A point-of-use water heater, or POU water heater, can provide instant hot water to certain points in your home with almost pure efficiency. If you get out of bed in the morning and look forward to a hot shower but have to wait for the hot water to kick in, then a point-of-use water heater might make a good addition to that bathroom. Many homes have central water heaters that provide the hot water for every faucet in the home from one location, but a POU water heater is installed underneath the sink or right at the shower. A POU water heater might also be called a point-of-service water heater, sometimes abbreviated as a POS water heater.

Two Kinds of Point-of-Use Water Heaters

Water heaters that serve an entire home come in both tank and tankless varieties, and POU water heaters follow these two categories. A POU tank water heater works a lot like a conventional tank water heater except that it’s a lot smaller. It only needs to heat water for one or perhaps two locations near its installation. POU tank types usually hold approximately 2.5 to 20 gallons of water. They offer instant hot water since the hot water doesn’t have to travel far from the original heating source to the attached fixture.

Tankless POU water heaters start working the instant a button is pressed or the faucet is activated. A few seconds might pass before hot water starts coming out, but it won’t be nearly as long as waiting on a central source that’s further away. Tank-style POU water heaters work a bit faster, but both tank and tankless POU models dramatically reduce the waiting time involved with getting hot water out of the faucet. Tankless POU water heaters need a lot less space than tanked varieties.

POU Water Heater Advantages

The primary benefit of POU water heaters in a home with a central water heater is getting hot water faster to fixtures that are further away from the primary heater than everything else. However, POU water heaters offer other benefits in all kinds of homes. The big one is energy efficiency. Your home’s HVAC is likely your largest energy expenditure, but hot water probably comes in second. POU water heaters can bring this down since they minimize heat loss that happens throughout a water distribution system. This can work out better for your utility bill than increasing the temperature of your central water heater.

You can also just skip having a central water heater if you’re doing renovations or new construction. Putting a POU water heater at every fixture or outlet can still give you hot water everywhere that you want it. They can also make for a longer-lasting investment. Tank water heaters often last from a decade up to 15 years, but tankless water heaters might last a quarter of a century with the right maintenance. POU heaters are also easier to replace since they are smaller than central storage units.

If you intend to sell your home at any point in the future, POU water heaters might appeal to potential buyers. Energy efficiency is important to many aspiring homeowners. They want to keep their monthly utility bills as low as possible after buying a home, and many also want to live in a home that helps the environment.

When Should You Consider a POU Water Heater?

Point-of-use water heaters have obvious benefits, but they might not fit all potential circumstances. Knowing what specific situations they might serve you well in helps you determine if one is the right choice for your home. If you have a smaller home that has only limited fixtures, then a POU water heater could work well. If you only have one bathroom, and your only other hot water outlets are a washing machine and the kitchen sink, then it’s worth considering.

Big homes can also benefit from POU water heaters, even if there is a central storage unit. Heat loss becomes an issue when hot water has to go through older plumbing that might be uninsulated. Along the way, it can lose several degrees Fahrenheit of heat. Heat loss happens more the farther the water has to travel, but a POU heater can elevate the temperature right at the endpoint while leaving things as they are in the central storage tank.

If you don’t use hot water that much to start with, a POU heater or several of them might be more cost-efficient to your energy bill than relying on a central storage tank that maintains hot water supplies all the time without being used. POU heaters are likewise great choices for water outlets that don’t see much use, such as a powder room or a guest bathroom.

Specific Applications

Your bathroom shower is the first place you should consider adding a POU water heater. A POU water heater won’t be serving any other faucet or fixture except the shower, so you’re going to get all the hot water available from it. In homes where people shower at the same time, this can keep the family peace. Many modern homes have water travel up to 80 feet from the central storage unit, and it comes out cooler after that journey as a result. A point-of-use water heater answers this where the shower is.

Your laundry room is another great place to put a point-of-use water heater. Even a washing machine that only does two loads per week might use over 5,000 gallons of water every single year. Adding hot water at the source can add significant savings to your utility bill over the course of the year, especially if your active family uses the washing machine all of the time. Pair a POU water heater with an Energy Star appliance for maximum energy efficiency.

The next point in your home to consider for a POU water heater is your kitchen sink. Many kitchen sinks might use 2 gallons of water every minute. It’s up to you not to run the tap when you don’t need it, but a POU water heater just for the kitchen sink will prevent you from waiting for water hot enough to wash dishes under. Many are so small that you can have them installed right under the sink.

POU Water Heater Installation

The majority of homeowners simply don’t have the tools or knowledge necessary to install a POU water heater. State and municipal building codes might also apply. Have a professional come in so you don’t jeopardize your home or health.

Enjoy Warm Water Better

Even if your home has a whole-house heater for its water supply, a point-of-use water heater can bring efficiency, convenience, and comfort to the right spots in your home. Stop wasting cold water down the faucet or drain, and enjoy the peace of mind of the environmental benefits and energy saved. Many clients in our Northern Virginia service area already rely on us at Meade’s Heating and Air for matters relating to HVAC, indoor air quality, ductwork, and both humidification and dehumidification. Count on Meade’s Heating and Air for all your water heater needs, too. Call us today.

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