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McElroy's Topeka - Tankless Water Heater


Things to Know Before Switching to a Tankless Water Heater

October 15, 2019

Heating up water accounts for 20% to 30% of home energy consumption. When a homeowner is looking to reduce their monthly energy bills, reducing the amount of energy required to clean your dishes or take a hot shower is a great place to start.

The first storage tank water heater system first appeared in 1889. The original design made on-demand hot water available in homes for the first time. The first designs were also highly efficient largely because they were made of solid copper(imagine the cost of that today)! Modern water heaters have become more efficient as technology continues to improve. But even as the technology and materials continue to advance, there will always be the reality that keeping a large tank of water at a continuous temperature creates some natural inefficiencies.

Tankless Water Heaters

McElroy’s can install tankless water heaters for Topeka and Lawrence residents looking to improve the energy efficiency in their homes. Tankless water heaters come with some advantages over the more common storage tank systems. Tankless water heaters ...

  • Provide an endless supply of hot water
  • Use up to 30% less energy
  • Have a longer lifespan than tank storage systems


The first tankless water heaters appeared in the U.S. in 1929 but they were less efficient than their tanked predecessors. Tankless water heaters continued to improve and became a popular option in European countries in the 70s. The popularity was due in part to the space savings realized by tankless water heaters. They require considerably less space and can free up valuable square footage, particularly in heavily populated areas.

Tankless water heaters provide a continuous supply of heated water by instantly heating water as it enters the system. Tankless water heaters are available in electric or gas options. When hot water is required for a shower or household chores the system draws water and passes the water through a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a familiar technology as it is a system similar to that used to heat and cool your home. In the water heater, water passes over a series of heated coils, in your heating and air system, the air in your home passes through a series of coils that either heat or cool it before sending it through the vents.

Despite the many obvious advantages, there are some things to consider before having a tankless water heater in your home.

Understand your water usage.

If your home uses 40 gallons or less of hot water per day, tankless water heaters can provide a tremendous savings. At usage rates above 40 gallons, the efficiency can begin to lessen as the unit works to meet demand. Another factor to consider is the amount of water being used regularly at one time. Tankless units have a lower flow rate than a standard water heater, because of this they can struggle to keep up with pull from multiple sources. If you are running the dishwasher you may not be able to take a shower at the same time.

Initial cost

Many homeowners are turned away by the initial cost of a tankless water heater. The units can come with a larger price tag than a standard unit. There are also additional installation costs to consider. Tankless units have a higher power draw and require electrical infrastructure before installation. Fortunately, McElroy Electric is available to make this process simple.

Long-term costs

Comparing the initial costs with the long-term costs of owning and operating a tankless water heater can help you make a confident decision. The operating costs and upkeep for a tankless unit are much lower than a tank storage model. In addition, a tankless unit has a lifespan that is often 10 years greater than a standard water heater. These factors make a tankless system a viable option as the lifetime cost of the unit, including installation, can be considerably lower than the lifetime cost of a tank storage unit.

The craftsmen at McElroy’s are happy to discuss the best option for water heater in your home. Contact us at 785-266-4870 to see if a tankless water heater is the right option for your home.

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