How To Choose A Tankless Water Heater
A tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand water heater, is a popular choice for homeowners looking to upgrade their traditional water heaters. Unlike traditional storage tank water heaters, tankless water heaters heat water as it passes through the unit, providing hot water on-demand. This saves energy and money on utility bills, making it a more sustainable and cost-effective option. However, with many types and sizes on the market, choosing the right tankless water heater can be overwhelming. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a tankless water heater:
1. Your Home’s Hot Water Needs
The first thing to consider when selecting a tankless water heater is the hot water needs of your home. The unit’s size should correspond to the hot water usage level of your household to ensure you have enough hot water when you need it. Here are some factors that can affect your hot water needs:
– The size of your family: The more people in your household, the more hot water you will need.
– Your daily routine: Do you take long showers or use hot water appliances like a dishwasher or washing machine regularly?
– Climate: In colder climates, a tankless water heater may need to work harder to heat water.
Using these factors, you can calculate how many gallons per minute (GPM) of hot water your household uses at peak times and select a water heater that can meet those demands.
2. Fuel Type
Tankless water heaters are available in electric or gas-powered models. Electric models are generally smaller and cheaper to install, but they are less powerful than gas models. Gas-powered models, on the other hand, require a larger upfront investment but are more energy-efficient and can provide more hot water. Another thing to consider is the availability of the fuel type in your area. In some areas, natural gas may not be available, making electric models the only option.
3. Energy Efficiency
As with any appliance, energy efficiency is vital when choosing a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters can provide significant savings on energy costs, as they only heat water as it’s needed, eliminating the standby heat loss that occurs with traditional storage tank models. Look for models that have a high Energy Factor (EF) rating, which measures the unit’s efficiency. More efficient models can save you money over time, but may have a higher upfront cost.
4. Unit Size
The physical size of the unit is also essential when choosing a tankless water heater. Since tankless water heaters are generally smaller than storage tank models, they can save space and be installed in tight or hard-to-reach areas. However, larger models may be required for households with higher demand for hot water. Consider the available space in your home, and choose a model that will fit comfortably and efficiently in that space.
5. Installation Requirements
Another factor to consider when choosing a tankless water heater is the installation requirements. Venting, fuel type, and electrical systems may all affect the installation process and costs. If installing gas models, you’ll need to ensure that the home has proper gas lines and venting for the unit. Electric models may require a dedicated electrical circuit. Some models may even include installation costs in the final purchase price, while others will require you to hire a qualified professional to install the unit separately.
6. Flow Rate
The flow rate, or the amount of hot water that the unit can produce per minute is another essential factor to consider. Different models will have different GPM ratings. This rating specifies how much hot water the unit can deliver at a specific temperature rise. A higher GPM rating means the unit provides more hot water per minute. Most households will require a tankless water heater with a flow rate of 5-7 GPM to meet their hot water needs.
7. Brand Reputation
Finally, when choosing a tankless water heater, you should also consider the reputation of the brand. Look for brands that have a reputation for high-quality products and excellent customer service. You can check online product reviews and customer experiences to gauge the reliability of the unit and its manufacturer. A reputable brand will also typically have a warranty that covers parts and labor, giving you peace of mind in case of any potential issues.
As you can see, there are a few essential factors to consider when selecting a tankless water heater. Start by assessing your hot water usage needs, considering the fuel type, energy efficiency, unit size, installation requirements, flow rate, and brand reputation. This will help you choose a tankless water heater that will provide sufficient hot water for your household while also reducing your energy costs. Always ensure you purchase a product from a reliable manufacturer and have it installed by a qualified plumbing professional to ensure optimal performance and longevity. With a little research and thought, you can select the perfect tankless water heater to meet your household’s hot water needs and save on utility bills.
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Categorised in: Water Heaters
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