Is an Instant Water Heater a Good Investment?

Instant Hot Water? or Conventional Water Heater?

First, the answer to the question on many people’s minds: What is an instant water heater?

An Instant Water Heater uses a device called a heat exchanger to rapidly heat water “on demand”. This is in contrast to the traditional conventional water heater that uses either gas or electricity to heat your water, and then stores that water in an insulated water tank.

So, why all the fuss when it comes to choosing between the two types of water heaters? In most homes in North Georgia from Jefferson to Dawsonville, and in fact throughout the USA, the water heater is the single largest energy consuming appliance in the home.

About Heat Exchangers

In its most basic form a heat exchanger is a system whereby water moves through a high efficiency conductor such as a copper pipe that is exposed directly to a high temperature heat generator such as gas flame jets or conventional electric heating devices composed of a electric resistant alloy. The conventional electric element is typically comprised of a Ni-chrome alloy that is composed of 20 percent chrome and 80 percent nickel. Alternatively the electric element can be composed of ceramics of other more exotic alloys.

Making an Informed Decision

In the end, the decision to buy an instant water heater or upgrade to a conventional water heater is a numbers game. The life of a water heater is approx. 20 years. Based on the average water usage of most common residences in the USA it can be estimated that a tank-less water heater will save you an average of 80 dollars per year. Meaning over the entire life of the water heater ownership you will realize a $1,600 or more savings. The cost of a tank-less water heater is likely to be about 3 times that of a conventional water heater including installation.

So, the basic formula works like this:
Pick a conventional water heater, multiply its price by three. If that amount is less than $1,600 then you should likely not switch to a tank-less water heater. The greatest saving that typically can be realized with a water heater upgrade actually comes from the greater efficiency of owning a new water heater, compared to a 10 to 20 year old unit.

When your water heater goes from being 20 percent of your energy bill to 30 percent, an upgrade to a new model (which will reduce your bill to a more manageable percentage) can be more of a bargain than waiting for total failure of your existing water heater!

Call Hulsey Plumbing today for immediate water heater service: (770) 536-1161

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