I Want Hot Water and I Want It Now!

Give me convenience or give me death. When this cliché is applied to water in a home, we are talking about water heaters that produce hot water immediately.

There are certain types of water heaters that provide hot water only as it is needed. They don’t have tanks holding and continually reheating water. This, of course, saves tons of money on utilities because the heating mechanism isn’t going on and off all day while you aren’t even home. These masterful heaters are known as Demand Heaters, an appropriate name in our instant gratification society.

Demand Tacoma water heaters do the job on the fly. When you turn on the tap for a hot bath, cold water travels into the heater, is instantly heated and then transferred to your tub. They run on either gas or electricity and are all the rage at the moment.

As with anything so righteous as immediate hot water, there are some limitations. Demand heaters can only instantaneously heat and crank out so much water. If two tubs are being filled at the same time, you may have problems. Depending on the system, most of these heaters will kick out between two and five gallons a minute. That may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t. A full bathtub can require as much as 35 gallons of water.

An easy way around the limitation problem is to install multiple heaters. You can buy relatively small units and put them in each bathroom as well as one for the kitchen. This should get around the limited water flow issue.

These water heaters are going to cost more to buy and install than typical heaters. The cost is more than offset, however, when you consider that you will save 30 to 50 percent on your water heating costs. Since these systems last for 30 years, you should more than recoup your purchase and installation costs.

In these modern times, we expect things to occur immediately. With a shower or bath, now we can get hot water on the fly.

Rick Chapo is with SolarCompanies.com, a directory of solar energy companies.

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Storage water heaters are by far the most common type of water heater in the U.S. today. Ranging in size from 20 to 80 gallons (or larger) and fueled by electricity, natural gas, propane, or oil, storage water heaters work by heating up water in an insulated tank. When you turn on the hot water tap, hot water is pulled out of the top of the water heater and cold water flows into the bottom to replace it. Because heat is lost through the walls of the storage tank (this is called standby heat loss), energy is consumed even when no hot water is being used. New energy-efficient storage water heaters contain higher levels of insulation around the tank, substantially reducing standby heat loss.

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