Summary: Tankless water heaters provide cheap hot water and only when you need it. Don't heat water when you don’t need it.
Water heaters are the second largest energy user in your house. Only home heating and air conditioning systems consume more energy.
Because we want hot water on demand, water heaters must first heat water, and then hold it in a water heater, on standby for 90% of the day (or more), keeping the water hot, until someone in the house needs it.
Think of the few times during the day when you actually use hot water. Think of all the hours, even days, that go by when you don't.
What a waste of hot water and energy!
Is there a solution? Yes! Tankless water heaters.
A tankless water heater heats only the amount of water you need, only as you need it.
Both gas tankless water heaters and electric tankless water heaters are available.
Are tankless water heaters expensive? Well, they cost more than standard hot water heaters, and they cost more to install too. But according to NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) Research, they can save you up to 20% off your hot water heating bill. And, since water heating accounts for about 14 percent of the average U.S. household energy budget, this can be a significant savings.
Here’s a Rheem electric model, which in my opinion is a good name in water heaters, that I found retailing for around $500, but found on Amazon for $228.
Additionally, the expected life of tankless water heaters is 20 years, compared to 10 to 15 years for standard tank water heaters.
The best time to install tankless water heaters is during new construction. That way, they can be centrally located in the house in order to reduce hot water runs. Additionally, gas piping and gas flue venting or electric wiring can be most easily accommodated at this time.