Just for the Health of It

Green Homes – Is a Tankless Water Heater Right For You?

New government programs encourage people to make their home more energy efficient and green. Tankless (demand) water heaters are one way to make your home more energy and water use efficient. Manufacturers claim operating cost savings between ten and fifty percent. This means savings of $150 per year or more for many families. Your actual savings will depend on the type and age of your current water heating equipment, its efficiency, and how much hot water you use. Here are some facts that you should consider before purchasing tankless equipment.

Tankless water heaters heat water only when you use hot water, compared to storage types that heat water and store it in a tank for when you need it. The main advantage of this tankless equipment is that it looses no energy maintaining a tank full of hot water during the vast majority of the day when you don’t need it. The other advantage is that you won’t run out of hot water so long as you don’t use more hot water than the tankless equipment can produce.

Some tankless equipment is designed to provide hot water at the point-of-use, such as for a single bathroom or for the kitchen. These units provide almost instant hot water because they are close to where you use hot water. They are more energy and water efficient because no energy and water is lost running water a long distance from a central water heater. Installing point-of-use tankless equipment in existing homes may not be practical because each unit must have its own energy supply and because concealed plumbing pipes usually need to be changed.

Some tankless models are designed to provide hot water for the entire home. These larger models can be a practical replacement for storage models in existing homes. kho thuc pham dong lanh tai ha noi

A tankless water heater must be the correct size to provide all the hot water you need when you need it. The most important factor determining the correct size is the maximum number of gallons of hot water you will need per minute. Smaller models may supply only a shower and a bathroom sink at once. Larger models can supply two or even three showers at once.

The other factor determining the correct size is the temperature of the water entering your home. Tankless units can only increase the water temperature by a certain number of degrees at a certain number of gallons per minute. This can be a problem in colder areas, particularly during the winter. For example, if the cold water is 50 degrees, a tankless model may deliver 110 degree water at 3.3 gallons per minute. That same model may deliver 5.2 gallons per minute if the cold water is 70 degrees. You need to determine both the coldest water temperature and the maximum gallons per minute hot water usage to select equipment that will produce enough hot water under all conditions.

Tankless water heaters use either gas or electricity. Gas models are more expensive to purchase, install, and maintain than comparable electric models. The advantages of gas models are that they cost less to use and that they provide more hot water per minute than comparable electric models.

Replacing a storage water heater with a tankless model may not make economic sense because changes to existing gas and electrical components are often required. Larger gas models require special sealed stainless steel vent pipe. These models also demand much more gas than storage equipment and they often require a source of electricity for the gas ignition system. Gas models often require replacing the entire vent system, replacing the gas pipe to the unit, and adding an electrical receptacle near the unit. This can add several hundred to over one thousand dollars to the cost.


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