Choosing a tankless water heater for your home?

Written by Posted On Monday, 21 May 2018 22:10

Tankless water heaters provide instant hot water for sinks, showers and other plumbing fixtures. Instead of storing the water in a standard tank, these systems heat it instantly when needed. This means that you will not have to wait for the water in your shower to warm up, and also improve the energy efficiency levels of your home. This does not only protect the environment and reduces waste of energy, but also reduces your utility rates. When choosing a tankless water heater, consider factors such as size, efficiency rate, warranty and power source to find the right unit for your home.


1. Estimate the best size of water heater for your home. The size of a tankless heater is rated according to the amount of water the system can provide in a specific period of time. Most systems are evaluated in gallons per minute (GPM) or liters per minute (LPM).

To find the right size for your home, add the GPM required for all the facilities you plan to use with the heater. According to Energy Star, for example, a shower and a bathtub will require 2.5 GPM (11.2 LPM) if used simultaneously, and a washing machine requires 3.3 GPM (13.5 LPM). Most systems range from 2 to 5 GPM (9 to 22.5 LPM), although larger systems are available to service the entire house.

2. Calculate the temperature elevation required for your water. The temperature rise is equal to the desired one minus that of your domestic supply. You can use a thermometer to measure it if you wish, or use a simple estimate. According to Energy Savers, the average temperature of residential water supplies is 50° F (10° C), while most plumbing fixations require water to be at 120° F (48.8° C). Here, buyers would choose a system with a temperature rise of 120° F (120 minus 50) (21.1° C).

3. Find the energy factor for each tankless system. The higher the energy factor, the more efficient the operation of the system will be. This means that less energy is wasted and can lead to lower energy costs. The Energy Star program of the Department of Energy suggests buyers look for an energy factor of at least 0.82.

4. Decide if you want a point of use system or one for the whole house. According to Energy Savers, systems for the entire house can reduce energy consumption by 8 to 34%, while point of use systems throughout the home reduce energy use by 27 to 50%. The systems for whole house can replace a traditional tank water heater, while point-of-use systems can provide hot water for a single sink or fixture.

5. Ask about how each water heater works. Tankless systems can be gas or electric. If you have pipes, as well as a ventilation system, the gas units are beneficial, because they can provide more GPM than the electric units. Electric heaters tend to be easier to install and do not require gas pipes or vents. Call the energy providers in your area and compare the prices of gas and electricity to help you make your decision.

6. Read the guarantee of each system. According to the "Guide for tankless heaters", most tankless systems have a warranty of 20 years or more. Some even offer spare parts for easy repairs that can extend the life of your heater. Ask about these replacement parts as you compare the extension and terms of each warranty.

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