Tankless or Demand-Type Water Heaters
Known as demand-type water heaters or instantaneous water heaters, tankless water heaters supply hot water only when it is required. They do not generate the standby energy losses typical with storage water heaters, which can result in significant savings in energy costs. You’ll learn the fundamentals of how they function, if a tankless water heater is a good choice for your house, and what factors to consider when choosing the best model for your needs. Take a look at theEnergy Saver 101: Water Heating infographic to determine whether a tankless water heater is the best option for you, and our AskEnergySaver conversation on water heating for additional information on energy-efficient water heating.
How They Work
Tankless water heaters provide fast heating of water without the need for a storage tank. When a hot water faucet is switched on, cold water is sent through a heat exchanger in the unit, where it is heated by either a natural gas burner or an electric element, depending on the device. Consequently, tankless water heaters are able to provide a continuous supply of hot water. The need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with adequate hot water is no longer an issue. The output of a tankless water heater, on the other hand, is limited in terms of flow rate.
Tankless water heaters that run on natural gas have higher flow rates than those that run on electricity.
For example, having a shower while also running the dishwasher at the same time might cause a tankless water heater to reach its maximum capacity quickly.
You may also install separate tankless water heaters for equipment in your house that need a lot of hot water, such as a clothes washer or dishwater.
Demand water heaters are also used in the following other situations:
- Bathrooms or hot tubs in a remote location
- Increases the efficiency of household appliances such as dishwashers and laundry washers. Thermoelectric booster for a solar water heating system
Advantages and Disadvantages
Demand water heaters can be 24–34 percent more energy efficient than typical storage tank water heaters in residences that utilize 41 gallons or less of hot water per day on average. For houses that utilize a lot of hot water – around 86 gallons per day – they can be 8 percent to 14 percent more energy efficient than standard models. If you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet, you may be able to achieve even larger energy savings in some circumstances. A tankless water heater will cost more up front than a normal storage water heater, but they will often live longer and have lower operating and energy expenses, which may more than compensate for their higher purchase price in the long run.
- They also feature readily changeable parts, which might potentially increase their lifespan by many years.
- With tankless water heaters, you won’t have to worry about the standby heat losses that come with traditional storage water heaters.
- When compared to a storage water heater, the removal of standby energy losses might sometimes outweigh the savings from using a tankless water heater.
- A tankless water heater’s pilot light has a cost associated with it that differs from one type to the next.
Instead of a standing pilot light, look for versions that contain an intermittent ignition device (IID). This mechanism is similar to the spark ignition system used on certain natural gas furnaces, as well as kitchen ranges and ovens, among other things.
Selecting a Demand Water Heater
Before purchasing a demand water heater, you should take the following factors into consideration:
- Consider the following factors as well when purchasing a demand water heater:
Installation and Maintenance
It is possible to maximize the energy efficiency of your demand water heater with proper installation and maintenance. A variety of elements influence the success of an installation. These considerations include the type of fuel used, the environment, the needs of local construction codes, and safety concerns, particularly with regard to the combustion of gas-fired water heaters. As a result, it is recommended that you use a licensed plumbing and heating professional to install your demand water heater.
- Request written cost estimates, as well as contact information for references. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see whether the firm is legitimate. Check to see if the firm will seek a local permit if one is required and if they are familiar with local building rules.
If you’re determined to install your water heater yourself, first speak with the manufacturer about the best way to proceed. The relevant installation and instruction manuals are normally available from the manufacturer. Contact your municipality for information on acquiring a permit (if one is required) and on water heater installation codes in your area. Periodic water heater maintenance may considerably increase the life of your water heater while also reducing the amount of energy it consumes.
Improving Energy Efficiency
If you’re determined to install your water heater yourself, first speak with the manufacturer about the best method to use. Installer and instruction manuals are often available from the manufacturer. Contact your municipality for information on acquiring a permit (if one is required) and on water heater installation codes in your particular area. The use of periodic water heater maintenance may considerably increase the life and efficiency of your water heater while also lowering energy costs.
Four Ways to Get Instant Hot Water at the Faucet
The search for a means to acquire quick hot water at the tap or in the shower is a popular one among homeowners. However, while it may not be universally recognized in the same way as something like a quest for the ultimate meaning of life, the notion of immediate hot water has crossed the minds of nearly everyone who has seen water pour down the drain while waiting for it to heat up. When you have to wait for the water that you require, it is an inconvenience, to say the least. When you realize how much water is wasted, it can even make you feel a bit bad, albeit probably not guilty enough to take an ice-cold shower first thing in the morning.
A recirculating system, a demand system, and point-of-use water heaters in both tank and tankless configurations are the four options for obtaining immediate hot water at the tap.
Why Does It Take So Long to Get Hot Water to My Faucet?
Starting with why it might take so long for the water that comes out of the faucet to be heated, we can better grasp how to acquire immediate hot water in various situations. While the age and efficiency of a water heater, as well as the quantity of insulation in a home’s pipes, can all play a role, the most important reason is very straightforward: In order for the hot water to flow through the faucet, the cold water must first be drained out of the pipes. The heated water must travel through a network of pipes before it can be used at the faucet after it has been heated in the hot water heater.
In certain instances, the distance between the water heater and the faucet is considerable.
Depending on how the water heater is put in the attic, it may not take long for the water to get hot at the upstairs taps and showers to switch on.
Water may take a minute or two to reach the taps and showers in the downstairs kitchen and bathroom, but it is usually faster in the upstairs. During the winter, it can take even longer since the initial gallon or two of water is chilled as it travels through the extremely cold pipe system.
So, What Are the Options to Get Hot Water Faster?
Starting with why it might take so long for the water that comes out of the faucet to be heated, we can better grasp how to achieve instant hot water. While the age and efficiency of a water heater, as well as the quality of insulation in a home’s pipes, can all play a role, the most important component is very straightforward: the amount of water that is being used. In order for the hot water to flow through the faucet, the cold water must first be flushed out of the system. The heated water must travel through a network of pipes before it can be used at the faucet once it has been heated.
A significant amount of time may elapse between the water heater and the faucet in some circumstances.
Depending on how the water heater is built in the attic, it may not take long for the water to get hot at the upstairs taps and showers.
During the winter, the process can take even longer since the initial gallon or two of water is chilled as it passes through the extremely cold pipes.
1. Recirculating Hot Water Systems
When using a typical tank water heater, turning the knob at the faucet initiates the process of hot water traveling through the pipes. But what happens if the water in the pipes has already been heated by the time the request is received? In such instance, hot water is available at the tap very immediately. With the use of a plumbing line, a recirculation system connects the farthest point of a plumbing system back to a water heater, creating a dedicated loop of hot water in the process. Due to the fact that hot water is constantly flowing through the system, it is immediately accessible at every faucet, as seen in this graphic from InterNACHI, an international manufacturer of recirculating hot water system technology.
Recirculation systems are frequently triggered by a thermostat, which activates the system when the water temperature falls below a certain threshold.
2. Demand Hot Water Systems
When purchasing a new home, a buyer may request that the plumbing system be constructed with a recirculation system, which necessitates the installation of a dedicated hot water loop. However, can you have a recirculating system if your home isn’t already equipped for one? The installation of the recirculation system described above may necessitate considerable modifications to existing plumbing. In contrast to a recirculating system, a demand system operates similarly to one and may be installed into existing residences.
It is possible to have the chilly water that typically goes down the drain recirculated back to the water heater by pressing a button, and the hot water heater’s output supplied to a faucet by pressing a button as well.
As soon as the temperature of the water at the furthest fixture reaches the desired temperature, the pump will shut off since the water pipes will have been completely filled with water.
3. Point-of-Use Tank Water Heaters
It is possible that a buyer will specify that when a new home is built, the plumbing system will be constructed with a recirculation system, which will require a dedicated loop of hot water. However, can you have a recirculating system if your home isn’t already equipped for one. If the recirculating system described above is implemented, it is possible that existing piping may require major modifications. When compared to a recirculating system, demand systems operate similarly and may be adapted into existing houses.
A pump is then connected to these lines.
When the temperature of the water at the furthest fixture reaches the desired temperature, the pump will shut off since the water pipes will have been completely filled.
4. Point-of-Use Tankless Water Heaters
This water heater, like the tankless water heater for the entire house, only functions when there is a need for hot water to be provided. Unlike tank water heaters, which store hot water to be delivered to a faucet upon request, a tankless water heater begins functioning immediately upon receipt of the request. A hot water tap is turned, and cold water is sent via a conduit into a tankless water heater, which subsequently warms the water with an electric element or a gas burner. In comparison to tank water heaters, tankless water heaters are assessed by the number of gallons of water they can heat in one minute, rather than by storage capacity.
A tankless point-of-use water heater, like a traditional point-of-use water heater with a tank, may offer practically instantaneous hot water due to its proximity to the fixture that requires the hot water.
Furthermore, all tankless point-of-use water heaters are electric, which warms water at a slower rate than a natural gas flame.
Don’t All Tankless Water Heaters Provide Instant Hot Water?
They do – and they don’t – depending on who you ask. The fact that tankless water heaters begin heating water immediately after you open a tap makes sense, and it’s clear why some people assume tankless water heaters deliver hot water on demand. Nonetheless, much like with a conventional tank water heater, a tankless water heater must contend with the same geographic challenges of transporting hot water via pipelines and to the faucet where it is required. It is likely that anyone who converts to a tankless water heater would be unhappy since he or she will not receive a continuous stream of hot water when they turn the faucet on and off.
However, because tankless water heaters do not have a tank that can run out of hot water, they are unable to move the heated water down the pipes as rapidly as conventional water heaters.
It is likely that you will have to wait for hot water if your tank or tankless water heater is located in an attic above the second story of your home and your shower is located on the first floor unless you utilize one of the methods listed above.
Can a Water Heater Booster Help Me Get Hot Water Faster?
This is still another question that some individuals have, and the answer, regrettably, is that it does not. A tank water heater booster is a device that is connected directly to a water heater and is designed to enhance the amount of hot water that a tank water heater is capable of producing. In order for a tank water heater booster to function, cold water from the input valve must be combined with warm water from the hot water valve. A tank water heater generally produces water at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but it may be configured to produce water at a higher temperature when used in conjunction with a tank booster.
As shown in the picture, a booster may enhance the capacity of a 50-gallon tank water heater to the equivalent of an 80-gallon tank, with increases for additional tank sizes as shown.
However, while a water heater booster might be useful for allowing you to take longer showers, it will not supply you with immediate hot water for your showers.
More Tips Regarding Instant Hot Water
1. Water pipes should be insulated. Insulate the area surrounding hot water pipes to prevent heat loss while the water is being transported to the faucet. It will also help to keep the pipes warm for longer, which will be useful the next time you need hot water. Is this going to provide you with quick hot water? No. However, it will save the amount of time you have to wait for hot water at the faucet, and it may help lower your energy expenditures. 2. Have your water heater serviced on an annual basis.
It is critical to maintain a water heater, whether it is a tank or a tankless one, in order to extend its service life.
For a tank water heater, which is still the most common type of water heater used by most American homeowners, annual maintenance that includes flushing the tank, checking the anode rod, and testing the temperature and pressure (T P) relief valve helps to ensure the safety and efficiency of the water heater.
Always use a certified plumbing professional to install your water heater since incorrectly placed water heaters can be hazardous and pose a risk of exploding or igniting a fire.
We’ve all experienced the frustration of waiting for hot water, whether at the sink or in the shower.
Often, a minute or two delay is all that is required, but when it occurs frequently enough, the time and stress accumulate. As a result, it should come as no surprise that water heating specialists have come up with several alternatives.
- Create a dedicated loop of heated water that is constantly cycling through the system and makes hot water readily available at every faucet. Recirculating Systems: Demand Systems: These systems use a pump that is connected to both hot and cold water lines, and with the push of a button, cool water is returned to the heater while hot water is provided to the faucet. Point-of-use Water heaters are a type of appliance that heats water. Available in both tank and tankless configurations, both of which have the benefit of being local to the location where they supply hot water, hence reducing the need to wait for water to travel via pipes
If you’re looking for ways to get rapid hot water from the faucet, there are several solutions available. Knowing more about the options available to you, speak with a registered plumbing professional who can assist you in determining which option is best for your house – and who can also do excellent installation that assures the safety of you and your family. Are you ready to finally have immediate hot water available at your fingertips at the faucet?
How to Heat Bath Water if Your Gas Is Off
Image courtesy of bymuratdeniz/iStock/Getty Images.
In This Article
- The optimal bathwater temperature
- Alternative methods of heating water
- And important safety issues
When there is no gas supply to the water heater, the quickest and most straightforward method of heating bathwater is to use the stove. For situations such as power outages due by storms, damaged water heaters, or gas shortages, this approach is the best option available to you. This, however, will be dependent on whether your stove is gas or electric, as well as whether or not you still have electricity.
Ideal Bathwater Temperature
When there is no gas supply to the water heater, the stove is the quickest and most straightforward means of heating bathwater. For situations such as power outages caused by storms, damaged water heaters, or gas shortages, this approach is the best option available. The type of stove you have and whether you still have power will determine whether you need to use a gas or an electric stove for cooking.
Important Safety Considerations
When working with a pot or container full of boiling water, always use oven mitts to protect your hands. Take your time and avoid getting wet. You should put on shoes just in case you end up splashing about. Always avoid placing anything electrical in the bathwater since it will not heat the water and may result in electrocution. Make certain that all gas dials are turned off. If you smell gas, don’t light anything, including candles or cigarettes, and call a professional right once to assess the situation.
A huge pot of water must be moved carefully since it is exceedingly risky to do so without being able to see what you’re doing.
Hot water without a water heater
Highest homes spend the third most amount of money on energy on “domestic hot water,” which is the heated water used for washing clothing, dishes, and people. Only heating and cooling bills cost more money per family member. According to data published by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the cost of providing domestic hot water is over $350 per year for the average home. It goes without saying that if there are a lot of kids taking long showers or a lot of laundry being done, these expenses may quickly escalate.
Nonetheless, in this blog post, I’ll explore another alternative that can result in even greater savings: heating water without the use of a water heater.
It’s convenient when a boiler warms twice as fast. When you have an indirect water heater, the boiler performs two functions at once. By employing a second heat exchanger in the hot water tank, it offers water for space heating as well as water for washing purposes.
Indirect water heaters combine space heating and water heating
When the weather turns cold, hot water boilers (which just heat water rather than boiling it) deliver heated liquid (such as water or an antifreeze solution) to warm living spaces. The boiler does double duty when it comes to indirect water heating systems. Because the DHW storage tank does not have its own specialized heating element, as is the case with traditional tank-type water heaters, as seen in the figure, It is instead powered by hot water from the boiler, which circulates via a heat exchanger located inside of the tank.
- During the summer, the boiler will be turned on to keep the laundry water supply warm for you.
- As you use a modern “sealed-combustion” boiler with an efficiency of 90 percent or greater, you should expect to save 60 percent or more on your water-heating expenditures when compared to when you use separate space and water-heating systems, according to the manufacturer.
- There are a number of other advantages to using indirect water heating that are worth discussing.
- Furthermore, the DHW storage tank will survive many years longer than a typical tank-type water heater that requires a separate heat source to function.
- It’s a terrific deal to get free hot water.
How to shower with no hot water
Hot water boilers (which just heat water rather than boiling it) provide hot liquid (such as water or an antifreeze solution) to warm living rooms during colder weather conditions. The boiler does double duty in an indirect water heating system. In contrast to typical tank-type water heaters, the DHW storage tank does not have its own specialized heating element, as seen in the figure. It is instead powered by hot water from the boiler, which passes via a heat exchanger inside the tank. The fact that your household hot water is almost free throughout the winter is a hard bargain to resist while the boiler is working to keep the house warm.
- Ultimately, what matters is the amount of money that may be saved by indirect water heating.
- This is in comparison to employing separate space and water heating systems.
- There are a number of other advantages to using indirect water heating that are worth highlighting.
- In addition, the DHW storage tank will survive many years longer than a typical tank-type water heater that requires a separate heat source to function correctly.
Using indirect water heating might be a good option if you have an outdated hydronic heating system that has to be replaced (radiators, hot water baseboards, or a hydro-air system). It’s a terrific deal to have unlimited hot water.
Have a kettle bath instead
A kettle bath is a convenient method to get clean without having to risk a scalding shower or a freezing shower. Starting with a few inches of cold water in the bath and then topping it up with a kettle full of boiling water to take the edge off the cold is a good idea. Naturally, you could keep boiling more kettles of water (or heating water in pans), but the goal here isn’t to fill the bath with water as you would typically do. We’re only concerned about having enough water to allow you to get bathed and ready to go.
Additionally, if you plan to shampoo your hair, you will require a beaker or small plastic bowl from the kitchen in order to rinse it off afterwards.
In addition, please use caution when working with hot water, particularly when transporting the kettle upstairs.
Have a cold shower in stages
The following techniques should assist you in getting through a cold shower with the least amount of discomfort if you’re in a hurry or if a kettle bath isn’t available for you. Obtain a warm towel by either laying it on a heated towel rail or drying it in the tumble dryer as soon as possible after getting out of the shower. In the event that you do decide to use the tumble dryer, make sure to set a timer so that your towel is nice and warm when you step out of the shower. Afterwards, make sure that the water pressure in your shower is set to the maximum setting so that you can get your hair and body rinsed and dried as soon as possible.
Shampoo your hair fast to reduce the amount of time your hair is exposed to cold water, then return your head to the sink and thoroughly rinse it out of the shampoo.
Finally, step back under the water and spin your body briskly to rinse the suds out of your hair and body as thoroughly as possible.
Embrace taking a cold shower
Because some people believe that having a cold shower is beneficial to one’s health, rather of considering your shower dilemma as a curse, why not look at it as a blessing?
Cold showers make you stronger
Because some people believe that having a cold shower is beneficial to one’s health, rather of considering your shower dilemma as a curse, why not regard it as a blessing instead?
Cold showers are better for your skin
As a result of washing away healthy natural oils from your skin, hot water has the potential to dry up your skin. Cold water, on the other hand, causes this to happen far less frequently, and as an additional plus, cold water helps to “tighten” your pores, which helps to prevent them from being blocked with debris.
Cold water flattens your hair follicles and increases their hold on your scalp, which has health advantages for both your hair and your scalp. This results in hair that is stronger, shinier, and more healthy-looking.
Cold showers help with muscle recovery
If you routinely go to the gym, you’re probably familiar with delayed muscle soreness, which occurs a day or two after an exercise session. This is why athletes frequently soak in ice baths or apply ice packs to their muscles to alleviate muscular discomfort. The use of a cold shower after working out has a similar effect, allowing your muscles to heal at a much faster pace than usual.
The Dyno-Rod difference
Heating water in our houses is the second most energy-intensive activity in our homes. (Photo courtesy of iStock) The average Canadian uses a lot of hot water. Our daily water use is around 75 litres of hot water per person, divided amongst bathing, showering, dishwashing, and doing laundry. The water must also be heated, which consumes a lot of energy. It is estimated that water heaters account for roughly 20 percent of total energy use in the average Canadian household. As a matter of fact, according to Dianna Miller, chief of theEnergy Starprogram—a certification program for energy efficient goods and buildings administered by Natural Resources Canada—water heating ranks second only to space heating in terms of energy use (NRCAN).
Detailed instructions for heating your water without causing global warming are provided below.
How do water heaters contribute to climate change?
Many Canadians heat their water with fossil fuels, which is environmentally friendly. Natural gas powered 69 percent of all water heaters in Canada in 2017, according to the Canadian Water Heater Association. Additionally, every time a gas-fired water heater is used, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are produced. Water heating accounts for 21% of total home greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. While an electric water heater produces less carbon dioxide than a gas water heater, it is only effective if you reside in a province that utilizes clean power.
For their part, gas water heaters may achieve up to 98 percent energy efficiency.
Heat pump water heaters are a good example of this type of technology.
What are heat pump water heaters?
Heat pump water heaters, in contrast to other types of hot water heaters, do not heat the water directly; instead, they absorb heat from the surrounding air and transport it to the water storage tank. Heat pump water heaters are frequently referred to as “reverse refrigerators” since they work in the same way as refrigerators. Unlike a refrigerator, which takes heat from an enclosed box and expels it into the surrounding air, a heat pump water heater collects heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to water in an enclosed tank, as shown in the diagram.
As a result, a heat pump water heater not only consumes less electricity, reducing strain on the power grid, but it also costs less to operate.
According to the capacity of the unit and the efficiency with which it operates, they range in price from around $1,000 to $3,000 including installation.
If the cost of such an efficient system causes sticker shock, keep in mind that it will pay for itself in as little as three years if maintained properly. Aside from that, heat pump water heaters are eligible for a reimbursement of up to $1,000 under the Canada Greener Homes Grant program.
Are there other low-carbon hot water heaters?
The heat pump water heater is different from conventional hot water heaters in that it does not heat the water directly; instead, it captures and transfers heat from the surrounding air to the water tank. It is common to refer to heat pump water heaters as “reverse refrigerators.” Instead of drawing heat from an enclosed box and exchanging it with the surrounding air like a refrigerator does, a heat pump water heater gets heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to water in an enclosed tank.
Accordingly, not only does a heat pump water heater consume less power, which reduces pressure on the grid, but it also has a lower operating cost.
Depending on the volume of the unit and how efficient it is, they can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 including installation.
If the cost of such an efficient system causes sticker shock, keep in mind that it will pay for itself in as little as three years if it is maintained correctly.
Tankless water heaters
In contrast to their name, they do not have a tank for storing hot water. Instead, water is sent via a heat exchanger, where it is rapidly heated by either a natural gas burner or an electric element, depending on the system. These water heaters, which are also known as on-demand water heaters, provide a consistent supply of hot water whenever you want it. They are available in a variety of sizes and flow rates, which are measured in gallons per minute (GPM). The GPM (gallons per minute) determines how much hot water they can give at once.
- This is because there is no storage tank, which means that these systems have a longer lifespan than traditional ones because there is less rust and corrosion present.
- And they take up less space on a physical level than typical water storage tanks.
- Electric versions emit less carbon dioxide (assuming they are fueled by clean electricity), and they do not require venting.
- Furthermore, they are less expensive to purchase.
The downside is that they must be connected into the electrical grid, and bigger units may require an electrical update in your home. Depending on the GPM and efficiency of the device, an electric tankless water heater might cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
Solar water heaters
Solar water heaters heat water by utilizing the energy of the sun. There are two different sorts of systems: passive and active. Passive water heating systems rely only on the sun and gravity to heat water. However, they are only dependable in warm temperatures since they are the simplest and least costly option. To heat your house in Canada, you’ll need an active system, which uses electricity to circulate water through a heat exchanger and into your residence. Solar collectors, a heat exchanger, and a hot water tank make up an active solar water heater, which is a type of solar water heater.
Heat is transferred to the water heater after the radiation has been converted to thermal energy by the use of a pump that circulates fluid through a heat exchanger.
When it comes to hot water, they can offer up to 60% of your needs in Canada.
In spite of the fact that they are not the only source of heat, they may help you conserve energy by preheating water before it reaches the storage tank, reducing the amount of energy required to get the water up to your desired temperature.
How do I find the right heat pump water heater?
Heat pump water heaters are very new to Canada, and as a result, they are not as actively sold or pushed as traditional water heaters. Because the HVAC industry is still adjusting to this new technology, you may not always obtain the answers you need by phoning the nearest firm to your location. It is preferable to conduct your study ahead of time.
Ask an energy advisor for recommendations
Only heat pump water heaters are eligible for a reimbursement under the Canada Greener Homes Grantprogram, which is the only kind of water heater that is. However, in order to be eligible, you must first have a home energy assessment, which will be compensated under the program. When a trained energy adviser comes to your house, they will conduct a variety of tests to evaluate how airtight your home is, identify air leaks, and provide recommendations on how to make your home more energy efficient.
They receive standardized training and are knowledgeable about the most up-to-date clean technologies.
They will very certainly be able to propose certain systems, and they can also direct you to a reputable supplier or installer in your region.
Look for the Energy Star label
For Miller, the first stop when shopping for anything is the Energy Star Canadaweb page, “because it connects you to all of the recognized items in your region, and you know that they’ll get certified with an Energy Star certification,” he explains. Energy Star is a trademark of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, while the program is maintained and promoted by Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) in Canada. Each and every product that has earned the Energy Star label has undergone extensive testing by an independent third party to guarantee that it fulfills stringent efficiency criteria.
In addition, certified items comply with any other applicable requirements or regulations. You may use the Energy Star product discovery tool to look for and compare heat pump water heaters that are Energy Star certified.
Make sure it qualifies for a Greener Homes Grant rebate
In the event that you have your heart set on a certain model, make certain that it is featured on the list of heat pump water heaters that are qualified for the Canada Greener Homes Grant. You may use the search function to find individual products or download the entire list. Ask contractors to include the Energy Star “unique ID number,” as well as the brand, model name, and model number, in their quotations if you are seeking estimates. In addition, you must make certain that you select a product that has been advised by your energy adviser in your remodeling upgrade report.
Things to consider when buying a water heater
“When comparing heat pump water heater models, look at the Uniform Energy Factors (UEF),” says Patricia Kirchner, product implementation manager at A.O. Smith Enterprises Ltd, a company that manufactures water heaters. “When comparing heat pump water heater models, look at the uniform energy factors (UEF). “The UEF is an indication of a water heater’s energy efficiency; the higher the UEF, the more energy efficient the water heater is, and the better the water heater.” In the event that you’ve narrowed your search to Energy Star models or models that qualify for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, you’re already on the correct road; these models fall between the ranges of 2.3 and 4.
Get the right size
Whatever sort of water heater you choose, you’ll want it to be able to deliver enough hot water to meet the demands of your entire household. Take into consideration the amount of people that live in your house, as well as how frequently you shower, wash dishes, and do laundry. Make use of your present water heater as a yardstick: is it up to the task? In the words of Shelly Vallée-Ewing, co-founder ofWomen in HVACR Canada, “take special attention of your developing family.” “If your children will be teens within the next several years, you should make provisions for their water consumption.”
Give it space
The heat pump types are higher than normal electric units, so they require more space to ‘breathe,’ according to Kirchner. Accordingly, “the height and size of the space in which the heater is situated must be taken into account.” Make certain that you or your contractor measures the space and that you review the specs for your model—different units have varying needs for space between them. Given that heat pump water heaters draw heat from the atmosphere around them, they operate more efficiently in a hot environment.
We have one stashed away in the furnace room, right beside the laundry area.)
The heat pump types are higher than normal electric units and require more space to ‘breathe,’ according to Kirchner. So the height and size of the room where the heater will be put must be taken into consideration. Make certain that you or your contractor measures the space and that you review the specs for your model—different units have varying needs for distance between each other.
Heat pump water heaters work better in a warm environment because they draw heat from the air around them. They also produce cold air, therefore they should be placed away from the main living area of your house. We have one stashed away in the furnace room next to the laundry area.
What to Do When You Have No Hot Water in Your House
Getting out of bed in the morning is becoming increasingly difficult due to the frigid winter conditions. It’s possible that the only thing that will motivate you to get out from beneath those toasty, warm covers is the prospect of plunging into that piping hot shower. But, no, not at all! Your aspirations for a nice shower are dashed when chilly water splashes across your back, revealing that you do not have any hot water. As a result, we understand how aggravating it may be when your hot water stops working!
- With a little knowledge of what to look for, it’s possible to get it operating again yourself with a simple patch.
- Occasionally, the hot water would come back on.
- If waiting for your water to heat up doesn’t solve the problem, it’s possible that you have a more serious problem.
- Newer model water heaters do not necessarily have a pilot light; nevertheless, if yours does, make sure the flame is not out before proceeding.
- This information may be found on the side of your water heater in some cases.
- If your water heater does have a pilot light, you may relight it by following the steps outlined below, or you can refer to the directions for your individual model.
- Turn the regulator to the off position and wait for at least five minutes for the gas to disperse before continuing. Then set the regulator to “pilot” mode. If your water heater has the self-ignite feature, all you have to do is hold down the ignition button for roughly a minute before turning on the regulator. In the event that you must use a flame to ignite your pilot light, use a long lighter and aim it directly at the pilot burner. This is the location of the natural gas supply
Allow at least five minutes for the gas to evaporate after resetting the regulator to the “off” position Afterwards, set the regulator to “pilot mode.” If your water heater has the self-ignite feature, all you have to do is hold down the ignition button for roughly a minute before turning the regulator on. In the event that you must use a flame to ignite your pilot light, use a long lighter and aim it directly toward the pilot burner. In this area, you’ll find the gas supply.
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.
Then there are the niggling concerns such as: Is it clogged with silt that consumes energy? Is there a chance of a leak? Both of these worries are fair given the fact that tanks often fail between 8 and 12 years.
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.
- 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
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 people. Electric heaters without a tank range in price from $90 to $900 dollars. When compared to a simple tank replacement, installation expenses are higher the first time. (See the paragraph below labeled “Installation of an Electric Tankless Water Heater.”)
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?
Tankless water heaters powered by natural gas should last for 20 years or more, which is two to three times longer than tank-type heaters in the same environment. Units using tankless electric power have shorter life spans, often ranging from 7 to 10 years in duration.
Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters powered by natural gas should last 20 years or more, 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 tanks.
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
Most vacation home owners are well aware of how long it takes to drain a water heater tank before closing up their residence for the winter. Using a compressor, you may quickly drain and then disconnect a tankless heater from the mains.
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:
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.
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
Carl Tremblay captured this image.
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:
- Following are the steps used by professionals to ensure that your heater produces adequate hot water: To change cold water into hot water in a matter of seconds, it needs a significant amount of BTUs from the tankless heater. 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, according to the manufacturer. A plumber considers three elements when determining if a heater will be sufficient to satisfy the demands of a household:
- 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)
- 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 next 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.
Tankless Water Heater Installation
Doug Adams created the illustration. What you and your plumber should look for before the installation day is as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Saves space: You won’t have to create place for another appliance in your home as a result of this. Installation is straightforward: Because of the built-in exhaust vent, there is no need to drill a large hole (or two) through the side of the building. Service is simple: A plumber may come to your home at any time, whether or not you are there. However, take in mind the following: Regulations governing construction: If you want to install it outside, you may require approval from your local building department. Weather conditions that are cold: Even at temperatures as low as 22 degrees Fahrenheit, internal heaters keep components warm, but exposed water lines must be insulated and covered with heat tape that activates automatically in freezing conditions. Southern states are less concerned about frozen pipes than those located north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
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 online.