What Are Point-of-Use Water Heaters?

water heater repair

Imagine a home where all the hot water is connected right to the sink where you need it most. This concept is known as a point-of-use water heater. Here is what you need to know about point-of-use water heaters, and how they could work in your home.

What Does “Point-of-Use” Mean?

There are certain systems in your home that are intended to cover the entire home. If you have central air conditioning, the system generally delivers air to all the rooms equally. However, if you have a window air conditioner, it could be considered point-of-use because it is designed to serve a function in one specific area of the home. Point-of-use water heaters are connected to a particular faucet, delivering hot water on-demand or from a small tank. This way, you do not have to use the water heater for the rest of the home at a particular faucet.

When Are Traditional Water Heaters Insufficient?

If you look at the standard tank water heater, you realize that there can be a lot of waste involved. You have to run the water in the faucet for seconds or even a minute before the plumbing delivers hot water to the faucet. That wastes water, unless you are pouring it into a bucket to water your indoor plants. It also wastes the energy used to heat the water, since the pipes cannot provide perfect insulation all the time. A point-of-use water heater wastes less energy and water, because you do not have to transport the hot water a long distance, or run the faucet until it arrives.

Which Homes Need Point-of-Use Water Heaters?

Energy wasted during transport does not mean that a central hot water heater is less efficient by default. Rather, it only illustrates the possible circumstances in which adding a point-of-use hot water heater may make sense. Most existing homes are set up for centralized water heaters, either with tanks or tankless varieties. If you want to add a bedroom and bathroom combo to your home, but connecting the plumbing to your central hot water heater is too complicated, point-of-use may be a good choice. This also applies to anyone who wants to plumb part of their homes where plumbing has not existed, such as a mini kitchen with faucet and sink in the basement.

Could I Benefit from a Point-of-Use Water Heater?

Home upgrades are always a good time to consider decentralized water heating, but you should also think about your total water heating load. Some homes, especially older homes, are designed to accommodate central water heaters with small tanks. If you move in with a larger family, you may struggle with the limitations of the existing tank. Adding a point-of-use water heater could take some of the pressure off your water heater, without sacrificing comfort or efficiency.
Getting enough hot water in an efficient manner is a challenge for any homeowner. If you have areas of your home that have a high heating load or are difficult to provide hot water, a point-of-use water heater might be right for you. For more information about water heaters for your home, contact your Sacramento plumber at Ace Plumbing.