How electric tankless water heaters work

Cold water goes in one side, is heated “instantly,” and goes out the other side.

"On Demand" is a better description. Although the water is heated "instantly," it still needs to pass through pipes so hot water will not arrive instantly. 

One huge advantage of an electric tankless water heater is the ability to install it closer to the point-of-use. This reduces the amount of travel time within the pipes and provides hot water more quickly.

Electric tankless water heaters eliminate Stand-by Loss and Cycling Loss. They only heat the hot water as demanded, reducing water heating costs by up to 60%.  

There are 3 pieces of information necessary to determine what size tankless water heater is right for you:

  • Watts – the amount of energy necessary to heat a given demand.
  • Temperature Rise – The difference between the inlet water temperature and the set outlet temperature.
  • Flow Rate – Measure in Gallons Per Minute (GPM) represents the amount of water that will be heated at one time.

How electric tankless saves energy

Traditional storage water heaters have a set amount of water that is kept heated to a set temperature so that is is always ready to go. When the stored water reaches its set temperature, the thermostats disconnect power going to the element and the unit stops consuming energy. The water then loses temperature, a principle known as Stand-by Loss. The elements will then turn on again and consume energy to heat water back to the set temperature.

When hot water is used, the water storage is refilled with cooler, ground water that needs to be reheated. This causes further heat loss, or Cycling Loss, requiring the elements to turn on and consume energy.

Stand-by loss and Cycling Loss are responsible for up to 20% of energy loss.

EcoSmart electric tankless heaters save energy by only activating when water is flowing through the system, so that there is no stand-by loss or cycling loss.

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