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Get ahead of schedule by going tankless

Published On: Oct 29 2012 10:11:33 AM CDT
Updated On: Nov 14 2012 09:38:10 AM CST
water heater installation

iStock / JulNichols

(NewsUSA) - With fall in full swing, busy family schedules and the holiday season in the not-so-distant future, homeowners are looking for ways to make their households run more efficiently -- sooner rather than later. One way to do this is to educate themselves about tankless water-heating options -- before there's an unexpected problem with an existing storage tank water heater.

"Homeowners tend to forget about their water heater until there's an issue," said Kerri Walker, senior marketing manager at Rinnai. "A water heater is a major appliance that can affect your lifestyle for years to come. That's why it's important to make the right decision before waking up to find there's only cold water running through your pipes."

In most American homes, a 40- to 50-gallon traditional tank water heater stores a limited supply of water that is heated and reheated, even when not in use. This supply can be depleted quickly with heavy hot water usage. A tankless water heater heats water on demand and only as needed, allowing households to shower, bathe and wash clothes and dishes simultaneously or whenever it's most convenient, rather than being confined to a hot-water schedule.

"Instead of setting an allotted time to run the dishwasher, do the laundry or take showers, a tankless water heater makes it possible to get things done according to your own timetable -- without fear that the hot water will run out," said Walker.

Tankless hot water systems are approximately 82 to 96 percent efficient. Additionally, according to energystar.gov, ENERGY STAR-qualified tankless water heaters save an average family more than $100 on their gas bill per year, compared to a standard storage-tank water heater. Depending on the size of your family, you could save even more.