Green tip for week #46 — Week of March 15, 2009

Use a tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters are an energy-saving solution.  As we all know by now, less energy consumption means less environmental impact, and anything we can do to shift our habits from consumption to conservation can have a profound impact on environmental responsibility.  Tankless water heaters are unique from the traditional water heaters most of us have, as they do not store hot water for an indefinite period, which is what creates wasted energy with a traditional water heater.  Many people who use traditional water heaters keep an unecessary amount of hot water on “reserve” in their water heater, when their actual hot water consumption may only be a fraction of what they are continually heating and storing.

By contrast, in a tankless water heater a heating element heats the water “on demand”, or only when it is needed.  Water flows through the water heater and gets heated for the application it is being used for (shower, sink, clothes washer, dishwasher, etc.).  Since the rate of heating may be insufficient for heavy-demand users (multiple showers in a home or apartment running at once, etc.), varying applications and installation configurations can include multiple units, a unit at each hot water source, etc.  Since traditional hot water heaters (with a tank) have a limited duration of useful life (often 8-10 years), you will inevitably have to replace yours.  Before you purchase a new one, give serious consideration to the enviornmental and energy-saving (i.e., money-saving) benefits of a tankless water heater.

For resources to check out, look at the tankless water heaters from Noritz ( and Navien (

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