How To Buy A Tankless Water Heater

Read This Before You Buy a Tankless Water Heater

Consider the following: The method used by the majority of houses in this nation to heat water is ridiculously inefficient. Every year, we fill up large storage tanks of 40- to 50-gallon capacity with water and then continuously pump energy into them to ensure that we have hot water available anytime we want it. But, unfortunately, this is not always the case. The wait for the tank to reheat might be lengthy if a teenager is taking a long shower or the spouse is enjoying a long soak in the tub.

Is there a chance of a leak?

Tankless Water Heater Installation: Is It Worth It?

Investing in a tankless water heater has a number of benefits, as detailed above. It creates hot water just when you use it and for as long as you require it, resulting in a reduction of 27 to 50% in fuel expenses when compared to tank-type heaters. (A typical gas-fired tank wastes 40 to 50% of the fuel it burns, according to the manufacturer.) As a result, there is virtually little danger of a catastrophic leak occurring because there is no tank to collapse. Furthermore, since their introduction in the United States in the 1990s, tankless heaters have become increasingly sophisticated, with features such as built-in recirculating pumps (which provide “instant” hot water) and wireless connectivity, which alerts you via smartphone when a unit requires servicing.

Our tankless water heater guide will explain how they function, what you should know before purchasing one (and before the installation comes), and the idiosyncrasies of how they operate so that you won’t be caught off guard if you decide to go tankless.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

Doug Adams created the illustration.

  1. It all starts with the first turn of the hot-water faucet (1). A flow sensor (2) detects the presence of water entering the heater and sends a signal to the control panel, causing the heater to begin generating hot water. During operation of a natural-gas-fueled unit, thecontrol panel (3) activates thefan (4), which pulls in outside air, opens the gas valve (5), which allows the gas to flow into the unit, and ignites the burner (6). In order to transmit heat from the flames to water passing through the exchanger’s tubing, a heat exchanger (number 7) is used. The mixing valve (8) regulates the temperature of the superheated water that exits the exchanger. Whenever the temperature sensor (9) detects water temperatures that are too high or too low for the intended setting, the panel will modify the gas valve, the mixing valve, and the flow-regulating water valve (10) in accordance with the results. Ventilation is provided by a sealedvent (11) (or a couple of vents) via a roof or exterior wall, which removes exhaust gases and supplies combustion air to the burner.

Several people were thanked for their contributions: Phillip Maxwell, Residential Product Manager, Rheem; Eric Manzano, Product Training Supervisor, Noritz; Joe Holliday, Senior Vice President, Product and Business Development, Rinnai; and Fred Molina, Water Heater Products Manager, Bosch Thermotechnology

What to Know About Tankless Water Heaters

Thanks to Noritz for the use of his photo.

How Much Does a Tankless Water Heater Cost?

Prices range from approximately $170 for modest gas-fired units to more than $2,000 for high-output heaters that can serve two showers at the same time; $1,000 is a reasonable starting point for most buyers. Electric heaters without a tank range in price from $90 to $900. The expenses of a first-time installation are higher than the price of a simple tank replacement. Electric tankless water heater installation (see item below headed “Installing an Electric Tankless Water Heater”).

How to Install a Tankless Water Heater

This is a work that should be left to the professionals, since it entails creating leak-free water, vent, and gas connections in the case of gas or propane units, or upgrading the wiring and circuit-breaker panel in the case of electric units, and it is best left to the professionals.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

Sign up to have a professional do an annual service that includes cleaning or replacing water and air filters, as well as inspecting the burner’s operation.

The use of a vinegar flush every 500 hours in places with hard water prevents mineral accumulation, known as scale, from blocking the heat exchanger. That 20-minute task may be completed by a professional or by a homeowner.

How Long Do Tankless Water Heaters Last?

It is expected that gas-burning tankless water heaters would last 20 years or longer, which is two to three times longer than tank-type heaters. Tankless electric units have shorter life lifetimes, ranging from 7 to 10 years, compared to conventional units.

Where Can I Buy One?

They may be found at plumbing supply stores, big-box stores, and internet sellers, among other places. Alternatively, you may order one via your plumber.

Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Thanks to Noritz for the use of his photo.

PRO: They’re Compact

As a result of new federal requirements requiring stronger insulation to decrease standby heat loss, the size of newer tank-type water heaters has increased. Consequently, they may not be able to fit into locations where an older heater with the same capacity might. Tankless gas heaters are approximately the size of a suitcase and are mounted on the wall.

PRO: They’re Safer

A tank-type heater, on the other hand, may leak and spill gallons of water if it springs a leak, but it will not house Legionella germs or topple over in an earthquake. The air supply and exhaust vents are also closed to prevent backdrafting, which would otherwise allow carbon monoxide to enter the house.

PRO: They’re Easy to Winterize

Owners of vacation homes are well aware of how long it takes to drain a water-heating tank prior to closing up a house for the season. An electric compressor may drain a tankless heater in a matter of seconds, after which it can simply be unplugged.

CON: They’re Sensitive to Slow Flow

These devices automatically shut off if there is too much scale accumulation in the pipes, or if the aerators in the faucets and showerheads get blocked, or if a turned-down faucet limits water flow to around 0.3 gpm.

CON: The Payback Takes Awhile

An annual savings of only around $100 for a household using a $1,000 tankless gas heater vs a $400 tank-type heater is possible, depending on how efficient the heater is and how much hot water is utilized. The savings, however, begin to accrue after six years, when many tanks are reaching the end of their useful lives due to the extended lifespan of tankless gas systems.

New Tankless Water Heater Technology

Thanks to Noritz for the use of his photo. The advancement of tankless technology is ongoing. Here are a few of the most recent enhancements:

Higher Efficiency

Condensing gas heaters can extract up to 96 percent of the heat from a fuel, which is a 17 percent improvement over first-generation tankless devices. This is possible because of a second heat exchanger, which collects a large portion of the exhaust heat before it exits the vent. In addition to being around 25% more expensive than noncondensing heaters, condensing heaters produce acidic condensate that must be neutralized. If a heater doesn’t come with a built-in neutralizing cartridge, the installation will have to install one after the fact.

Instant Hot Water

Despite the fact that tankless water heaters heat water in around 15 seconds, you must still wait for the hot water to reach your shower head or faucet, just as you would with a tank-type heater. The recirculation pump should be used when the distance between the heater and the fixture is greater than 50 feet. This will conserve water and minimize the amount of time spent waiting. It is this pump that pushes the cold water in the pipes back through the heater.

The pump can be activated by a timer, a push button, a motion sensor, a smart speaker, or a smartphone (see illustration above). The pump shuts off after approximately a minute, and you may start using hot water immediately after opening the faucet.

Wi-Fi Compatible

Tankless systems with digital connectivity let you to control the temperature as well as monitor gas and hot-water use from your mobile device. Furthermore, the device is capable of identifying the cause of a problem. Please communicate this information to your plumber so that he or she may arrive on the job site knowing exactly what has to be done. This function also eliminates the need for any guessing when it comes to determining when it is time to descale.

Tankless Water Heater Rebates: A Great Way to Save

Temperature control and monitoring of gas and hot-water use are possible with tankless systems that have digital connection. The device is also capable of identifying the cause of a problem. Provide that information to your plumber, and he or she will be able to arrive on the job site knowing exactly what is required. Having that function also takes the guesswork out of knowing when it’s time to descale your aquarium.

What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need?

Here’s how the specialists ensure that your water heater produces adequate hot water: 1. A large burst of BTUs is required for a tankless heater to convert cold water into hot water in a matter of seconds. However, if a heater’s Btu output is insufficient to meet demand, it will reduce the flow rate or, in the worst scenario, offer tepid water. A plumber considers three aspects when determining whether or not a heater will be able to satisfy the demands of a household:

  • The temperature of the water that enters the heater
  • The maximum demand for hot water expressed in gallons per minute (gpm)
  • The efficiency of the heater, as shown by its Uniform Energy Factor, which may be found in the product specifications
  1. The first step is as follows: A professional determines how many Btus per gallon of water heater is required to increase the incoming water temperature to 120 degrees (see the map on the next slide)
  2. Flow rates for all of the appliances and fixtures that may be consuming hot water at the same time are added together to form peak demand, which is calculated as follows: (These rates are detailed in the following slide.) As a result of not bathing or washing in 120-degree water, we save around 20% on our overall use. Water-saving fixtures and appliances, as well as delaying laundry while the shower is in use, can help you minimize peak consumption. In the calculation, the total Btu production is computed by inserting the Btus-per-gallon and peak-demand amounts in at different points along the way. If the difference in output is between two models, go with the one with the greater Btu rating to save money. You’ll also need two smaller units that function in tandem if your output is greater than 198,000 Btus, which is the limit for domestic gas heaters.

Btus Output Estimate

Not interested in completing the calculations? Make a rough estimate of how much heater output you’ll want using these statistics.

  • The following figures are for one bathroom for one to two people: 140,000 Btus
  • Two bathrooms for two to three people: 190,000 Btus
  • Three bathrooms for three to five people: 380,000 Btus

Btus Per Gallon by Region

  • Kitchen or bath faucets should flow at 1.5–2.2 gpm
  • Tub filler faucets should flow at 4 gpm
  • Dishwasher: 1–2.5 gpm
  • Washing machine: 1.5–3 gpm
  • Showerhead should flow at 1.25–2.5 gpm

How to Determine gpm?

To get the real gpm of a fixture, time how many seconds it takes to fill a bucket to the 1-quart mark and multiply that time by the number of gpm. gpm is calculated by dividing 15 by the number of seconds in a minute.

Electric Tankless Water Heater Facts

Thanks to Stiebel and Eltron for their assistance. In addition to gas lines and propane tanks, tankless water heaters operated by electricity can provide the benefits of on-demand hot water to homes that do not have them. Compared to gas or propane tankless heaters, these systems, which heat water using thick copper rods, are significantly quieter and roughly a third smaller in size. And because they do not require vents, they can be fitted practically anyplace, even beneath sinks and in small closets, without compromising performance.

In locations with warm groundwater, that amount of hot water may be sufficient to feed a whole house; but, in colder climates, they are better suited to point-of-use service, where the demand for hot water does not become excessive.

Furthermore, electric heaters have a lifespan that is approximately half that of gas heaters: Warranty periods typically range from three to five years.

As soon as the heating elements fail, it is frequently more expensive to replace the complete heater than it is to simply replace the heating elements.

Tankless Water Heater Installation

Doug Adams created the illustration. What you and your plumber should look for before the installation day is as follows:

Gas Line

If you want your tankless heater to work effectively, you must connect it to a gas supply line that supplies enough volume at a high enough pressure to run the burner. In many circumstances, this will need increasing the diameter of the supply pipe to 3-4 inches in diameter. Furthermore, if the pressure is insufficient, the gas provider will be required to change the regulator on the meter. For your information, some tankless systems, like as ones manufactured by Rheem, are capable of working with a regular 12-inch gas line as long as it is not more than 24 feet in length.

Venting

Tankless gas heaters that do not condense employ stainless-steel vents that can resist high exhaust temperatures. Condensing systems feature a cooler exhaust and use PVC pipes, which are less costly than other types of exhaust. Installing a concentric vent, which has an exhaust pipe inside a larger air-intake pipe, is easier than installing a traditional vent since only one hole in the wall needs to be made. As a point of reference, vent runs have traditionally been limited to a maximum of 10 feet.

Water Hardness

Heat transmission is slowed and water flow is restricted when scale deposits accumulate in a heat exchanger (or on electric heating components) over time. If you currently have whole-house water softening, scale will not be an issue for you. However, if your water is not being softened and its hardness surpasses 120 milligrams per liter, it is worthwhile to invest in a treatment system to remove the hardness. For your information, a specific, point-of-use cartridge, such as the TAC-ler water conditioner (Stiebel Eltron), can be used to change the hardness of water without the use of salt or other chemicals.

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Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Matt Risinger captured this image. If your environment and local rules allow it, think about the advantages of hanging a heater outside in the winter.

  • Matt Risinger took the photo. If your environment and local rules allow it, consider the advantages of hanging a heater outside.

Tankless Water Heater Venting

Carl Tremblay captured this image. Are you in need of assistance with repairs around your home? A house warranty may be of assistance. The This Old House Reviews team has put up some in-depth guidelines that you can read here:

  • Home warranty providers that are the best
  • Reviews of American Home Shield, AFC Home Club, Select Home Warranty, and Choice Home Warranty are all available.

Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide

Tankless water heaters create more hot water while using less energy than the most efficient tank heaters, allowing you to save on energy, space, and money all while saving money and time.

Tankless Water Heaters

A tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand water heater, warms water only when it is required. It is possible to put these heaters in a closet, on an outside wall, or in any other suitable location within your home. They may be used to heat your entire home or just a single point of usage such as a shower, sink, or appliance, among other things. A tankless water heater, whether natural gas, propane, or electric, provides you with an infinite supply of hot water while saving you money on energy expenditures by eliminating the need to store, heat, and reheat the same tank of water.

While the initial purchase and installation are more expensive, most homeowners discover that they save enough money on their energy bills that the device pays for itself within a few years.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

  • When you turn on a hot water faucet or turn on the dishwasher, the tankless water heater identifies the requirement for hot water and begins the heating process immediately. In order to provide water at the correct temperature, the temperature of the entering water is utilized to determine the amount of heat that must be produced by the burners. When there is no longer a demand for hot water, the unit shuts down and stops consuming energy, waiting until a new demand for hot water arises. The ultimate result is hot water that is not restricted to the amount of hot water stored in your tank.

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

You have the ability to convert any water source into hot water on demand. There is no limit to the quantity of heat that may be stored in a storage tank heater. Whether you’re cleaning the dishes, washing your clothes, taking a hot bath, or even doing them all at the same time, tankless water heater technology will provide you with the hot water your lifestyle requires immediately and efficiently.

Lower Energy Bills

Every available water source can be converted to instantaneous hot water on demand. There is no limit to the quantity of heat that may be stored in a storage tank. The technology behind tankless water heaters ensures that you will always have hot water when you need it, whether you’re cleaning the dishes, washing your clothes, taking a hot bath, or doing them all at the same time!

Longevity

Tankless water heaters have a lifespan of up to 20 years, which is often twice as long as a traditional tank-style device.

Space Savings

Traditional water heaters may consume up to 16 square feet of important floor space, which is a significant amount of room. Many tankless water heaters are roughly the size of a carry-on suitcase and may be mounted on nearly any wall inside or outside your home, depending on your preferences.

Clean, Fresh Water

Traditionally installed water heaters are susceptible to rust and scale buildup within the tank where the hot water used for bathing and drinking is kept. Water heaters that do not require a tank provide you with continuous access to fresh, clean water that is heated on demand as it goes through the unit.

Choosing the Right Tankless Water Heater

It is critical to determine the size of the tankless water heater you will require. A heater that is too tiny will not be able to appropriately fulfill the hot-water demands of your house, while a heater that is too huge will be an unnecessary expense. How much water will you use at peak demand – for example, when the dishwasher is running, you are having a shower, and a load of laundry is being washed? What proportion of the incoming water will need to be heated in order to meet the demand? Before purchasing a tankless water heater, you should think about two things: the flow rate, which is the amount of water that flows through a fixture or appliance in gallons per minute (GPM), and the temperature rise, which is the difference between the groundwater temperature and the desired hot-water output temperature.

For example, you may be using the kitchen sink, washing laundry, and bathing all at the same time.

To find out the flow rate of a fixture or appliance (shower head, dishwasher, washing machine, and so on), consult the manufacturer’s handbook or look for the GPM stamped directly on the fixture or appliance.

If you have a bucket and a timer, you can simply compute the GPM of an appliance or fixture using the following formula: The amount of seconds it takes to fill a 1-gallon container with water from the appliance or fixture divided by 60.

Average GPM Usage for Common Appliances and Fixtures

It can be seen from the graph above that when the shower, kitchen sink, and high-efficiency washing machine are all in use at the same time, the total flow rate is 6.0 GPM. Depending on where you live, groundwater temperatures can range anywhere from the mid-30s to the upper 70s degrees Fahrenheit, measured in Fahrenheit. Groundwater temperatures in North America are divided into three climatic zones, each with its own average groundwater temperature:

  • Northern Zone temperatures range from 37 degrees to 51 degrees
  • Central Zone temperatures range from 52 degrees to 61 degrees
  • And Southern Zone temperatures range from 62 degrees to 77 degrees.

The average interior water temperature in a residence is between 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. For the temperature rise, subtract the entering water temperature from the required interior water temperature to find the temperature increase. According to this formula, if your shower water temperature is 57 degrees Fahrenheit and your ideal shower temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature rise is 63 degrees. Additionally, while purchasing a tankless water heater, in addition to being aware of the flow rate and temperature rise, you should consult size tables to assist you in selecting the most appropriate heater for your requirements.

Point of Use Water Heaters

An region of your home may require an additional burst of hot water from time to time. When this occurs, the usage of a small point of use (POU) water heater might be beneficial. In the case of a hot tub that operates on electric heat, a POU heater can be added nearby to provide additional heat. Installed close to a room or appliance that requires more hot water, these compact tankless heaters provide instant hot water. Moreover, these appliances are useful for house renovations and extensions since they can easily be put in a cabinet or other compact location.

Hybrid Water Heaters

If you appreciate the convenience of a tank water heater while also seeking to reduce your energy expenses, a hybrid water heater may be the best option for you. These appliances, which combine the functions of a tank-style and a tankless water heater, are often more than twice as efficient as a tank-style water heater and may be installed utilizing your existing infrastructure. Hybrid water heaters are equipped with a heat pump that draws in and heats the surrounding air before releasing the heated air back into the area where the heater is located.

These hybrid water heaters, which heat water on demand, are extremely energy efficient.

Check with the manufacturer for installation suggestions.

With those figures in hand, a Lowe’s associate can assist you in selecting the most appropriate tankless water heater for your needs.

The Only Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide You Need

Note from the editors: We receive a commission from affiliate links on Forbes Advisor. The thoughts and ratings of our editors are not influenced by commissions. Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters are relatively new household gadgets that ensure you always have hot water on hand while taking up the least amount of space and consuming the least amount of energy. In comparison to a typical storage tank-type water heater, tankless water heaters may be up to 34 percent more energy efficient, resulting in annual savings of up to $100 for the average family.

Additionally, you may be interested in the tankless water heaters available at Home Depot.

Price, customer rating, maximum GPM, heating capacity (in BTUs), and Energy Star certification were all taken into consideration while compiling this top-five ranking.

What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless water heaters, also known as demand-type water heaters or instantaneous water heaters, are freestanding machines that heat the water in your house almost quickly on demand. Temperature rises in your plumbing system because of thermal conductivity when water passes through the heater and into the system. Tankless water heaters, in contrast to typical storage tank water heaters, do not have a reserve of water available. It’s also no surprise that many homes choose tankless water heaters because they can supply a virtually endless flow of hot water on a continuous basis.

Tankless Water Heater Cost

Tankless water heaters are approximately twice as expensive as traditional storage tank water heaters when purchased outright. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are less expensive in the long term. The entire cost of a tankless water heater is determined by the size of the unit and the kind of fuel used. Tankless water heaters fueled by natural gas range in price from $1,000 to $1,500, while electric models cost between $500 and $1,500. Installing a tank professionally is an additional expense that might vary depending on who you hire, how large the tank is, and how complicated your system is (i.e.

A tankless water heater installation might cost anywhere between $2,500 and $4,500 on average.

Types of Tankless Water Heaters

In comparison to conventional storage tank water heaters, tankless water heaters are approximately twice as expensive to purchase upfront. Tankless water heaters are less expensive in the long term, though. Size and fuel type will have an impact on how much a tankless water heater will cost in total. Tankless water heaters fueled by natural gas range in price from $1,000 to $1,500, while electric models range from $500 to $1,500 in price. An additional expense is professional installation, which might vary depending on who you employ, the size of the tank, and the complexity of your system (i.e.

A tankless water heater installation typically costs between $2,500 and $4,500 on average.

Gas

Propane or natural gas-powered tankless water heaters may heat water more quickly than electric tankless water heaters because they can soften the water more quickly. Gas and propane heaters are likewise less expensive than electric electricity, but they require more installation and maintenance than electric heaters and are less energy efficient.

Electric

Over time, gas water heaters are more efficient than electric water heaters, but electric water heaters are less expensive to install in most cases. They also do not necessitate the installation of a ventilation system, which means that they do not have to be installed in an area where there are already pipes. Electric water heaters may be put practically anywhere, including in tight places like bathrooms and kitchens.

Indoor

Installing your tankless water heater indoors will ensure that it is not exposed to the elements for an extended period of time.

It is preferable to have an indoor water heater if you reside in a climate with often changing and harsh weather conditions. Because indoor heaters require ventilation tubes to guide airflow, the cost of installing them will be higher than usual.

Outdoor

The best results are obtained by using outdoor water heaters in residences located in moderate weather. They are self-ventilating, which eliminates the need for additional ventilation pipes. Even though outdoor water heaters are built to endure the elements, such as the wind, the rain, and the snow, they do require more maintenance than interior water heaters.

Condensing

Condensing tankless water heaters save money by eliminating the need for costly flue pipes and venting materials by collecting heat from the exhaust before releasing it into the venting system. They then use the heat that has been removed as an additional source of heat to heat water. Generally speaking, condensing tankless water heaters are more expensive to acquire than their non-condensing counterparts in terms of initial purchase price. However, because they have cheaper installation costs and greater energy efficiency, the overall cost is lower in the long term with these alternatives.

Non-condensing

In contrast to condensing water heaters, which utilize heat exchangers to heat water, non-condensing water heaters exhaust their exhaust outside. They require stainless steel flue pipes in order to resist the heat generated by the exhaust, which increases the cost of installation. Although non-condensing water heaters are generally more expensive to install than condensing water heaters, non-condensing water heaters are less expensive to purchase up front.

You May Also Be Interested In Tankless Water Heaters Available On Home Depot

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Price, customer rating, maximum GPM, heating capacity (in BTUs), and Energy Star certification were all taken into consideration while compiling this top-five ranking.

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What to Consider When Buying a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are available in a variety of sizes on the market. The best one for your house is determined by the size of your family and, consequently, the amount of hot water you will require. Having one that is too tiny will result in less hot water being available to everyone. Having one that is overly huge will result in it being more expensive to maintain than required. You can figure out the appropriate size for your house by calculating how many fixtures you will want to operate at the same time and how much hot water each one consumes individually.

You may choose between a single tankless water heater for the entire house and multiple smaller point-of-use water heaters that are each tailored to serve a specific appliance or faucet.

Point-of-use heaters are often put as close as possible to the appliance to which they are supplying hot water, minimizing lag time and allowing you to utilize your water without having to wait for it to heat up.

Fuel Type

Tankless water heaters, whether gas or electric, are both good alternatives, but each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Electric water heaters are less expensive and require less maintenance than gas water heaters, but they are capable of heating a greater volume of water at a faster rate than electric water heaters at any given moment. Due to the fact that electric heaters do not require venting, they may be installed nearly anyplace in your home. It’s important to bear in mind that if you have a high demand for hot water, you may need to improve your electrical system to match the additional power consumption by your water heater.

Consult with a knowledgeable specialist to discover which type of gasoline is most appropriate for your needs.

Maintenance

Every year, we recommend that you get your tankless hot water heater serviced by a qualified technician at the very least. If you reside in a particularly cold climate or if your water is continuously hard, you should increase this to twice a year. Although electricity-powered heaters require less maintenance than gas-powered heaters, we nevertheless recommend that you get them examined by a professional to ensure that everything is in working order before using them. When searching for a new tankless water heater, keep this additional expense in mind.

DIY vs. Hire a Pro

Tankless water heater installation is not a do-it-yourself activity. Your home may need to be modified in order to accommodate your new water heater, which frequently necessitates the installation of new wiring and gas lines. Gas and electricity are extremely risky to work with, thus we strongly advise that you leave this endeavor to the professionals. Depending on the municipality, professional water heater installation may be required. A professional will be aware of and adhere to all current codes pertaining to issues such as carbon monoxide emissions, thermal resistance, venting, and other related issues.

Additionally, the majority of specialists can ensure that you purchase the proper water heater for your house, so you don’t have to waste time attempting to install an unsuitable water heater on your own.

Top Tankless Water Heater Brands

Now that you’ve learned what to look for in a tankless water heater, you’re ready to begin your search for the ideal model for your household. Before purchasing a water heater, do extensive research on the product. There are a few well-known tankless water heater brands on the market today, all of which provide high-quality goods. Make use of this list to get your search off to a good start in the proper direction. The following are the best tankless water heater brands:

Compare Quotes From Top-rated Water Heater Installers

Estimates are provided without obligation.

How to buy a tankless water heater

In these energy-conscious times, reducing the use of air conditioning and conserving water are standard approaches to conserve the environment while also saving money on your utility bills. However, there are several additional methods of conserving energy in the house. Consider the tankless water heater as an example. In contrast to typical water heaters, tankless water heaters (also known as instantaneous water heaters) heat water as it is required, rather than continually heating a tank full of water as is the case with regular water heaters.

Water heaters without a storage tank can be up to 34 percent more energy efficient than water heaters with a storage tank, according to the United States Department of Energy.

Some factors to think about while purchasing a tankless water heater for the house are as follows:

Continuous hot water, lower water pressure

Heaters that are powered by electricity or natural gas heat the water as it flows toward you when you turn on the hot water faucet. There is a cost associated with this since you have an infinite supply of hot water for your shower. As a result of the heating elements taking a specific length of time to heat a particular volume of water, the water pressure will be significantly lower than when using a conventional tank water heater. In general, they provide a flow rate of between 2 to 5 gallons (7.6 to 18.9 liters) of hot water per minute, while certain models may produce up to 11 gallons (42 liters) per minute in some cases.

Most shower heads have a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute.

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Considerations for big households

While your tankless water heater can give unlimited hot water for a single faucet, it is unable to simultaneously deliver hot water to the washing, sinks, and other showers at the same time. You’ll need two or more tankless water heaters to keep up with the demand if you have many faucets that use hot water at the same time on a regular basis. In fact, according to the United States Department of Energy, homeowners that install a water heater at each hot water outlet can save more energy if your family consumes more than around 86 gallons of hot water per day on average.

EcoSmart

Gas vs. electric

You can choose between a tankless unit that is heated by gas or one that is heated by electricity. Each has certain advantages over the other. Typical tankless water heaters, for example, require significantly bigger gas lines than traditional water heaters. Installation will be more expensive as a result of this than it would be with electricity. Gas tankless water heaters, on the other hand, may heat water more quickly, allowing them to deliver greater water pressure. The pilot light, on the other hand, remains illuminated at all times, even when there is no need for hot water.

If you absolutely want a gas unit, but you also want to save as much money as possible on waste, seek for units that have intermittent ignition (IID). When you need hot water, you may effortlessly turn on and off the pilot light by using this method.

Size

You’ll need to conduct some research in order to determine the size of tankless water heater you’ll need for your home. To begin, total up the flow rate. This is the amount of hot water you will use each minute in gallons per minute at any given moment. This includes any washers, dishwashers, showers, tubs, and sinks that are in use at the same time as the other appliances listed above. It is possible to estimate the flow rate by conducting a Google search for your appliances and shower heads.

  • Make a note of that number before you go shopping.
  • One other figure that you’ll need to know is the temperature increase.
  • To figure this one out, I’m not going to make you go take the temperature of your cold tap water with a thermometer.
  • If the unit is powered by gas, this temperature rise is normally attainable at a flow rate of 5 gallons per minute, and at a flow rate of 2 gallons per minute for electric units.
  • How to turn on a gas water heater is demonstrated here.

9 Tips on How to Choose a Tankless Water Heater

So, you’re considering of purchasing a tankless water heater for your house – but you’re not sure where to begin your research. Well, don’t be concerned since you’ve arrived to the correct web page! Tankless water heaters may help you save both money and space – This article will serve as your go-to resource for selecting the best tankless water heater for your needs at home. Let’s go through the top nine tips you should be aware of!

1. The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Here are a few of the advantages of installing a tankless water heater in your home: 1. It is more energy efficient. These are the considerations you should bear in mind while you look for your ideal water heart.

Taking Up Less Space

When you use a tankless water heater, you may have immediate hot water for any use in your home. The water is heated as it passes through the gadget, rather than in a large unwieldy tank that you have to carry about all of the time.

Unlimited Hot Water

There is no limit to the amount of water that may be stored with this sort of water heater. You are free to leave the hot water running for as long as you desire. You’ll never have to worry about the person in the shower in front of you using up all of the hot water again!

Long-Lasting

When compared to a traditional water heater, tankless water heaters have a lifespan that is twice as long.

The most basic of them can last you up to around 20 years.

Energy Bill

Installing a high-quality tankless water heater in your house has the potential to reduce your energy bills by half! These units are extremely energy efficient and may save you a significant amount of money.

2. Find Out What Size Will You Need

One of the first things you should do is determine the precise amount of tankless water heater you will require. Every single day, the average family in the United States consumes 64 gallons of water, according to the United States Energy Information Administration. Undoubtedly, it is a substantial amount of water! So, how do you determine the size of the tankless water heater you’ll need for your home? Tankless water heaters are available in a wide range of styles and sizes to suit your needs.

Tankless water heaters also utilize the British Thermal Unit as an input to establish their efficiency ratings, which are displayed alongside their GPM.

Here’s how you can find out:

Looking At BTU’s

Approximately the same amount of energy is necessary to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit as contained inside a single BTU. As a result, the higher the BTUs of your water heater, the greater the amount of water that will flow. In most cases, comparing BTUs and GPMs reveals that 31k BTUs can create 1.2 GPM and 190k BTUs can provide 5.7 GPM, respectively.

Calculating GPM

Take a look around your home and count the number of gadgets that will require hot water from your tankless water heating system. Then figure out how many of them you’ll be able to employ at any one moment. Then you only need to add up the GPM of all of those devices. Flow rates for tankless water heaters, for example, will range from 1.2 to 6 GPM on average. In general, a basic sink would be rated at 1.2 GPMs, whereas a shower would be rated at 2.6 GPMs. As a result, a tankless water heater with a flow rate of 4 GPM can manage both a shower and a sink at the same time.

Calculating Temperature

Calculate the temperature of the water that enters your home and subtract it from the temperature you want your hot water to be when you want it. You’ll know whether or not a prospective new tankless water heater will be able to meet the hot water demand in your home once you’ve completed the calculations and determined the flow rate for the potential new water heater.

3. Take a Look at Warranties

Make sure to go through any warranties that may be included with a new tankless water heater before purchasing one. Most high-quality heaters will come with an extended warranty that will cover you in the event that it fails. You should also take into consideration the sort of water that enters your home. If you have hard water, this may result in your new equipment wearing out more quickly. Choosing a tankless water heater with a longer warranty will be important if your water is hard to begin with.

Remember that this is a product that is necessary to everyday life and that you will use on a daily basis – so shop around for a high-quality warranty that will protect you and your new purchase!

4. Water Heater Efficiency

Tankless water heaters can save you money because of their high efficiency – they will always surpass traditional water heaters in terms of performance. When evaluating the efficiency of a tankless water heater, the energy rating (EF – Energy Factor) is used to determine how efficient the device is.

EF Rating

The gadget will perform better and be more efficient if the EF rating is high enough. The quantity of energy that comes out your water heater is multiplied by the amount of energy that goes into the device to calculate the efficiency (EF).

5. Gas-Fueled Heaters

More EF ratings mean that the gadget will perform better and be more efficient. Your water heater’s efficiency (EF) is found by multiplying the quantity of energy it produces by the amount of energy that enters into the unit.

Power Ignition

There are no batteries or a connection to your electric system required for them. Once the water begins to flow through your new gadget and via a turbine, they are active.

Direct Ignition

Direct ignition will need the connection of the device to your electrical system or the use of batteries. As soon as water begins to flow through the gadget, this kind is easily lit by pressing a button.

Standard

In the same way that typical water heaters do, a pilot light will continually burn — this does not need that the water heater be connected to electricity or that any water flow be detected.

See also:  How Hard Is It To Install A Water Heater

6. Electric Water Heaters

Purchasing an electric tankless water heater might be significantly less expensive than purchasing a gas unit. Electric heaters are often 300 to 500 dollars less expensive than gas heaters, depending on the model. They are also more energy efficient and ecologically friendly than older models. However, one disadvantage is that electric water heaters tend to consume more energy than gas water heaters. The electric ones, on the other hand, have a more straightforward design. In this case, working with electric rather than gas might be more convenient and less expensive when it comes to repair and maintenance.

Because they do not emit any exhaust, they do not necessitate the use of ventilation.

7. Your Climate

Compared to purchasing a gas tankless water heater, purchasing an electric tankless water heater might be significantly less expensive. Electric heaters are often 300 to 500 dollars less expensive than gas heaters of the same size and style. Their efficiency and environmental friendliness are further advantages of using recycled materials. On the downside, electric water heaters tend to use more energy than gas water heaters. A further advantage of the electric models is that they are more straightforward in their construction.

Another advantage of these sorts of units is that they do not emit any exhaust gasses at all. In addition, because they do not emit any exhaust, they do not require any ventilation. The electric heaters have been examined; now it is time to consider the gas heaters.

8. Venting a Tankless Water Heater

When shopping for a new tankless water heater, it’s important to think about the venting options available. Will you be required to vent your unit at any point?

Indoor Units

Not all tankless water heaters will be required to be vented — in fact, only indoor gas-fueled tankless water heaters will be required to be vented. You won’t have to worry about this because electric units don’t create any exhaust emissions, unlike gas units. Venting a gas unit is not the same as venting a conventional water heater, for example. It is usually a good idea to consider hiring a skilled expert to assist you with the water heater installation process. Just keep in mind that if your unit will be installed outside, it will not be necessary to have venting.

Outdoor Units

These sorts of devices are built to withstand the environment and are intended to be used outside. You no longer have to spend time attempting to find out how to vent an indoor space to the outside environment. Despite the fact that they are designed to survive the environment, they have some limits. If you live in a location where extreme cold temperatures are common, it could be a better idea to look for an alternative choice. One significant advantage of this sort of device is that it is far less expensive than indoor devices and is considerably simpler to install.

9. Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

It depends on the model of tankless water heater that you choose how much maintenance is required. Let’s take a look at each of them and the distinctions between them.

Maintenance For Electric Units

These are typically low-maintenance and require little upkeep. You can only clean the water inlet on these machines, which is all that can be done for them. In addition to that, electric tankless water heaters do not require any further maintenance to function properly.

Maintenance for Gas Fueled Units

There is extremely minimal maintenance required for these kind of vehicles. To maintain these devices, all that has to be done is a thorough cleaning of the water intake. Otherwise, electric tankless water heaters require little or no maintenance.

Wrapping Up Tankless Water Heaters

When seeking to purchase a tankless water heater, there are a number of considerations and considerations to bear in mind. If you’re making a significant investment, take your time and thoroughly investigate the unit before making your selection.

  • Consider why you’re buying a new one in the first place. Determine the precise size that you will require
  • Examine the unit’s warranty to ensure that it is valid. See how energy efficient the item is by looking at its efficiency rating. Determine if an electric or gas heating system is more appropriate for you. Is it necessary to vent the unit
  • If so, how? You should take into consideration the climate in which you live. What type of maintenance will be required
  • Can you undertake the maintenance yourself or will you need to engage a skilled expert in your area

After you’ve taken all of this into consideration, you’ll be able to identify the specific unit that will work best in your house. All that is left is for you to do is purchase and install! If you have any concerns regarding selecting the best tankless water heater for your house, or if you require the services of a skilled expert to complete an installation, please visit ourcontact page and send us a note!

The Complete Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide

Following all of your considerations, you will be able to identify the specific unit that is most suited to your home’s requirements.

Purchase and installation are the only steps remaining. Visit ourcontact page and send us a message if you have any concerns regarding whether tankless water heater is best for your house or whether you require the services of a skilled expert to install one.

Whatisa tankless water heater?

A tankless water heater (also known as a demand-type water heater) is a standalone machine that heats your home’s water without the use of a big, expensive storage tank like a traditional water heater. Any time the water faucet is turned on, cold water is forced through the tankless heater, where it is swiftly and effectively heated by an electric element, a gas burner, or liquid propane (more on this later). The hot water is then sent to the faucet. Tankless water heaters eliminate the need to shiver on chilly bathroom tiles while waiting for your shower to heat up; the water is heated instantaneously and without lag time with tankless water heaters.

Its lifespan is often much greater than that of a regular storage water heater: On average, more than 20 years, as opposed to 10-15 years in the past!

The relationship between temperature and flow rate is one of the most crucial of these parameters.

It may appear to be tough mathematics, but don’t be put off by the complexity – it’s far simpler to understand than it appears.

Flow Rates (Gallons Per Minute—GPM)

If you want to heat your entire house, you’ll need to make a list of all of the hot water equipment that you intend to use at any given moment during the day. Is it likely that you’ll want to use the shower and the dishwasher at the same time, for example? Two showers at the same time? Once you’ve calculated the average usage in your home, sum up the total flow rates of all of the devices in your home (gallons per minute). This information is readily available; if you have any issues, you can simply contact the device’s maker for assistance.

  • Take the temperature of the entering ground water (pre-tank) and subtract it from the temperature you want your water to be in order to achieve this value (set temperature).
  • Of course, this is dependent on the location in which you reside and the time of year during which you will be boiling water.
  • For the majority of your household appliances, you’ll want your post-tank heated water to be around 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius).
  • The greater the amount of ground water that must be raised in order to reach your target water temperature, the more energy it will cost.

The following are some typical flow rates (in GPM) and average target temperatures for several popular household devices, for your convenience: (Please keep in mind that some dishwashers do not come with their own internal heaters, and in that case you may require the water heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.) Consistently effective condensing tankless water heaters are intended to absorb and store heat from their unit’s exhaust, resulting in high energy efficiency.

The remaining exhaust heat may be used to assist in the production of hot water, and because the exhaust gases are colder than the surrounding air, it is feasible to employ less expensive ventilation materials.

Typically, these systems are comprised of a pump that forces water via a dedicated return line to the heater.

Recirculation provides hot water nearly instantaneously, avoiding the need to waste time sending cold water down the drain while you wait for it to heat up. Recirculation is also more energy efficient.

Types of Tankless Water Heaters

A water heater for the entire home A point-of-use water heater is one that is used only when needed. If you want to utilize many devices at the same time, whole-house tankless heaters are the most efficient option for you. The Takagi TKJr2OSNG(6.6 GPM) is a modest yet effective model that can successfully heat a regular one- or two-bathroom apartment or a small family house with ease. Larger types, such as the Rinnai RL94eN(9.4 GPM), have the capacity to heat up to five plumbing and appliance units at the same time without ever running out of hot water.

  1. Point-of-use water heaters, in contrast to whole-house water heaters, are designed to focus on a single appliance or device, supplying consistent hot water to only one faucet at any given time.
  2. Because point-of-use heaters are connected directly to the incoming water source, there is far less lag time (almost none!) between when your water is heated and when it is used.
  3. That’s a significant increase in the distance that hot water must travel before reaching your faucet.
  4. Prices begin at $239.00.

Other Factors to Consider

Choosing between a whole-house tankless heater and a point-of-use tankless heater might be a difficult decision to make. Although it ultimately relies on a variety of elements that are essential to your family (cost, efficiency, size of house, preferred temperatures), there are a few critical considerations to keep in mind as you make your decision. The construction of your home, or the renovation of an existing structure? This is critical to understand since it will have an impact on both the simplicity and the cost of installation.

This is due to the fact that wiring and installing separate tankless heaters to specific appliances and gadgets in an existing structure might be more difficult—and expensive—than in a new construction.

As a result, it may make more sense to put point-of-use tankless water heaters in the areas where you will be using them the most.

Despite the fact that the upfront cost of purchasing and installing multiple point-of-use heaters is higher than the cost of purchasing and installing a single whole-house heater, over time, individual units will actually use less energy than a single unit—resulting in a reduction in your energy bills over time.

Remember that, in the end, the flow-to-temperature-rise ratio plays a significant role in determining this.

Another issue to consider when deciding between a whole-house water heater and a point-of-use water heater is how frequently you’ll be utilizing an appliance or gadget in your home.

In contrast, for daily-use outlets like as the kitchen sink and the master bathroom, a whole-house heater may be a more sensible alternative.

In the event that you have a large family or a busy household where family members are frequently present during the day and utilizing a range of equipment, a whole-house tankless water heater is going to be your finest option.

When it comes to tankless water heaters, there are a few basic fuel sources to choose, depending on whether you want a whole home or a point of use heater.

Generally speaking, gas and liquid propane water heaters function in a similar manner, and both are more efficient and provide faster water heating than an electric tankless water heater.

When it comes to fuelling a whole-house heater, a gas-powered tankless heater is frequently the most cost-effective option because it only necessitates the installation of a single gas line.

Gas heaters have the potential to provide a greater temperature gain per GPM than most electric heaters do now (around five gallons per minute as opposed to two).

Always keep in mind that not all places have access to municipal gas service, and that propane fuel must be stored in a propane storage tank on your premises.

While gas water heaters have the potential to be more energy efficient in the long run, electric water heaters are typically easier and less expensive to install.

These factors make it possible to put electric heaters in more difficult-to-reach areas than gas tankless heaters, and they are generally located closer to the device that they are intended for use with.

Prices begin at $580.85.

A last point to examine is if an indoor outdoor tankless water heater is the most appropriate option for your requirements and circumstances.

However, what are the advantages and drawbacks of each approach?

As a result of condensation forming on and around your heater, an interior installation will require venting connected to a drain to remove the condensation away from the heater and away from your home, preventing damage to the unit and your property.

An outdoor heater does not necessitate the installation of additional ventilation pipes because it will ventilate itself through natural air movement.

An outdoor tankless water heater, on the other hand, requires regular care and maintenance.

Whether your home is a new building or an old structure will also influence your decision on whether you should use an indoor or an outdoor heater in your home.

Using an indoor heater during a new construction or remodeling project makes more sense since you can build your house around the heater rather than having to retrofit your heater into your existing home, which can be both more time demanding and financially costly.

Ultimately, there are a multitude of considerations that must be considered when selecting which type of tankless water heater is best for your house and family. When making your selection, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Specify the type of construction (new/remodel or existing structure)
  • The weather and environment of the place in which you reside are important factors. Household customs and way of life
  • The number of appliances that must be heated
  • How frequently you intend to use each of these equipment
  • For your family, consider the importance of cost vs. efficiency vs. upkeep.

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