One piece of equipment that many of our clients ask about is the relatively new tankless hot water heater. The concept is that your hot water is heated “on demand”. Only the water you need right now is heated and then the unit shuts off. This saves a substantial amount of energy when compared to a traditional water heater. A standard hot water heater stores 50 to 80 (or more) gallons of water in a tank. As the water in the tank cools, the unit will reheat the water to maintain a minimum temperature.
A tankless hot water heater offers several advantages, but should be sized appropriately for the intended use. The primary advantage is the efficiency; these units can achieve significant energy savings, which translates into lower utility bills. One potential design advantage is that these units are significantly smaller as they do not have the large storage tank and they are typically attached to the exterior of the home (freeing space indoors).
These units are sold as gas-fired or electric, but gas units are widely considered to be the most efficient option, provided you have gas service to your home.