If your storage water heater has reached the end of its lifespan, you might be considering tankless water heating in its place. Here’s what you need to know about going tankless.
Advantages of a Tankless Water Heating System
- Hot water on demand: While a storage tank heats enough water for you to shower, do a batch of laundry and run the dishwasher all at once, you’ll likely have to wait at least 20 minutes once the tank runs out of hot water for it to heat up some more.
- Energy efficiency: Tankless water heating systems don’t store hot water. Instead, they heat water on demand, eliminating standby energy waste and increasing efficiency over storage water heaters by about 50 percent.
Limitations of a Tankless Water Heating System
- Flow rate: Tank water heaters put out 7.5 to 9.5 gallons per minute (gpm) to facilitate multiple hot-water tasks simultaneously. Tankless water heaters put out about 2.5 to 5 gpm, enough for one or two simultaneous hot water tasks.
- Lower flow rate in the winter: The colder incoming water is, the more heat it requires to reach the desired temperature. The tankless system can only heat so quickly when incoming water is nearly freezing. This lowers the hot water flow rate further than normal.
Solutions to Limitations
- Install more than one tankless water heater: In homes with more than two or three occupants, it’s worthwhile to have more than one tankless water heaters. This logic is the same as purchasing a larger storage water tank for higher occupancy homes.
- Dedicate one tankless water heater to one particular use: A dedicated unit that serves just the kitchen or laundry room prevents a nice hot shower from suddenly turning cold. Installing multiple units increases their performance and energy efficiency.
When choosing one tankless water heating system over another, consider that gas-fired tankless systems are more expensive upfront, but they qualify for federal tax credits through the end of this year, and provide lower operating costs compared to electric tankless units.
To learn more about switching to tankless water heating, please contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing in Brownsburg today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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