Tankless Water Heaters: Covering the Basics
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Tankless Water Heaters: Covering the Basics


Due to advances in water-heating technology, individuals who are renovating or building a home in the Portland area have a new option – tankless water heaters. While not completely new to the market, these devices are new enough that many people don’t know much about them. Let’s cover a few of the basics so you can make an informed purchasing decision.


The two main types of water heaters currently available on the market are conventional storage and tankless. Conventional water heaters employ a large holding tank. Cold water is pulled into the tank and heated. When a tap is activated, hot water flows from the top of the tank. When the water in the tank is used or loses its warmth, a gas or electric element reheats it.

Tankless heaters are fundamentally different. When a tap is turned on, tankless units heat the water on demand as it moves toward its destination, either with an electric heating element or gas burner. When the tap is turned off, the heater shuts off until needed. The unit does not hold water and does not operate throughout the day to maintain the temperature, as does a storage tank water heater. This is the main factor that makes tankless water heaters so energy efficient.


  • Efficiency – Tankless water heaters can create energy savings of 8 to 50 percent depending on the amount of water that your home uses on a daily basis.
  • Cost – The cost of a tankless water heater is typically more than a conventional water heater. While this may sound like a disadvantage, tankless water heaters can significantly reduce energy consumption and usually enjoy a longer life span than storage units. If they malfunction, they typically can be repaired instead of replaced.
  • Additional units – Tankless water heaters can be installed in any area of your home where hot water is used. Using multiple units will reduce or eliminate fluctuations in water temperature throughout the home if more than one hot water source is being used at any given time.

If you are thinking about purchasing a tankless water heater for your home, please contact us at (503) 266-1249. Serving the greater Portland area, we can provide you with the service to fit your needs.

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