10/25/2013: Tankless hot water heaters

The Europeans have a few things right.  Croissants.  Siestas.  Taking the whole month of August off.  Tankless hot water heaters too.

Don’t worry gang — I’m not going to go Euro on you and start wearing skinny jeans, designer sunglasses and drinking wine & smoking all day.  I love my freedom fries, Coors Light and American football.  But I don’t love my hot water heater.

You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your hot water heater, unless it breaks.  Which by the way, in my 12 years of real estate, I have never once seen a hot water heater break when the owner is home.  It’s like the hot water heater knows the second you step out the door and then says “peace I’m out.”  Huge mess.

Hot water heaters for our homes range in size from 40 to 80 gallons.  They are constantly kept between 100-120 degrees.  That means when you’re at work all day or gone on vacation, the tank is using gas to keep the temperature constant.  Tanks can account for as much as 30% of your gas bill.  Seems like kind of a waste.

What you may not know is that sediment & salts create a thick layer of sludge at the bottom of the tank.  This sludge can be a few inches thick and affect your heater’s efficiency.  The sludge is heated first, then the hot water that is sent to your sink, shower, etc..  Kinda nasty.

hot water heater

Tankless hot water heaters are about 1/4 of the size of traditional hot water heaters.  They can be hung on the wall and save you as much as 40% on your gas bill.  When hot water is called for, water is sent through a heat exchanger and then onto the facuet, shower, washing machine, etc..  It’s hot water on-demand.  You’re not paying to keep a tank of water constantly hot.  The supply of hot water is endless — so running the shower, washing machine and faucet at the same time are not a problem.


Tankless installation will cost around $3,000, so it’s more expensive than a tank — which could be $1500 or less.  Mass Save will give you an $800 rebate for going tankless. Something to think about…

One thought on “10/25/2013: Tankless hot water heaters

  1. Diane Krentzman Porter

    Many of us on the street have radiators throughout our homes. When we bought our house 5 years ago, we installed a system that combines both systems. Yes we have a large hot water heater, but it also serves as our heat too. Our system is very energy efficient and was part of our upgrades when we moved in.

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