Have you been running out of hot water while in the shower often? Has your hot water heater been giving you a headache because of constant repairs? Whatever the situation you could be going through, you will have to make the decision of tank or no tank when you’re shopping for a new water heater?
Both have their own advantages and disadvantages and it is important you do your research before making a purchasing decision. There are numerous tankless water heater benefits and we are going to be focusing on some of the key pointers you should look out for when shopping for a new unit.
One of the greatest benefits of tankless systems is water is heated on demand. Given the technology behind the system, hot water can be produced in perpetuity.
What is a Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless water heater was primarily designed to address the shortcomings of a tank heated. For conventional heaters, the only way one can keep the water hot is by constantly warming it up. This leads to high energy bills when the process is unnecessary. The standby heat loss usually contributes to up to 20% of the water heating costs in a home. There are some homes where the energy consumed for tank heaters is more than that of heating the home which should never be the case.
Other than avoiding standby heat loss, tankless water heaters are also effective when it comes to energy consumption. They only use what is needed for the heating thereby reducing the heating cost in a residential or commercial property. You can choose between two main tankless water heaters and that is point-of-use heaters and centrally located wholesale house heaters. What you choose will depend on the demand of the fixtures and the general household use.
Determining What You Need
You will have to figure out what you need before you select the appropriate type of water heater. The amount of hot water that is needed at peak demand will play a big role in determining the kind of tankless system you should go for. Figuring the amount of water that is needed is pretty straightforward. You can create a list of all the fixtures that are being used when there is high demand. You can consult with a certified plumber if you’re not sure of how to go about determining your needs.
You will also need to determine the power source of the tankless water heater. This will be after knowing the temperature flow and rise rate of your new tankless heater. You might need to upgrade the electrical systems if you consume a lot of power in your household. This is because the tankless water heater can be heat-intensive
Electric: The main concern with electric tankless water heaters is the load they will place on your home’s electrical system. You might need to change the wire size so that there is proper safety when the unit is being powered.
Gas: Gas-powered tankless water heaters are known to be more powerful than electric. They are commonly used for a whole house solution. You should ensure that the gas supply is sufficient enough to power the unit. Underpowered units might not be effective when it comes to functionality.
You will never have to worry about replacing the anode rod. With a tank system, you will have to flush out which can be time-consuming. Tankless water heaters also require maintenance but are not as intensive compared to a tank water heater. One of the things you should be worried about is the buildup of lime which can severely affect the performance of the unit. You should make sure that the water heater is descaled regularly so that is performing at optimum capacity. The question of how regular will depend on the kind of water in your area.
There are some units that can automatically alert you when it is time to descale. This makes maintenance easy and you don’t have to worry about the performance issues. You should have a professional inspect the unit if you don’t have a water heater that automatically detects when descaling is needed.
The descaling procedure shouldn’t be that much of a challenge as it will most likely be documented in the manufacturer’s manual. A good plumber should also help in education so that you don’t have to call for help every time you experience problems with your hot water unit.