The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

Two Smart Ways to Heat Your Water

Tankless water heater

Posted: June 18, 2018

When most people think of a water heater, they think of a big metal can that takes up a chunk of their basement.

But imagine if that water heater was the size of a small suitcase and could produce hot water for hours on end – or if it could use the energy already being generated by your home heating system to also heat water for your appliances and taps?

That’s what you get when you choose two of the smarter alternatives to conventional water heaters – tankless and indirect. We’ll talk about both types in this post.

Tankless water heaters

As the name implies, tankless water heaters forego a storage tank and instead use a powerful heat exchanger to instantly heat water on demand. Here’s how it works:

  • When you need hot water, turn on the faucet just as you would with a conventional water heater.
  • When cold water runs through a pipe in the water heater, it activates the gas-powered heating element.
  • The heating element instantly warms the water you need – meaning that no water will sit in a storage tank losing heat while it waits to be used.
  • As soon as you close the hot water faucet, the gas burner shuts down.

Tankless water heaters are extremely efficient – first, because they never have to reheat water (as a water heater with a tank does after its water has been sitting in a cold basement for hours) and second because they use electronic ignitions rather than a pilot lights. By operating this way, tankless water heaters can improve efficiency by 30 percent or more while providing unlimited hot water. They also last almost twice as long as a conventional water heater – almost 20 years on average, compared to 12 for tanked systems.

Indirect water heaters

An indirect hot water maker is another extremely efficient way to heat water in your Seacoast home – yet it’s an option that few have considered, or perhaps even heard of.

So what exactly is an indirect hot water maker?

An indirect water heater is a system that uses energy that is already being generated by your furnace or boiler to also heat your water. By doing double duty this way during the winter months, an indirect system basically provides free hot water – a pretty big deal when you consider that heating water can account for more than 20 percent of your energy bills. Since indirect water heaters rely on the high temperatures of the combustion process in your home heating system, they heat water extremely fast – up to three times faster than with electric water heaters.

Since installing an indirect hot water maker involves both your heating and electrical systems. hiring a pro is a must if you want your system to operate efficiently enough to make the investment worthwhile (it will often pay for itself in just a few years, if your installation is done right).

The bottom line: If you’re looking for a smart water-heating alternatives, tankless and indirect water heaters fit the bill. Which one is right for you? Contact us today and let’s figure it out together.

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