Q&A Spotlight: How Green Are Tankless Water Heaters?
A machine that helps you waste energy more efficiently
By heating water only when there’s a demand for it, tankless water heaters avoid the stand-by losses that inevitably affect more conventional storage units. In theory, this should cut energy use. But in practice, the promise of an endless supply of hot water may increase water consumption and negate any savings.
In this week’s Q&A Spotlight, readers of Green Building Advisor discuss the pros and cons of tankless heaters and offer their own suggestions for heating water economically.
Among their suggestions are hot-water circulation systems, drain-water heat recovery devices, indirect storage tanks connected to high-efficiency boilers and solar hot water collectors. But there are low-tech approaches, too, such as tougher parenting, installing a hot-water shutoff to get kids out of the shower faster and even the suggestion that we take showers less often.
Read the whole discussion in this week’s Green Building Advisor Q&A Spotlight.
Tankless water heaters cut stand-by losses and are often more energy efficient, but the promise of instant hot water can be a double edged sword.