Are gas tankless water heaters eco-friendly?

Tankless water heaters are growing in popularity for lots of good reasons. As traditional water tanks reach the end of their life span they need to be changed and many people are now opting for a tankless option. It is hard to keep energy costs down with a traditional water heater.

These days people are being a lot more conscious of their choices when making purchases. It is easy to be misled, or mistaken into believing that the product you are buying is green, ethical, or biodegradable. When switching out your water tank you will most likely prefer to have an energy-efficient and therefore eco-friendly replacement. Are tankless water heaters the best option to choose from?

What is a tankless water heater?

A tankless water heater is a way to provide continuous hot water to your household or indeed business without the need to store and heat a large amount of water. When you go to the bathroom to take a shower the water passes through the tankless heater and the temperature rises to supply you with hot water. 

Is it energy efficient?

Normally you would have a tank that is perhaps 50-60 gallons in your home somewhere that is heated. When you go to have a bath or shower that hot water is used by you and needs to be replaced. This means cold water refilling the tank and electricity or gas being used to heat it up. This takes time and a considerable amount of energy. It is also inconvenient waiting for hot water when you want to wash or shower. 

How much energy could you save?

In simple cash terms research has shown that an average household would save just over $100 per year with a gas tankless water heater. In percentage terms, it would be around 30% more energy efficient for a family using about 40 gallons of hot water per day.

By installing more than one water heater near showers and outlets then the energy savings increase impressively. 

What are some of the benefits?

As you can see there are already obvious benefits with power consumption and being more energy-efficient. Heating water on demand is less wasteful than heating water constantly that might not even be used.

Other benefits include water wastage, from unused hot water wasting gas or electricity to water going down the drain. When you turn on the shower or tap there is an amount of cold water that comes out before running hot. This water goes straight down the plughole. Hot water arrives quicker with a tankless heater and so saves water.

Continuous hot water is another benefit. This is very desirable in a family or shared household where several people need to shower at similar times. On-demand heaters don’t need to have a tank of hot water; they just heat the flow up as needed.

They last longer. The average lifespan of a traditional tank is about 10 years and tankless heaters can go on for twice that. The guarantee that comes with them is longer too giving peace of mind. There is less waste going to the scrap yard or landfill too because they work for more years.

What are the obvious differences between gas and electric heaters?

So if you were going to install a tankless heater you would also have to choose between gas or electric heaters.

Financial savings

Firstly the energy savings are higher with gas than electricity. Against a traditional water tank, you would save over $100 per year with gas compared to about $45 with electricity. Electric heaters are more energy-efficient than gas though the price of electricity may be higher than gas in some regions so this needs to be balanced out. 

Hot water supply

Gas heaters are able to supply a higher volume of water than the electric options. 

Maintenance

Electric heaters require less maintenance than their gas counterparts which will need a yearly inspection. To know more about the benefits you can read about gas heater reviews by Shower Insider here. 

Are there any disadvantages?

The main disadvantage is that the initial purchase of a heater and the installation will cost more than a normal water tank, however, that will be offset over time by the energy savings. You may also need more than one heater in a larger house.

Summary

When you look at the energy efficiency, water savings, and longer lifespan than gas tankless water heaters are indeed eco-friendly. There is a financial outlay, to begin with but this will be recouped over the years. With the long life of modern heaters, there will be less cluttering up landfills too.