Tankless Water Heaters Review

Why Buy Tankless Water Heaters?

Installing a tankless water heater rather than a conventional model reduces the amount of energy you consume, decreasing your energy bill. It only draws energy when you need hot water and for short periods of time, heating a fairly small volume. Traditional water heaters pull significantly more energy, as they run for longer and must heat an entire large-capacity tank of water to deliver even a small amount of sufficiently hot water when you turn on a tap. Traditional tanks, even well-insulated ones, let heat escape. This means the water inside constantly cools, so your heater must run almost continuously to maintain the internal temperature.

Because these water heaters run less frequently than traditional models and draw less energy, their lifespan is considerably longer. For homes where space is at a premium, tankless water heaters are a smart choice. They don't store and heat huge volumes of water, so they are far smaller than their conventional counterparts. Some popular tankless water heaters are the Bosch Therm 520 HN, the Rheem RTE 13 and the Noritz NRC661-DV-NG.

Tankless Water Heaters: What to Look For

With so many to choose from, purchasing a tankless water heater is a daunting task. Understanding your needs and the key considerations enables you to make an informed purchasing decision and select a model that best suits your lifestyle and needs.

Power Source
The power source is one of the most important considerations. You can choose from electric, natural gas and propane tankless water heaters. If you only have one available fuel source in your home, it makes sense to choose a water heater with that power supply. However, if you have both gas and electric, you need to weigh your options. Electric models tend to require less maintenance than gas tankless water heaters, but they generally cost more per unit than gas. For safety, gas or propane tankless water heaters require yearly inspections.

Size & Flow Rate
The size and maximum flow rate of the water heater determines how much water it can deliver at one time. Some models are specifically for whole-house use, allowing you to run multiple applications simultaneously. Smaller models, with a flow rate of around 0.5 gallons per minute (gpm), are only suitable for use with a single faucet. You can choose to purchase a single whole-house unit or multiple smaller units that provide water to specific points in the home. Alternatively, if you want to keep your conventional water tank and use a tankless water heater for a single sink or shower, or as a means of providing hot water in a garage or separated structure, you can install a single small tankless model.

Energy Efficiency
While tankless water heaters tend to use less energy than conventional water tanks, some models offer greater energy efficiency than others. To maximize your monetary savings and the environmental friendliness of your home, you should opt for a model with Energy Star certification.

To save space and money, and reduce your carbon footprint for a greener, more energy-efficient home, a tankless water heater is a solid choice. However, you need to consider the power source, size, flow rate and energy efficiency to make your purchase decision.