101 Alternative Energy: On-Demand Hot Water

By Sarah Rich / Published by Dwell
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We don’t keep a kettle boiling on the stove all day for the one moment when we want tea, so why do we keep water heated around the clock when all we need it for is a shower or a load of laundry?

On-demand heating technology, also known as tankless heating, makes hot water available only when it’s needed, saving the energy required to heat it when it’s not being used. A tankless heater is much smaller than a typical hot water tank, containing just a set of coils through which water passes for quick warming. Though the on-demand system costs more than a standard hot water system, it saves money over its lifetime as it eliminates most of the energy (and costs) that heating your water normally demands.

There are many different manufacturers of tankless hot water systems and a range of options depending on whether you want gas or electric, what your demand is, how large a space you have for the heater, and how many points of use the heater is intended to serve. Tankless water heaters generally last longer than standard storage tanks.

Sarah Rich

@sarahrich

When not working in design, Sarah Rich writes, talks and forecasts about food and consumer culture.

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