Skip to content

Understanding Tankless Water Heaters: Function, Benefits, and Installation Tips

Water heaters are fundamental components of every home, providing comfort and convenience when performing everyday tasks like taking showers, doing laundry, and washing dishes. However, traditional water heaters tend to consume significant amounts of energy, are bulky, and can sometimes run out of hot water. Enter the tankless water heater – a revolutionary device that addresses these problems by providing an innovative approach to heating water. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the world of tankless water heaters and explore their benefits, efficiency, and installation tips.

Tankless water heaters, as the name suggests, heat water without the need for a storage tank. They function by instantly heating water as it passes through the device, ensuring an endless supply of hot water whenever you need it, without wasting energy on keeping a tank of water heated all day. This on-demand approach offers several advantages over traditional water heaters, including energy savings, space conservation, and longer-lasting equipment.

By opting for a tankless water heater, you could significantly reduce your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint, and elevate the level of comfort within your home. Additionally, the compact design of these appliances allows for more flexibility in terms of installation and location within your living space.

We will discuss the primary benefits of tankless water heaters in detail, including energy efficiency, cost savings, and space management advantages. Furthermore, we’ll outline the functional aspects of these devices, comparing them to their traditional counterparts, explaining how they differ and detailing the installation process.

If you’re considering upgrading your home’s hot water system or if you’re curious about the concept of tankless water heaters, this comprehensive guide will provide all the essential information you need to make an informed decision. And once you’re ready to take the plunge, our team at Furnace King Home Services will be on hand to assist you with professional expertise and guidance through the installation process.

How Tankless Water Heaters Function

Tankless water heaters, also referred to as on-demand or instantaneous water heaters, work differently from traditional storage tank water heaters. Instead of continuously heating a large tank of water, they heat water instantly as it flows through their internal chambers. There are two main types of tankless water heaters:

1. Electric Tankless Water Heaters: These devices use electric coils to heat the water as it passes through the unit.

2. Gas Tankless Water Heaters: Gas models use a gas burner to heat the water and typically require venting for safe operation.

Both types of tankless water heaters have a flow sensor that detects when you turn on a hot water tap. Once the sensor recognizes the demand for hot water, the heating elements or gas burner activate, rapidly heating the water to the desired temperature, which is typically adjustable via a thermostat. As the water flows through the heater, it gets heated and then distributed directly to your faucets, showers, or appliances.

Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

One of the primary benefits of tankless water heaters is their energy efficiency. In a traditional storage tank water heater, a considerable amount of energy is used to maintain the temperature of the water 24/7, even when you’re not using hot water. This results in a significant amount of energy waste, also known as standby heat loss.

Tankless water heaters only heat water when it’s needed, eliminating standby heat loss and cutting energy consumption. According to Natural Resources Canada, a tankless water heater can be up to 30% more energy-efficient than a traditional storage tank model. This heightened efficiency translates to reduced energy bills for homeowners, making tankless water heaters an eco-friendly and cost-effective choice.

Space Management Advantages

Another advantage of tankless water heaters is their compact design. Traditional tank water heaters can take up significant space in your home, whereas tankless units are small, wall-mounted devices that can be installed both indoors and outdoors. This helps save valuable square footage in your home and offers more flexibility in terms of installation location.

Additionally, tankless water heaters are easier to maintain due to their lack of a potentially problematic storage tank. They’re generally built to last around 20 years or more, which is significantly longer than most traditional water heaters, whose life expectancy is approximately 10–15 years.

Installation Considerations

Prior to installing a tankless water heater, it’s essential to consider a few factors to ensure optimal functionality:

1. Determine Required Flow Rate: Calculate the maximum flow rate you’ll need, based on your home’s hot water usage. To do this, add up the flow rates of all the devices you expect to use simultaneously and choose a tankless water heater that meets or exceeds your needs.

2. Size and Choose the Right Model: Select an appropriately-sized tankless water heater based on your calculated flow rate, energy source (electric or gas), and temperature rise – the difference between the incoming water temperature and your desired output temperature.

3. Proper Venting and Gas Lines: If you’re installing a gas tankless water heater, ensure you have proper venting and gas line capabilities, as gas models have specific requirements in terms of exhaust and fuel supply.

4. Consult Professionals: When choosing and installing a tankless water heater, it’s always best to consult a professional to ensure you get the most suitable and efficient solution for your home.


By understanding the functioning, benefits, and installation considerations of tankless water heaters, you can make an informed decision as to whether this innovative and efficient water heating solution is the ideal choice for your home. With increased energy efficiency, cost savings, space conservation, and longer-lasting equipment, tankless water heaters stand as a compelling alternative to traditional storage tank models.

If you’re ready to explore the world of tankless water heaters and upgrade your home’s hot water system, our team at Furnace King Home Services is here to support you with expert advice, accurate sizing calculations, and professional installation services. Contact us today to experience the numerous advantages of efficient on-demand hot water in your Canadian home.