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Understanding Propane Tankless Water Heaters

How They Work, How Much They Cost

water heaters iowaIf someone asked you to describe a water heater, you might say it looks a lot like a giant tin can. Of course, what you would be describing is the storage tank for the typical water heater. The water stored inside this “tin can” is heated by a small burner at the bottom of the tank.

But this type of standard water heating is not your only option if you’re looking for a replacement system. Did you know that not all hot water heaters need to store hot water?

It’s true. Some hot water heaters simply heat water on-demand, accessing water directly from a water pipe. Such units are called tankless water heaters. Generally fueled by propane, a tankless water heater is a great way to lower your energy costs and make the process of heating water much more efficient in the process.

Additionally, tankless units take up such a small space that you will actually be able to reclaim all that square footage your old bulky water heater is now taking up. Most tankless units hang on a wall and are about the size of a small suitcase and, maybe best of all, they will last about twice as long as a standard storage-tank water heater.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

Your old storage-tank water heater unit heats water and stores it for when you need it. This is not an ideal situation because the stored water will lose heat over time, especially if the hot water tank is located in an unheated space. The water heater then has to start the process of heating the water all over again.

Now, consider a tankless hot water heater: when you turn on your hot water faucets or an appliance like a dishwasher, water is circulated through a heat exchanger and delivered on-demand. Your water heating efficiency can improve up to 40% and you’ll have access to virtually unlimited amounts of hot water. That’s because you won’t have to worry about the tank draining and having to refill and reheat, even when you don’t need that hot water yet.

How Much Does a Tankless Water Heater Cost?

While it’s true that a tankless propane water heater has a higher upfront cost than a traditional storage-tank water heater, you can save a lot of money on your water heating bills over time. Consider this.

Prices for a tankless water heater can range from about $170 for small gas-fired units to more than $2,000 for high-output heaters, which can supply two showers at the same time. On average, though, the cost is about $1,000 per unit.

But keep in mind that propane gas-burning tankless water heaters should operate for 20 years or more. That’s two or three times longer than most storage tank water heaters as well as electric tankless water heaters.

So, if you experience an average energy savings of $150 per year, these savings should pay for your investment in a tankless water heater in about six or seven years. After that, you can pocket all of the savings on heating the water in your home.

Are you wondering if a propane tankless heater is the right choice for you? Complete this questionnaire to find out which type of water heater may be best suited for your home. Then reach out to your trusted propane company, who takes care of all of your fuel requirements while also giving you good advice and friendly assistance as you make decisions for your Iowa home.


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