The Department of Energy website points out that water heating is responsible for at least 20 percent of a home's monthly energy consumption. This percentage maybe be even larger in multistory homes, which have unique needs when it comes to efficient utility infrastructure. Thankfully, homeowners can address this challenge immediately by upgrading their water heaters. A high-end tankless heater has several features that make the appliance uniquely suited for heating a multi-story home.
Eliminate wait times
Wait time for hot water is the bane of any water heating system, especially in a multi-story home. Bathrooms on the top floors of a house with a centralized reservoir heater, for example, will have extended wait times as hot water travels through pipes. Residents also waste water while they run faucets in wait of hot water. Even worse, the long distance from the source of the hot water and point-of-use results in extra heat loss. The San Francisco Chronicle explains that hot water heaters can be used to address these problems in multiple ways. Some homeowners deploy hybrid systems that make use of a reservoir heater in tandem with a tankless heater. The two systems constantly mix water together to ensure that the entire house receives a consistent water temperature. Alternatively, tankless hot water heaters are extremely compact can be installed on each floor within proximity of a point of use.
Improve heating efficiency
House Logic reports that homes stand to save on energy costs by switching to tankless, up to $107 annually. The home improvement resource notes that homeowners can improve water heating efficiency by 34 percent in homes that use less than 41 gallons per day and up to 14 percent for homes that use over 86 gallons per day. Much of these savings come from the fact that tankless water heaters are, by design, much more efficient than reservoir heaters. Top-tier models offer up to 99 percent thermal energy efficiency, compared to reservoir tanks that average below 70 percent energy efficiency.
Complement solar panels
Many owners of multi-story homes invest in solar power to offset high utility costs, and this strategy can be used for water heating as well. However, solar heating is limited by access to direct sunlight. Cloudy days may make it impossible to take a hot shower unless the home has access to back up water heating. Compact tankless water heaters make perfect boosters for homes that typically run on solar but are also looking for a reliable source of extra water heating.