A Tankless water heater is a small unit mounted on your wall, typically close to the water faucet. It does not keep gallons of heated water in a tank like a conventional storage tank.
When hot water is needed from the sink or shower, cold water flows through the unit’s heated coil and comes through your faucet or showerhead as hot water, on-demand. The water can be heated by a gas or electric power source.
This delivery method of hot water from the tankless water heater is much more efficient for your gas or electric bill over its lifetime, however, it will cost more upfront. Also the size of a tankless water heater does limit the amount of water that flows out of it, so multiple units may be required if your household demand is high from various sources.
Tankless water heater Pros:
- Most efficient for households that use 41 gallons of water or less per day
- Life expectancy of each unit is approximately 20 years
- On-demand heating is more energy efficient than maintaining a consistent heat for tens of gallons of water
- Energy efficiency is increased greatly with multiple-installed units
Tankless water heater Cons:
- Multiple tankless water heater units at various water sources may be necessary to achieve peak efficiency in larger households requiring multiple simultaneous hot-water uses (dishwasher and washing machine running at same time) increasing upfront costs
- The output, or flow, of water is limited to the capacity of the unit.
- Low-flow shower heads are recommended to be purchased and installed when using a tankless water heater
- Gas-powered units generally have higher flow rates (hot water output) but may have a running pilot light unless equipped with an intermittent ignition device (IID).
Sizing It Up
Tankless hot water heaters are made in various capacities ranging from room sized to whole-house sizes. The optimal tankless water heater unit to install depends on the demand of gallons of water needed for its use, as its ratings of flow rate and temperature rise.
For example, a sink or shower may only need a temperature rise rating of 70 degrees Fahrenheit with a flow rate of 5 gallons per minute. However, a dishwasher may demand a temperature rise of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can see, it may be a little tricky to determine the correct size and quantity needed.
Since you want to buy and install the best size and quantity of tankless water heaters to suit your home or business’s needs, it is best to consult with professionals. We here at Elk Grove Village Sewer and Plumbing can assess your home or business’s hot water needs and recommend and install the most energy efficient tankless water heaters. Give us a call today!