Ask the Expert

Bruce Cunigan

Q: How does a Rinnai tankless water heater make hot water?

A: You simply turn on a hot-water faucet. A flow sensor will activate a propane gas burner to heat the water. The heating will continue until you turn off the faucet, at which point the gas burner shuts off.

Q: Why is this better than a water tank?

A: Tankless systems are “on demand,” so they heat water only when it’s needed. This eliminates standby losses that occur in systems with hot water storage tanks like the typical electric water heater. That’s why tankless units can save you about $150 per year in energy costs compared with a typical electric storage water.* Plus, the life span of tankless water heaters is usually twice that of standard tank water heaters.

*U.S Environmental Protection Agency.