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Written on: February 5, 2015

KIDS ASK the Best Questions

Can you explain how we get all our hot water out of something that small?

This is what we call a tankless water heater. We also call it an on-demand water heater because it only heats water when it’s needed. So the next time you take a shower and turn on the hot water faucet, cold water will go through a pipe into this heater. There is something inside called a flow sensor that will turn on a propane gas burner to heat the water as it goes through. When you turn off the faucet, the gas burner shuts off.

So why is this one better than the other tank we had?

The old tank we just took out used a lot of energy to heat the water. That can be expensive because it needed to keep 80 gallons of water hot at all times. You don’t need to do that with a tankless water heater. Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years, which means they last twice as long as a storage tank.* And look at all the extra space you now have! The tank we took out was five feet tall and two feet wide. You can see that this tankless unit can fit right on the wall because it’s a lot smaller than that.

Will this save us money?

Yes! We have found that tankless water heaters save the average home about $90 every year on hot water costs.** If you’re good at math, you’ll find that after 20 years that’s going to add up to a lot of money.

*U.S. Department of Energy **U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Are we being green?

You certainly are! Many products are Energy Star rated, including oil heating systems and propane appliances. A blue Energy Star label means a product will use less energy and cause less pollution.

In just one year, Energy Star products helped Americans avoid the same amount of pollution as comes from 23 million cars! And together, these people saved $12 billion on their energy bills in one year.

Sometimes, even one little thing you do can make a big difference. If every home in America replaced just one traditional lightbulb with a compact fluorescent lamp, we could save another $600 million—and create less pollution because we would use less electricity.

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