How to Choose the Best Tankless Water Heater for your Home?
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Hot water and that to running hot water is a choice preferred by many. Nobody wants to wait for water to get heated in storage hot water, particularly in the early morning. Hence tankless is the way to go! There’s no doubt about it, and many people are choosing tankless water heaters as the most convenient and cost-effective method of having instant hot water.
The latest tankless heaters are the most efficient of all. In some cases, switching from a traditional tank-fed heater to a tankless model can save as much as 60% on your annual energy cost. How does this happen?
With a standard tank-type heater, which was once the norm, the water is heated constantly, and heat is lost. With a tankless heater, water is taken from the cold tank, and heated on demand. There is no lost heat whatsoever. Clever and yet simple technology once again comes to the rescue!
So, how do you go about choosing the best tankless water heater for your requirements? You can start by reading this article.
What You Need to Consider
With tankless water heaters now becoming the preferred choice for most households, it comes as little surprise that there are many makes and models, plus different sizes and types, to choose from. Following, we will explain the main factors you need to look for when choosing the right heater.
Find some very informative reviews of the latest model click here.
Flow Rate – Know Your GPM/LPM
What do we mean by GPM/LPM? Quite simply, it stands for Gallons Per Minute/liters per minute. You need to make sure that the water heater you choose can handle the amount of water your household will use when demand is at its maximum.
How do you work this out? Well, each appliance has a flow rate that it requires. For example, your sinks will require on average 0.5GPM (2.25 LPM). A washing machine will usually use around 1.5GPM (6.75 LPM), while a shower may require as much as 2.5GPM (11.25 LPM).
You could list every appliance and add them all up, or you could use the following:
Average GPM By Size of Home
One bathroom apartment – 3.0GPM (13.5 LPM)
Small House under 1000 square feet – 4.0GPM (18.0 LPM)
Average two-bathroom home up to 1600 square feet – 7.5GPM (33.75 LPM)
Large home over 1600 square feet – 10GPM (45.5 LPM) or greater
The above should help you determine the output of the heater you require, but we recommend you talk to the experts, who will give you an accurate assessment of your water usage.
This will also depend on your lifestyle. If you do not use hot water for washing machine, this may come down significantly particularly in hot weather where water at room temperature can be used.
Temperature Rise Capability
This is an important but often forgotten factor when choosing a tankless water heater. It’s all about how much the heater needs to increase the temperature of the water that comes into your home, which can differ quite considerably depending upon where you may be in the USA or elsewhere in the world or in subtropical countries like India.
For example, in warmer parts of the US – the southern states – the temperature of the water can be as high as 77°F/25°C or even more in hot countries. In the northern states, however, the temperature of the ground water entering your home system can be as low as 35°F (15 to 20°C). You can see how that might influence the performance of a water heater!
Consider that a shower is usually run at between 102 and 105°F (38 to 40°C), and you may want the kitchen sink water to be, say, 110°F (42°C), and it becomes clear that a heater in northern states/Europe needs to work a lot harder than its southern counterpart!
It’s important to understand that not all tankless water heaters will be able to handle the temperature rise required in the colder locations, so you need to consider this factor very carefully indeed.
There may be a case in larger homes in the cold areas for using not one tankless heater, but a number of point-of-use heaters for individual appliances, especially those that use more water. This is something to discuss with the experts when you are having your home assessed for tankless water heaters.
Gas or Electric Water Heater?
This is a consideration only if you have the option. Many homes in the USA and hoe in rest of the world will only have access to either gas or electric power, in which case the decision is made for you! If you do have a choice, there are certain benefits to each, and it is possible that one option may be preferable to the other.
Let’s start by saying that, in general, gas tankless water heaters are usually able to provide you with a higher GPM/LPM. This is why they are the standard choice for homes that are looking at using one heater to provide hot water for all the appliances in the home.
Gas heaters also – and this is as fuel costs stand in the USA/India right now – offer lower running costs in comparison to electric models. However, gas tankless heater systems are more costly to install than the electric models, which is one downside.
Electric heaters are often the choice for use as point-of-use heaters. If you want a heater to supply hot water for, for example, a bath-tub only, then a smaller electric heater will do the job. They are also perhaps more suitable – and cheaper to install – for smaller homes (one bathrooms) and apartments.
Furthermore, electric heaters are – by their very nature – more environmentally friendly than gas models. Here’s a recap on the basic elements of each:
Quality of Water:
In certain part of the world where the ground water is used without treatment, it may be hard water and, in such case, the electrical heater will get damaged faster due to salts and will need regular maintenance and repairs in long term.
Gas Tankless Water Heaters:
- Best where one heater is needed for all appliances
- Best for larger homes
- Lower running costs
- Higher initial costs
Electric Tankless Water Heaters:
- Suitable for point-of-use heating requirements
- Best for small houses and apartments
- More expensive to run than gas
- Cheaper to install
- More environmentally friendly
So, which type of tankless water heater is the one for you?
As we said at the beginning, there is little doubt that a tankless heater is the way to go, and we hope that in this brief article we have given you a starting point so you can identify what sort of heater you need.
We recommend you read the reviews in detail and talk to an expert who will be able to assess your home for water usage and requirements, and advise you as to the best heater for the size of home and the location.