If you've ever taken a lukewarm or cold shower, you understand why hot water is such a crucial commodity in your home. Without hot water, you're just camping. It may be time to begin considering replacement of your existing hot water heater. Whether you have a tankless now, or you're planning to install one in the future - there are a few items that are worth considering before taking the plunge.
Tankless, or Tanked? That is the question!
There are many advantages of spending a bit more and installing a tankless water heater. The first of those advantages is the theory of endless hot water. I like to call it a theory, because I want to ensure that your expectations are properly set.
Tankless Water Heaters have what is called a BTU Rating. This rating is the heat generated by the tankless water heater in its maximum state. In most circumstances, a properly sized tankless water heater will give you endless hot water up to around 6-12 Gallons Per Minute. There are a few variables that play a role...
1. Gas System Delivery & Size: If you're using under-sized gas piping, this could potentially limit the amount of fuel that the tankless receives when it is trying to heat your water. This may cause performance degradation, and ultimately, temperature variation.
2. Maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial to the proper operation and longevity of equipment. If your tankless is neglected, it will definitely neglect you!
3. Initial Investment: Some homeowners do not see the value in installing high-efficiency equipment. Truth be told, some high-efficiency equipment whether it is air conditioning, plumbing, or electrical equipment can add up quickly!
4. Needs Power: Tankless Water Heaters will require power to operate. So ensure that your contractor plans for that in the estimate, and doesn't add that on at the end! There is very little power used by the tankless - so you don't need to panic and think that your electric bill will skyrocket!
5. Location: Most Tankless Manufacturers either have a separate tankless to be installed indoors/outdoors, or an indoor/outdoor installation kit. Know where you want your tankless to be installed. If there is a modification in piping, it may require additonal permitting with your state or local jurisdiction.
Tankless Water Heaters use multiple heat exchangers to maximize the flow and heating of incoming water to your home. These heat exchangers have become more and more reliable over the years, and are quite robust. This is what makes them so efficient! Many manufacturer's tout efficiencies between 90%-98% - which means that you're gaining anywhere between 30% and 36% Efficiency over a standard tank-type water heater.
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