How Much Electricity Does a Tankless Water Heater Use

Best Selling Tankless Water Heater

Your incoming electric bill may be overwhelming, thus making you wonder how much energy your electric tankless water heater consumes every time you turn on that switch or knob. According to the energy department, the hot water heater is responsible for about 17 percent of the total energy use in the average home.

So, exactly how much electricity does a tankless water heater use? Well, this depends on several variables, including its age and size, whether it is a tank or tankless model, what temperature you set it to, how much hot water you use in a day, and other factors.

The average electric tankless water heater needs at least 120 amps to operate, and the average household’s total capacity is 200 amps. This means you will have to upgrade your electrical system to accommodate the larger load demand.

How Many Watts Does an Electric Tankless Water Heater Use?

As a responsible consumer, you should always get information on your electric tankless water heater’s electricity and power needs. Nevertheless, the power used by an electric tankless water heater always depends on your family’s size, the personal usage of hot water, and the type of unit you use.

For accurate numbers on your water heater, you should know the number of watts for your unit. You can quickly check your unit’s label for the details. You should be able to find the brand’s label on the side of your water heater. It’s affixed next to the panel that will put aside when replacing the heating element. It’s vital for an electric unit to provide easy access to the heating element at all times.

The label informs you of each watt usage and operating voltage of the element. Should your water heater work on 240V of power, it probably comes with two elements, so there are two values for the wattage: one for every element.

For instance, electric tankless water heaters that run on 120V of power present a longer recovery time, which is a negative aspect for most applications. 120V require 1,125watts, whereas 240V units need around 4,500 watts. Should your water heater come with two elements, you may be tempted to suppose that you have to increase the wattage to get the best out of your unit.

An electric tankless water heater with two elements and labels informing you about 4,500 watts of power consumption of every component will need a maximum of 4,500 watts and not 9,000 watts.

The age and size of your unit, the temperature you set it to, the amount of water you use in the day, and other factors impact the wattage your heater needs. Multiplying the number of watts for your heater by the price for kWh by the number of hours you use the heater in a day and dividing it by 1,000 gives you the cost estimate.

Most of the time, using a water heater three hours a day may consume 4,000-watt.

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

how do water heaters work

Tankless water heaters function by heating the water directly without the use of a storage tank. When you turn on your hot water tap, the cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water, and as a result, the tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water although, a tankless water heater’s output limits the flow rate.

Normally, tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2–5 gallons (7.6–15.2 liters) per minute, while the gas-fired tankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than electric ones. However, you might notice that even your largest, gas-fired model cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses in your large household.

For instance, if you shower and run your dishwasher simultaneously, you can stretch the tankless water heater to its limit. Therefore, to overcome this problem, you will need to install two or more gas or electric tankless water heaters connected in parallel for simultaneous demands of hot water. You can consider other alternatives to install separate tankless water heaters for appliances that use a lot of hot water in your homes, such as a washing machine or dishwater.

Tankless water heaters are around 24-34% more energy-efficient than tank water heaters in homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water per day or 8-14 % more efficient in homes that use 86 gallons water or more.

However, keep in mind that these models also tend to cost more to purchase and may require new wiring in your house, which might offset some of your energy savings.

How Much Does an Electric Tankless Water Heater Cost?

water heater bills

When considering purchasing an electric tankless water heater, pay more attention to the three components: the buying price, installation cost, and operating cost. Among these components, a comparison between an electric and gas-fired tankless water heater will enforce the money and energy savings. Let’s get started!

1. Buying Price

The purchasing price of most electric tankless water heaters starts at about $125, whereas, for your whole-house electric tankless water heaters, they range to about $1,000. On the other hand, buying most gas tankless water heaters start at about $125, although if you are willing to invest in high-quality, long-lasting gas tankless models, their prices start at about $500 and range to more than $2,000.

2. Installation Cost

The installation process can cost you so much money or very little, depending on your expertise and knowledge. Installing an electric model can cost from $150 to more than $700. The cost to install a gas water heater can be more expensive since it costs about $600 to $1,500.

Therefore, when purchasing a tankless water heater, ensure you have enquired whether it is DIY installed, which might be possible for either type based on your skills. Some manufacturers can offer their professional plumbers to work on the system at a discount.

3. Operating Cost or Energy Cost

This cost is the cost of energy required to run the water heater. The annual operating costs for electric water heaters average about $75 for the lowest capacities to more than $300 per year for whole-house electric tankless water heaters. However, gas water heaters cost approximately $200 to $600 per year to operate based on their size and efficiency.

Therefore, consider an electric tankless water heater with an energy savings feature for a minimal bill. Now that you know your electric tankless water heater’s cost, let’s discuss ways to keep your bills to a minimum.

How To Keep Your Electricity Bills to a Minimum

Electricity bills can at times come at an extensively high rate and sunken your pockets very quickly. Your home appliances such as electric tankless water heaters contribute highly to this escalation, raising the need for you to know how much energy you consume. Therefore, to reduce how much electricity your electric tankless water heater uses and bring your bills down, you should consider these tips:

1. Turn Down the Thermostat

Your electric water heater comes with a thermostat that regulates the water temperature to prevent freezing water and scalding incidences from occurring. Most hot water heaters are set to 140 degrees by default, but reducing it to 120 is still hot for most household uses and creates less scalding risk.

2. Avoid Lingering Too Long in the Shower

Enjoying the luxury of a hot shower can be relaxing and expensive. Although no one suggests that you suffer through cold showers in the wintertime, think about limiting or minimizing your bathing time. Consider the possibility of not indulging in 20 or 30-minute long cleaning sessions.

A trick to keep your water and energy consumption to a minimum is to turn the shower off while you soap up and wash your hair. You can then restore the flow to rinse off, and you are done in a very short time!

3. Install Low-flow Faucets and Shower Heads

The flow rate of your water determines the amount of electric energy to be consumed. Appliances that produce high-pressure water are more likely to consume more energy to heat the water compared to less water that flows through your fixtures per minute. Therefore, to minimize your electricity bills, consider appliances with low-flow rate since they will require less heat to heat up.

4. Upgrade to a More Efficient Electric Tankless Water Heater

As every day comes and goes, so does the water heating technology. Older versions of water heaters are known to consume more electricity than the newer models, which are improved to shave a few dollars off your bills. Therefore, if your water heating system brings on a load of bills, consider upgrading and investing in a model with the Energy Star label, promising to be among the more modest energy consumers on the market.

5. Consider Your Other Appliances

Other than your showers and kitchen sinks, appliances such as your dishwasher and washing machine consume a considerable amount of electric energy due to hot water usage. To ensure minimal bills, consider investing in energy-efficient appliances that use low-energy settings to reduce the hot water heater burden.

6. Consider the Dishwasher Over Handwashing

While dishwashers use their energy share, they tend to use less hot water than washing dishes by hand, particularly if you have a high-efficiency model. For minimal energy usage, wait to run the unit until you have a full load of dishes.

Benefits of Using a Tankless Water Heater

Having an electric tankless water heater can be beneficial to you and your household in many factors. Here are some of the benefits you should keep in mind while searching for your perfect hot water heater.

a. Takes Up Less Space

Tankless heaters produce instant and on-demand how water for any appliance in your home. Electric tankless water heaters come as a small compact device that can be mounted on the wall and heat your water as it flows through. The unit occupies a smaller space than a large bulky storage tank that holds the hot water, thus risking standby heat loss.

b. Unlimited Hot Water

With this type of hot water heater, there is no limit on your hot water usage. The hot water heater allows you to have on-demand, continuous and endless hot water for as long as you want. It also reduces water wastage that occurs while waiting for it to heat. You never have to worry about the person before you in the shower taking up all the hot water!

c. Durable and Long-Lasting

Due to modern technology, Tankless water heaters are made out of quality materials that reduce the possibility of corrosion, thus having double the lifespan compared to a normal water heater. The most standard unit can last you up to around 20 years.

d. Energy Bill

Having a quality tankless water heater installed in your home could potentially cut your energy bill in half! These energy-efficient units can save you a ton of money. Ensure your unit has an energy-saving feature before buying it.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Electric Tankless Water Heater

The market is flooded with numerous tankless water heaters, which might be challenging to go through until you find the perfect fit for you. They can help you save space, money, energy, and water. Here are some essential factors to consider when buying your electric tankless heater for swift and hassle-free shopping.

1. Size

Find out exactly what size tankless water heater you will need. An average household in the United States typically uses 64 gallons of water every day. This can be a lot of water that may be difficult to determine the unit’s capacity or gallons accommodated. Instead, look at gallons per minute (GPM).

Tankless water heaters also use the Britsh Thermal Unit input to help determine efficiency ratings to go along with GPM. Therefore, you will need to look at your household’s GPM and your home’s temperature rise.

2. Consider the Warranties

Ensure you look over any warranties that may come with a new tankless water heater. Good quality heaters will come with an extended warranty that will keep you covered if it ever breaks down.

Keep in mind the type of water that flows into your home as well. If it’s hard water, it may cause clogging, wear and tear on your new device faster. For security purposes, you will want to find a tankless water heater that has a longer warranty.

Keep in mind that this is a unit that is essential to everyday life, and you’ll be using it every day, so find a quality warranty that covers you for your new device!

3. Water Heater Efficiency

Tankless Water heaters can save you money with how efficient they are and will always outshine normal water heaters in performance. When looking at a tankless water heater, enquire the energy rating (EF – Energy Factor)they use to master how efficient the device is.

The higher the EF rating, the best and more efficient the device will be. EF is determined by the amount of energy from your water heater and then divided by the energy that goes into the device.

4. Flow Rate

Ensure the heater you intend to purchase doesn’t alter the flow rate of your incoming water. Buy a heater compatible with your already existing plumbing works, as this will ensure a consistent hot water supply from your new water heater.

5. Safety Precautions

Be on the lookout for the protection measures that the water heater manufacturer has taken into account. This is most important for electric heaters. The elements and thermostats should be made of the right material and the electricity line separated from the waterline. Consider getting a heater that is UL safety approved to avoid scalding incidents. This way, you will have peace of mind knowing you are safe using it.

6. Its Design

Whether you are upgrading or buying a tankless water heater for the first time, you do not have to change your home or wall decor to accommodate your style. Therefore, consider getting a water heater that will blend well with your other already existing appliances and decor.

7. Ease of Installation and Maintenance

Get a heater that you can easily install yourself, and it’s easy to maintain. This will help avoid incidents where the heater keeps breaking down, and you have to keep incurring extra repair costs. Check out the new water heater warranty offered, as it will assure you of its functionality.

Following the aforementioned factors to consider when buying your tankless water heater, be rest assured to find the best hot water system that suits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do tankless water heaters use a lot of electricity?

Tankless heaters are around 24 to 34 percent more efficient than heaters with tanks in homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water per day, or 8 to 14 percent more efficient in homes that use 86 gallons of water or more.

2. How much does it cost to run an electric tankless water heater?

The annual operating costs for electric water heaters average about $75 for the lowest capacities to more than $300 per year for whole-house electric tankless water heaters. Gas water heaters cost approximately $200 to $600 per year to operate based on their size and efficiency.

3. What is the downside of a tankless water heater?

Tankless water heaters produce an endless supply of hot water, take up less space, have a lower risk of leaking, are safer, and have a significantly longer lifespan on average. The main disadvantage of tankless water heaters is their upfront cost (unit and installation) is significantly higher than tank-style heaters.

4. Is an electric tankless water heater worth it?

Tankless water heaters save money in the long run, but initial costs are higher than tank models. … The U.S. Department of Energy estimates gas-fired tankless heaters save an average of $108 in energy costs per year over their traditional tank counterparts, while electric tankless heaters save $44 per year.

5. Can you install a tankless water heater yourself?

While it is possible to install your own tankless water heater, it’s not a job for inexperienced do-it-yourselfers. There are several different sizes and styles of tankless water heaters, including propane, natural gas, and electric, along with single-room or whole-house sized models.

6. What voltage does a tankless water heater use?

Tankless heaters come in all different sizes. There are small water heater units designed for point-of-use that only draw 110 volts and more powerful units which can heat enough hot water for an entire household.

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