Having hot water around the house is essential, especially during the cold months. The best way to do that is by installing a water heater system. You can choose either a tankless water heater or a tank water heater system.
Tankless water heaters are also called demand-type water heaters as they heat the water when you need it. One of the main reasons people use tankless water heaters is their energy efficiency. That, however, could vary depending on the water usage in a home.
Types of Tankless Water Heaters
Depending on your energy needs and the amount of water you are using in your home, there are different types of water heaters. You should select one that best meets your water requirement needs.
Although electric heaters are less efficient compared to gas water heaters, they are less expensive and easy to install. They do not need a ventilation system, so they can be installed anywhere. However, the electrical systems in some older homes are not able to accommodate the demands of electric tankless systems. If this is the case in your home, it will require a power upgrade, which will significantly raise the cost of installation.
Gas heaters use natural gas or propane to heat water. These heaters are ideal for households that use a lot of water due to their ability to heat it up quicker than electric versions. Gas heaters are cheaper than electric heaters but may be more expensive to install due to the fact that they require a complex venting system. Often, a home’s existing venting ducts and gas lines a not compatible with a gas tankless heater.
If you reside in a location with harsh weather conditions, you should consider an indoor heater. These heaters need ventilation piping to control the flow of air, which increases the installation costs.
These heaters are best for people living in mild weather conditions. They do not need additional ventilation pipes because they can ventilate themselves. However, they need more maintenance compared to indoor heaters.
Non-condensing heaters utilize heat exchangers to heat the water and vent the exhaust outdoors. To withstand the exhaust heat, they require stainless steel flue pipes. They are cheaper to buy than the condensing heaters but more expensive to install.
How Tankless Water Heaters Work
Tankless heat water heaters work without the need for a holding tank. When you turn on the hot tap, the water flows via a heat exchanger in the heating unit. A heat exchanger transfers heat from the power source to the water.
The heat in the heat exchanger comes from either electric elements or natural gas. Because of that, you will get a short flow of cold water before the hot water starts flowing. That, however, only lasts a few seconds.
Therefore, tankless water heaters give you a consistent flow of hot water. You also don’t have to wait for hot water to fill the tank. One main disadvantage is that these water heaters limit the water flow rate.
Mostly, tankless water heaters have a water flow of 2 to 5 gallons of water every minute. However, this is perfect for people who use a lot of water because it helps limit water use. If you want a higher water flow rate, consider using gas-powered heaters instead of electric ones.
Sometimes, if you are using hot water for different purposes simultaneously, the tankless water heater might not be able to supply enough water. This mainly happens if you have a large household.
To eliminate that problem, you should install several water heaters. You can install different water heaters for appliances like dishwashers and the rest for purposes like showering.
Depending on the appliances and your water needs, you can have a whole house or a point-of-use heater. A point-of-use heater is small and only serves one or two water outlets. Since they are small, you can install them in a closet or under a cabinet. That reduces water loss because of reduced lag time.
A whole-house heater is a heater you install to serve the whole house. You install this at one point, and it serves all or several water outlets in the house. The lag time with this type of heater is longer, which means more water wastage.
How to Select the Best Tankless Water Heater
Choosing the right tankless water heater for your house increases energy efficiency and ensures that you never run out of hot water. Some of the factors you need to consider include the following.
The tankless water heater size you choose depends on the size of your family and the amount of hot water you will require. If you choose a smaller one, you may not have enough hot water for every part of the house. On the other hand, installing a bigger one means higher upfront and running costs.
You can determine the correct size by having professionals examine your home. You should also determine the number of appliances you want to run simultaneously and how much water each needs. You can choose between having one big heater for the whole house or several smaller ones for different fixtures.
Electric heaters are cheaper to install but are not as powerful as gas-powered heaters. You can also install an electric heater anywhere in your house, while you can’t do that with a gas heater.
Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters
- Saves on energy cost
- Consumes less space
- Unlimited hot water supply
- Reduced risks of leaks and water damage
- High life expectancy of around 20 years
- Little danger of tank exploding
Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters
- High upfront cost
- Occasional temperature variations
- Longer time to deliver water
- Hot water unavailable during a power outage
How Do You Install a Tankless Water Heater?
Installing tankless water heaters is not a DIY project. Electricity and gas are harmful. Your house may need an upgrade to accommodate the heater, which involves gas lines or wiring. However, electricity and gas are not safe to deal with, so hiring an expert for the job is best.
Heater specialists install the heaters following all the permit requirements of your state. They can also recommend you the best tankless water heater for your needs.
How Long Can a Tankless Water Heater Last?
Gas-fired furnaces can remain operational for a long time, often two decades or more. On the other hand, electric tankless water heaters tend to only last between seven to ten years.
Where Can You Buy a Tankless Water Heater?
It’s possible to purchase a tankless water heater from a plumbing store or a specialist online retailer. However, it’s usually advisable to source one through a plumbing company. This way, you can be sure to get a heater that’s ideal for your home and hot water needs.
Contact the Pros
When you need a water heater, turn to Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. In addition to a full range of plumbing services, we offer heating and cooling repair, installation, and maintenance. We offer installation financing options and provide a free price estimate for any service. Our team has been serving Atlanta and the surrounding area since 1989, and we are ready to serve you.
Contact Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing if you need more information or want to book an appointment.