You’ve probably considered multiple ways to lower your bills if you’re like most folks. Some ways are no-brainers, like paying off credit card debt. However, you may wonder how in the world you can ever reduce your utilities without giving up things like hot water, air conditioning, and refrigerated foods. Believe it or not, there are ways to make your utility bills more manageable without giving up modern living. Your electric and oil bills could indeed decrease with one potential change. Have you considered a demand water heater? If you haven’t, you should.
Storage Water Heaters
You’re probably familiar with storage water heaters. These are the giant tanks that are usually hidden away in some deep, dark dungeon inside your home. These types of water heaters sometimes employ the use of natural gas or propane, but also often run on electricity. Because the water is constantly heated, providing large amounts of readily hot water in a moment, it may waste energy. Typical single family tanks offer 20 to 80 gallons of hot water at any given time. As the preheated water is released, cold water enters the bottom of the tank and begins warming, keeping a relatively constant supply of warm water on hand.
Instantaneous Water Heaters
Instantaneous water heaters, on the other hand, are much smaller. This is because it only heats water as needed. There are many pros and cons to this. Since you aren’t storing tons of water, you aren’t paying for the constant warming of it. Rather, when you turn on your tap, cold water will flow into the unit where it will be warmed. While you don’t have to wait for an entire tank of water to warm up once the hot has disappeared, using a tankless water heater can affect the amount of hot water you may use at any given time. While this may not affect small families or singles dramatically, it’s a pain to deal with in large households who may be using hot water in several different locations at once.
Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for You?
Energy.gov suggests that those households who use less than 42 gallons of water a day can benefit from using a demand water heater. If you install demand heaters at each water outlet, you can save anywhere from 27% to 50% of the energy you would normally use with a storage heater. However, the savings is substantially less for larger families, which is characterized as those who use more than 86 gallons of water a day. Their savings are only 8% to 14% on average. Something else to consider is the cost difference of installing a demand heater as opposed to a storage unit.
Storage water heaters and demand water heaters both have advantages and disadvantages. While tankless may be the way to go if you’re family uses a relatively small amount of water daily, it may not be the best option for larger families. It is something to consider, however, if you’re looking for ways to reduce the amount of energy, and cash, you’re using on your utilities.