Traditional water heaters store hot water in a big tank usually 50 gallons. These units require refilling and reheating of the hot water as it passes through. A tankless or electric water heater does not have a big tank where it keeps the water. A tankless unit warms the water as it passes. The system will then circulate the heated water back into the pipes.
There are a variety of different types of tankless water heaters, condensing, noncondensing, and condensing hybrid units. The experts at Fleetwell.
Noncondensing tankless water heaters were the first to the market and use heat exchangers to create hot water and vent the exhaust outdoors. Condensing tankless water heaters use a dual heat exchanger to make maximum use of energy delivered to the system. Not only is venting more cost effective with a condensing tankless water heater, but they’re also more efficient. All condensing tankless water heaters run above 90% efficiency, while non-condensing tankless water heaters usually run in the 80% range.
The third generation is the tankless hybrid model. A tankless water heater saves energy by only heating water as it is needed instead of maintaining constant heat on a tank. Hybrids save energy by taking heat from the air and pumping it to heat the water, which means that it never generates its own heat. This makes these units the most energy efficient.