Heating water accounts for up to 30% of a home’s energy bill. Part of that is due to the way traditional hot water heaters operate. The water heater stores water in a tank at a specified temperature, even if you’re not home. This is called Standby Energy Loss and it costs money.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless Water Heaters heat liquid instantaneously with a burner or electrical element as it passes through the unit. No storage tank is required.
Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters
- There are no Standby Losses
- No waste, the contents are heated almost immediately
- Unlimited hot water
- Cleaner, there is no tank so no rust or scale build up
- A federal tax credit incentive
- A life span of 20 years, almost twice as long as a traditional heater
- Space saving, water heaters take a bit of space, tankless devices can be mounted in areas out of the way saving you more space in your home
Tankless water heaters range in price from $ 200 up to $ 1000. You need to consider where you’ll need hot water. You may need a unit that will heat the water at one bathroom sink, this would be a single point application, hot water for an entire bathroom would be a multipoint application. You may want to heat water for an entire house or apartment; this would be a whole house application.
There are gas-fired and electric models. If choosing an electric unit you’ll have to consider the voltage choices, 120V or 240V and you must make sure the home wiring has the current capacity and breakers meet electrical code.
In choosing a gas-fired unit you must make sure gas line, combustion space and venting meet code and regulation requirements.
Each single point application will have its own requirements. Capacities are determined by temperature generated at a specified flow rate, an example would be 92 degrees F at 2.5 gallons per minute. Choose the unit that is compatible with the flow rate at the point of demand, for example bathtubs have a flow rate of 2-4 gpm, a shower 1.5 -3gpm, and a dishwasher 1.0-3.0 gpm.
You also have the option of a whole house unit that can provide hot water for entire bathrooms, smaller houses, apartments, condos or where multiple points of use will exist.
Proper installation depends on many factors and building code requirements. You should have a qualified, licensed plumbing and heating contractor install your unit.