Point-of-use heaters solve your hot water shortages during the holidays
Many homeowners like to host family get-togethers around the holidays, and individuals with large houses may have one or several guests stay over. Buying an extra loaf of bread and putting out another set of sheets might be enough to make guests comfortable for a short while, but sooner or later they will need to shower. Can the old, traditional water heater in the basement handle this extra load?
Thousand of homeowners across the country are starting to realize that the answer is no. But where can these people turn to for home improvement solutions when the same basic model for water heaters has been used for as long as they can remember? It might seem like a drastic move, but switching to a point-of-use tankless water heater can not only provide a near limitless amount of hot water to any number of overnight guests, but it saves money, too.
How do they work?
Between window treatments, vinyl siding and all the shady contractors along the way, homeowners know when a product's claim is too good to be true, and when they hear "unlimited hot water," most think it a telltale sign of an overzealous salesman. However, innovative design and new technology mean point-of-use tankless water heaters can do exactly that.
To understand how these new models work, BobVila.com explained that it helps to take a look at traditional water heaters. These typically oversized contraptions house a large body of water in a tank, which is constantly heated with an open flame or electric heating element. The problems here are two-fold:
- The heater is constantly using energy
- Once the hot water is gone, the tank must be completely filled and heated again
If an entire house of guests wants to take showers in the morning, it may be hours before the next batch of hot water is ready.
On the other hand, tankless water heaters eliminate both issues caused by traditional systems. By virtue of their name, tankless models have no reservoir that needs constant heat, which saves money in the long- and short-term. Also, tankless appliances provide a continuous supply of hot water – as cool or lukewarm water passes through the heater's supercharged electric- or gas-powered heating coil, it is immediately raised to the user's desired temperature. Even if uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers and parents want to take showers one after the other, tankless water heaters can keep up with the demand.
What does point-of-use mean?
Anybody who lives in a large house with a single source of hot water understands that there can be a bit of a delay between turning a hot water handle and the time it actually comes out of the spout. Faucets or showers that are far away from a traditional heater may receive little to no hot water by the time everyone else in the house has had their fill, and this goes for double when family is in town.
Point-of-use water heaters can fix the problem. These devices act as on-location heaters for a single source, so they can be applied to an upstairs shower or outdoor sink that is too far away from a traditional system to be of much use. Point-of-use heaters act on-demand to treat water when the faucet or shower is activated. Not only does this save money by eliminating the burden on the central heating element, but it also turns what used to be an uncomfortable area of the house into everyone's new favorite place for a long, hot shower. Homeowners might choose to install a point-of-use heater for the most frequently used shower in the house, so all guests are guaranteed hot water.
Based on each individual family's operating habits, point-of-use tankless water heaters can be much more than cost-saving devices – they can turn what is just a house into a comfortable home.