of the Spring Greening Month Series. Find out why I'm hosting this event here.

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  1. Great info! I have been trying to decide if I want to go tankless (I really do!) and really appreciate your info! Thanks!

    1. That's great, Cher-Ann! I love ours! Good luck!

  2. Any issues with the water coming out REALLY hot? I've heard that could be a downfall, or any issues with it not hearing as well after multiple showers in a row? These are the things my plumber warned me if to try and turn me off to the idea of installing one of these... if they work well though I don't know why you wouldn't go the tankless route!

    1. No problems with the temp at all because you can set it at a max temp so it never goes above that! We've been fine with multiple showers (and we do that a lot in the summer). The only time we've noticed any lower temps with the shower is if I have the washer on using hot water at the same time. Funny about the plumber, tho, because we got so much resistance from multiple contractors about installing it, then finally we just said, "We're doing it!" So glad we did!

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