In the past few years, the popularity of tankless water heaters has been on the rise. It’s no wonder either, considering they offer numerous advantages over their older and larger cousins. The size you need is determined by a couple different factors, but let’s first learn more about these machines.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Exactly what it sounds like — it is a machine that warms up your water without the use of a tank. These heaters rely on different metrics based on the overall flow rate in your house, a rate that is increased depending on the type and how many devices you are using at any given time.
Tankless water heaters work by directly warming up the water when the hot water is turned on. This is done with a heating element that is powered either via electricity or gas. These machines come with varying flow rates as well.
What Are Some Advantages of Tankless Over Normal Water Heaters?
According to Smith Heating & A/C Service, the best HVAC repair in Athens, GA, tankless water heaters are much more energy efficient than conventional versions. Saving the average family $100 in electricity costs a year, these machines also have the advantage of lasting longer, as they have less wear and tear.
To quantify the energy savings a bit better, you need to understand that tankless model are streamlined to lose as little as 2% of the energy they accumulate, compared to 22% with storage containers. They also have lifespans that are two to three times longer on average.
What Do I Need to Consider When Getting a Tankless Water Heater?
Following building codes is going to be the biggest concern, as local building regulations can determine the size and where it is placed. The fuel type (either electricity or natural gas) can also be an issue, along with the climate and any potential safety issues.
Gas has been shown to be noticeably more powerful in heating up the water than typical electric models. Electric ones typically top out at around 5 GPM, while gas-powered models can go as high as 7.4 GPM.
A typical heater can cost around $865 to install, while a tankless system can easily double or triple that cost. Saving around 10 to 15 percent a year means that a tankless system will take about 19 years for it to pay itself off compared to a normal storage water heater.
What Size Do I Need?
The most important thing to consider is the amount of water flow you’re going to need. Most appliances have a GPM, or gallons per minute rating. If you think you’re going to have multiple things going at once, like a dishwasher and shower, you need to add both of their rates up. Electric water heaters work best with just a single machine or shower going off at once, while gas-powered systems work best with a larger amount of water flow.
You’re going to want to know the rough temperature of your cold water along with the gallons per minute. A comfortable hot temperature for water is typically around 110 F, so you need to know the temperature of your cold water. For instance, if the temperature comes out at 60 F, you need to have a machine that can warm it up by at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Special Features Do I Need to Consider?
Most tankless water heaters have some sort of adjustable digital control panel. It’s recommended to get one that has a remote function and can be put where it easily accessible. You should also have a machine that is suitable for the amount that you need it for.
Some tankless water heaters can be used in conjunction with a storage system. These tankless system work best in locations that are far away from the center of the house. So think of a guest room or studio that is far away from the water heater. Hot water not having to travel a far distance means you waste much less in terms of electricity and water.
How Do I Install a Tankless Water Heater?
It can vary depending on the model, but most tankless heaters need to be hung up on a stud, have a ventilation tube, attach the water valves going in and out, along with attaching the gas line or plugging into an electrical socket as necessary.