Selecting the Best Tankless Water Heater for You

Are you thinking of changing your water heater from a conventional tank water heater to a tankless one? Perhaps you have an older tankless unit and would like to upgrade to a newer model?  Or maybe you are thinking of putting one in your new home.  Whatever your situation is right now, choosing a tankless water heater should be taken seriously.  So here are some tips on how you can select the best tankless water heater for you.

water heater

Gas or Electric

The first thing you need to decide on is the type of power you want for your water heater. Tankless water heaters are commonly powered by electricity, propane, or natural gas.  This type of water heating unit can be used for the entire house, heating source for specific fixtures, or even a boiler for your home heating system.

Therefore, installation can be done at the point where hot water is required or centrally. If you want hot water for example only for your bathroom shower, you can use an electric-powered tankless water heater.  Gas-powered units on the other hand have the capability to deliver hot water to your whole house.  However, you must remember that even the biggest capacity gas-fed tankless water heater will not be able to deliver hot water simultaneously to multiple large users.

So if you frequently use the washing machine, dishwasher, and shower simultaneously, you can have a gas-powered tankless water heater installed along with an electric-powered one installed at the point-of-need to meet your huge heating requirements.

water heater

Right Size

The size of the water heating unit you need would be based primarily on the requirements of your entire household. You cannot leave this to guesswork.  Here are the water flow values for the different plumbing fixtures and appliances to guide you on the actual tankless water heater size you need.

  • Faucets – 0.75 to 2.5 gallons per minute;
  • Standard Showerheads – 2.5 to 3.5 gallons per minute;
  • Low-Flow Showerheads – 1.2 to 2 gallons; and
  • Washing Machines and Dishwashers – 1 to 2 gallons per minute.

You also need to establish the temperature rise you need. This would be basically be the amount you need to increase the temperature of the incoming water to reach your desired temperature.  So if your incoming temperature is 50 degrees and want water heated to 120 degrees, you need a temperature rise of 70 degrees.

Next is to count the number of fixtures you expect to use simultaneously. So if you will use 3 faucets, 1 shower, and 1 dishwasher, you have to add their flow rates based on the figures given above.  This will give you your desired flow rate.  You can now choose the model of tankless water heater that can deliver your desired flow rate.

water heater cost

The Cost

It is important to note that tankless water heating units cost a bit higher than conventional ones. Small point-of-use models cost around $200 while larger gas-fired units can cost anywhere from $550 to $1,000 on the average.

If it costs more, why should you shift to tankless water heaters? By doing away with the hot water tank, you are also lowering your operating costs.  You also gain the luxury of having hot water available on demand.  The design of the unit as well as the price of gas (or electricity) in your area would become factors in computing the actual cost of operating your water heater.  Normally this would be in the neighborhood of $12 to $20 a year.  A unit with an Intermittent Ignition Device (IID) can further bring down the cost of operation.

With the service life of most tankless water heaters being around 20 years, choosing the best one for your needs would definitely give you a lot of savings.  By following these tips and allowing a professional to install your tankless water heater, you can maximize the benefits of a tankless water heating system.

Give a call for helpful advice and solution for choosing the best tankless water heater in you property, you will not disappointed!