If you are updating the plumbing in your home or business you may have heard about an instant hot water heater, also called a tankless water heater. But what exactly is this and why would you purchase one? These heaters use high-powered coils that heat the water as it is piped through a heat exchanger. While the initial upfront costs might be more than a storage tank heater, you’ll probably find the overall benefits outweigh the cost.
Benefits of Instant Hot Water Heaters
Endless Hot Water – This heater provides instant hot water that will not run out as it would with a tank style heater. Wash as many dishes as you would like while doing laundry and the hot water will keep flowing.
Efficiency – Due to its design, these water heaters range from 10%-40% more efficient than the average tank water heater. A tank water heater uses a lot of energy to heat up water to just sit there, while a tankless system heats up water only as it is needed.
Compact – Working within a tight space? An instant hot water heater has a very small footprint. Because of the small size, you can put in multiple units either in the same location or in alternate locations, such as at a dishwasher, to meet higher than average hot water demand.
Reliability – While both tank and tankless water heaters require maintenance, their lifespan is vastly different. A modern tankless water heater is meant to last 20 years whereas a tank version lasts about 10 to 12 years.
How to Choose the Right Heater
By now you are probably convinced that an instant hot water heater is the right choice. How do you go about choosing the right one?
Size – This will be your first consideration when choosing a heater. Instant water heaters are categorized by the maximum temperature rise at a certain flow rate. The flow rate is how fast water can move through the tank so think about common uses of your water, such as one sink and dishwasher running simultaneously. The total flow rate of all devices should not exceed the maximum for the heater. Also pay attention to the temperature rise you will need (water temperature desired minus water temperature coming in) to make certain the unit can handle the demand.
Fuel Source – There are now tankless heaters that can run on most fuel types but make certain your model will run on your current fuel source.
Energy Efficiency – Different models will have varying Energy Factors (EF) so operating costs will vary. A cheaper unit with a lower EF may cost more to operate in the long run so think carefully about this before discounting a more expensive model.
With proper research and careful selection you can enjoy endless, energy efficient hot water with an instant hot water heater. The experts at PT General Contractors can answer any questions you have and help you get started on your project. Simply contact us at (416) 757-9100.