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What Is The Difference Between An Instant Water Heater & A Tankless Water Heater?

Should you buy an instant water heater for your home? First, you should know about all of the options available to you.

Buying and installing a hot water heater for your home is probably not high on your list of fun purchases. But as a homeowner, it’s one of the most crucial elements in your living space. Your water heater does so much for you, from efficiently washing pots and pans in a dishwasher to providing the means for a warm bath at the end of the day. If you’re looking to replace or upgrade your system, you may have heard that an instant water heater is the way to go. Is this true? What is an instant water heater? What is the difference between an instant water heater and a tankless water heater? What is an on-demand water heater? There are so many different terms around this tool that it can be challenging to understand.

Before you purchase an instant water heater, you should understand all of the different types of heaters on the market, as well as their common names. Read on to learn all about how an instant water heater compares to the other options available to residential customers.

What Is An Instant Water Heater?

To understand how an instant water heater works, you have to first understand a conventional storage tank water heater. A conventional water heater contains a supply of hot water in a storage tank. This water is constantly heated using either electric or gas fuel, and is distributed through your home’s pipes to the appliance or faucet when needed. These models are fast and reliable, but they can be costly to run.

In contrast, an instant water heater does not contain a storage tank. The water is sourced and heated at the same time — which is whenever you indicate that you need it. For example: by turning on a faucet or pressing “start” on the washing machine.

What Are The Other Names For An Instant Water Heater?

There is no difference between an instant water heater and a tankless water heater, so you may use these terms interchangeably. Essentially, the two types of water heaters are tankless vs. tank storage. Here are some common names also used for instant water heaters:

  • Tankless water heater
  • On demand water heater
  • Instant hot water heater

What Is A Point Of Use Water Heater?

In your product research, you may encounter the point of use water heater. Although this model is not as common as whole-house water heaters, they are technically “instant” or “on-demand.” They are installed near the fixture or appliance they will supply (such as underneath a bathroom sink), and heat only that unit. These are good options for low-quantity appliances or fixtures, such as a guest bathroom. They are not an efficient choice for a high-volume appliance, such as a kitchen sink or main bathroom. It is often recommended that point of use water heaters are used in conjunction with another water heater, such as an instant water heater for the house or a conventional storage tank water heater.

Is An Instant Water Heater Environmentally Friendly?

Yes, an instant or on-demand water heater is environmentally friendly. It’s energy efficient and will save you money on your energy bill over time. Here’s why: It only turns on when you need it. A traditional storage tank water heater is running all the time, to ensure that there’s a cache of hot and ready water whenever you need it. This means that, yep, it’s on even if you’re reading in the next room without using any hot water. It also means that the water heater will run when you’re on vacation or away from home. Conversely, an instant water heater does not use electricity or fuel unless you tell it to. That’s why it’s an eco-friendly option.

Will An Instant Water Heater Work In My Home?

Ready to take the plunge? An instant water heater is a great fit for some, but it’s not right for everyone. These models work best for those with smaller households and lower simultaneous water use. Tankless water heaters aren’t ideal at heating multiple water sources at once (for example, running a dishwasher, filling a tub, and running hot water at the tap). That said, there are some powerful models that do work hard to get the job done, fast. Check out our list of preferred water heater models to browse professional recommendations.

On average, an instant water heater will last longer than its conventional storage counterpart. If you’re looking to replace an old hot water heater, it’s a smart idea to do so before your current unit breaks down for good. Do you have questions about the best option for your family? Contact us today and schedule a consultation[3] with our friendly professional staff.

Contact Blanton’s Air at (910) 822-2866 for all your Fayetteville or Raleigh, NC HVAC and plumbing needs.

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