What Are Tankless Water Heaters & How Do They Work?

What Are Tankless Water Heaters & How Do They Work?

Most homes in the U.S. have tank-type water heaters installed when they are built. While these serve their function well, they aren’t the most efficient, and require great amounts of maintenance over time. This results in numerous expenses, from larger energy bills to the costs of hiring a professional technician. A wise long-term solution would be to purchase and install a tankless water heater or demand water heater.


At Argent Heating & Cooling, our service is about providing our customers with the highest quality appliances, all fitting within any homeowner’s budget. Our appliance services include tankless water heaters, brand new HVAC systems, and first-rate hydronic heating installations, all for customers throughout the Washington D.C. Metro area. Hiring us will involve prompt and worthwhile service from one of our expert technicians. 


Here are some things you should know about tankless waters heaters and how they work for those who have them: 

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heater is a more energy-efficient alternative to the tank-type water heaters found in most homes in the U.S. They are known as demand-type, or instantaneous water heaters, as their primary function is to produce hot water right when it is needed, and no more after. This is unlike a tank-based water heater, which must constantly heat the water that is in the tank in order to produce hot water at a later point. Thus, a tankless water heater is more energy-efficient, as it only uses up the energy its takes to heat the precise amount of hot water as needed. 


According to the U.S. Department of Energy, tankless water heaters can be between 24%-34% more energy efficient than traditional water heaters. While the initial costs of installing one may be higher, the decreased cost of maintenance over time and the savings you’ll receive from your energy bill will eventually result in a complete return on investment.


Tank water heaters are also more prone to having issues over time, as they last about 10 to 15 years, punctuated with necessary maintenance services in between. On the other hand, demand water heaters last more than 20 and have components that are more easily replaceable, which means it will still reduce costs for your over time than the alternative. 

What are the Functions of a Tankless Water Heater? 

If you are thinking of having one installed, it’s important to know the process of how a tankless water heater will function in comparison to the tank-based one you may have now. 


  1. Firstly, when you turn on the hot-water tap at your faucet, a flow sensor will notice water heading to the heater, sending a signal to start making hot water to the control panel. 
  2. Specifically, when it comes to gas-fired units, the control panel will begin the process of heating water by turning on the fan that will draw in outdoor air. 
  3. It will then open the gas valve, which releases gas that will be ignited by the burner. 
  4. The heat exchanger will take the heat generated by the burning gas and transfer it to the water moving through its tubing.
  5. After that, the mixing valve will control the temperature of the water leaving the exchanger. A temperature sensor will detect if the water is greater or lesser than the setting you placed on the tap. This will cause the control panel to adjust the gas valve, mixing valve, and flow-regulating water valve, all in order to ensure the water is at the right temperature. 
  6. Finally, a sealed vent, or a set of them, will release exhaust gases from the gas valve and burner.

Argent Heating & Cooling: Quality Hydronic Heating Installations in Washington D.C. & Maryland 

A demand, or tankless, water heater is a long-term investment for the utility of your home. Among the benefits that you’ll receive are a guaranteed reduction in your home’s energy consumption, your energy bills, and cost of maintenance for your water heater. 


To receive a fast and stress-free installation for your tankless water heater, call on a professional HVAC service like Argent Heating and Cooling. We also perform efficient hydronic heating installations, indoor air quality evaluations, and home appliance repair. Our specialists have served Washington D.C. and Maryland for over a decade, providing quick and convenient services at flat rate services.


Contact us at 703-281-6300 to schedule a service call and discuss your heating and cooling needs with one of our specialists today!