Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tankless Effort

The tankless water heater that we installed two weeks ago was expensive--about three times the cost of the conventional 50-gallon heater that it replaced---but so far there's been no buyer's remorse.

Because the device heats up water only as it's demanded, the savings in natural gas usage will be substantial; there's no need to maintain a 50-gallon tank at an elevated temperature.

But it will take over ten years of lower gas bills to make back the cost differential, so economics is not the sole reason for the purchase.

Reduced natural gas emissions will reduce our carbon footprint. Whether or not one believes that global warming is caused by man ("anthropogenic"), whether it is a "bad" thing that should be reversed at considerable expense, or even whether it exists, is open to debate.

But AGW advocates could be right(!). At the margin we'll do our part not to make it worse.

The system we bought is powerful enough so that we can take a bath and run the washing machine and dishwasher without running out of hot water. Dan the plumber also said that we can take a shower as long as we want (although that kind of ran counter to the green sales pitch).

Note that a tankless system doesn't fix the problem of waiting for heated water to get to the outlet. That's why we got a recirculation pump.

And look at all the additional storage space we've gained by moving the heater outside.

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