by Scott Johnson
Also called flash or instantaneous water heaters, tankless water heatersare attractive, compact units usually mounted on a wall located at the center of a house.
Similar to storage water heaters, these technologies provide hot water on demand without the need of storing water. Tankless water heatersare commonly found all over Europe, Japan and other countries where energy is expensive and efficiency is a cultural norm.
The most important part of tankless water heaters is a device called heat exchanger – a combustion chamber in which cold water is brought to heat. When someone turns on a hot water faucet.
This is the water flow sensor that are often seen in the tankless water heater which sends signals to a central control module in the unit. Then, in turn, it sends signals to an electronically controlled gas valve in the gas manifold.
The valve opens and allows natural gas or propane to flow into the combustion chamber of the heat exchanger.. The gas is ignited by a pilot light or by a spark from an electronic ignition device.
The cold water that flows through the pipe in the heat exchanger is brought to the desired temperature. When the hot water faucet is turned off, the heater stops and the flame goes out — allowing you to get only the water you need at the time.
Energy savvy indeed! In Europe, majority of tankless water heaters in use fit under the sinks of homes and apartments. They are powered by electricity and centrally located to service all hot water needs at home.
If you are planning to purchase tankless water heater for your home, you must prepare yourself for its challenging installation. The setting up of this device is more complicated and generally not a job for most do-it-yourselfs.
It also costs more than other water heaters. However, they provide numerous advantages like heating only the water needed at the moment — as a result they are usually at least 20 percent more effecient than standard water heaters.
For you this also means a 20 percent lower utility bill. Tankless water heaters also produce less waste heat. During the summer season, this can be an advantage because there will be less internal heat gain and lower cooling bills.
Another huge advantage is that they outlast conventional water heatersas they are typically designed to last long as twenty years or more. If ever a part goes bad — it can be replaced. You won’t need to throw away a whole unit.