Are Tankless Water Heaters an Environmentally Friendly Option?

Homeowners have been increasingly interested in appliances that make their home more environmentally friendly. We all have a carbon footprint to consider, of course, but we also have certain needs that must be met – like having hot water.

Now here’s some good news: tankless water heaters are considered by most manufacturers, critics, and contractors to be a green technology. That means, once one of the best tankless water heaters are installed in your home, you’re helping to reduce the potentially harmful emissions that come from your lifestyle choices.

Now that doesn’t mean a tankless water heater will eliminate your carbon footprint from your water heating needs. Many tankless systems operate on natural gas or electricity that comes from coal-fired plants. What it will do is create a savings of 40% or more from your current water heating costs.

How Effective Are Tankless Water Heaters at Reducing a Carbon Footprint?

Noritz is one of today’s top manufacturers of tankless water heaters that meet Energy Star standards. If every home in the United States, equipped currently with a tank-based water heater, upgraded their system to a tankless water heater, it would dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The emissions savings, if everyone upgraded their system, would be the equivalent of taking 6.8 million cars off the road every day.

Why Choose an Energy Star Tankless Water Heater?

Many of today’s best tankless water heaters come with an Energy Star rating or designation. When tankless water heaters qualify for this certification from the U.S. government, then there are specific cost-savings benefits that are directly associated with ownership.

Note: Electric water heaters are not generally as energy efficient today as gas-powered water heaters.

Some utility districts may offer rebates or credits that help to offset the purchase and installation costs of a new tankless water heater. There may be tax credits at the state or national level which may apply for some owners as well.

How Much Waste Is Prevented by Installing a Tankless Water Heater?

Traditional storage-based hot water systems, which often use a tank to store hot water, can create a lot of waste. In the United States, more than 7 million hot water storage tanks are dumped off at local landfills every year. If everyone upgraded to a tankless system, that waste would go away.

Tankless water heaters use a variety of recycled parts, components, and metals in their construction as well. That helps to further reduce the amount of waste that is destined for landfills each year.

What About the Unlimited Hot Water?

The idea of having unlimited hot water is very tempting for homeowners that are used to a tank-based system. When a tankless water heater is used within its specifications, you can take an infinitely-long shower and never run out of water at the perfect temperature.

It is true that homeowners that initially upgrade to a tankless system will use more hot water than they did before. Some households see a surge of more than 50% in their hot water use in the first days and weeks of having the system.

It’s nice to take a long, hot shower without worrying about time constraints.

Once households get used to the system and its benefits, however, hot water use typically declines when a tankless water heater is present. There are also virtually no standby losses experienced from a properly installed tankless system.

If you’re thinking about installing a high-powered tankless system with a huge burner to meet large demands, then the system will use enough energy to offset the benefits one would receive by upgrading from a tank-based system.

For homes that use 41 gallons of hot water or less, a tankless system is an incredible resource that can really help the environment.

Steps You Can Take Right Now to Become More Environmentally Friendly 

You don’t need to be a tankless water heater owner to begin reducing the carbon footprint of your home. Here are some steps you can take right now to reduce the impact you make on the environment.

  • Wash your clothing in cold water whenever possible.
  • Place a dry towel in your dryer when drying clothes to reduce cycle times.
  • Reduce hot water waste by turning off faucets not being used.
  • Keep showers limited to once per day whenever possible.
  • Add solar collectors to your hot water system to reduce fossil fuel energy needs.

We can all work together to help our environment stay healthy for future generations. An easy way to make progress, for many homes, is to consider the installation of a tankless water heater today.

Share this Story
Load More Related Articles
Load More In Blog


  1. Tim Yaotome

    March 22, 2019 at 2:45 am

    I find it great that you said that having a tankless water heater installed can help a homeowner prevent themselves from adding to the 7 million storage tanks thrown each year. With that in mind, I will recommend a local contractor to have one installed in my sister’s home as soon as spring arrives. Doing this will help her take a bath comfortably while the weather around her home is cooler compared to the neighborhood in her old home.


  2. Sarah Packer

    August 1, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    My husband and I are building our dream house, so I wanted info and advice on eco-friendly home appliances. I didn’t know you could take the emissions of 6.8 million cars off the road every day if everyone had a tankless unit. I’ll have to keep that in mind and find an installation service that can tell me more about tankless units, thanks to this post!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Greg Mattson

Tankless Center is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.