Bob Vila Radio: Tankless Water Heaters

If your home is like most in the U.S., you’re spending a fifth of your energy dollars heating your water. If your water heater needs replacing soon or you just want to reduce your energy footprint, tankless water heaters are a great investment.

Tankless Water Heater

Photo: orangeinnovation.com

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listen to BOB VILA ON TANKLESS WATER HEATERS, or read the text below:

Also known as instantaneous water heaters, tankless units work only on demand. Rather than storing and constantly re-heating a 40- to 80-gallon tank of water and incurring a 20% standby energy loss, they fire only when the hot water is called for at a tap or by an appliance.

Smaller homes are well-served with one mid-sized tankless heater, but a larger unit can provide 8.5 gallons per minute, making the cold shower a thing of the past. A tankless heater can also give a solar hot water system the boost it might need in a colder climate without using much fuel at all.

Some are electric, but gas-fired tankless units can save 40 percent over conventional electric water heaters. They hang on the wall, so you can reclaim some space in your closet or basement. and choosing a unit with an energy efficiency of .8 or more may earn you a tax credit!

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on water heaters, consider:

Smart Water: Faucets, Heaters, and Systems
Installing a Tankless Water Heater
Eliminating Basement Moisture