People always call and ask us about tankless; how do they compare versus standard water heaters? Are they really green? Are they cost effective?
Well, we just completed an eight hour course that answers most of those questions. Yes, tankless water heaters are very popular now and are becoming more and more effecient. But are they worth it in today’s age and are they the future of water heating?
In today’s era everyone is looking to be more green, looking to save energy and water. Will a tankless water heater help you achieve that goal? Yes and no. Yes a tankless water heater uses less gas, on average you will save 43 therms per year (depending on where you live, a therm will cost between $1.00 and $1.50). But at what cost? Well, at a substantial cost! Tankless water heaters are usually priced two times higher than traditional gas water heaters, not to mention the installation is also usually double because tankless requires specific plumbing different than your closet water heater. For some tankless the following is required (or strongly recommended for efficient use); indivisual flue line, copper piping, bigger gas line, water softener, three foot clearance from floor). The biggest item mentioned is the water softener, with out one your water heater may only last one year (depending on where you live and the hardness of the water in the area).
Some organizations in Australia are pushing to band tankless water heaters because they claim they are big water wasters. How? Because tankless water heaters are continuously heating water on demand, that means you have endless hot water and unfortunately people abuse that commodity. It has also been said that they take longer to heat water at first use, so the water you waste while waiting to wash your hands (or shower) with warm water is going down the drain with out serving a purpose.
So is there any pros about tankless? Yes! The biggest one I believe is that they are small and do not take up much space. I also feel they would be beneficial for facilities or homes that don’t require much hot water (vacation homes, cabins, etc.). I also feel they will be popular for new homes that are built with proper plumbing for tankless.
As I write this water heater manufacturers are looking to make water heating more efficient. The water heating market is very diverse, manufacturers are currently producing all types of water heating solutions. On the market today you could find, tankless hybrids, condensation water heaters, heat pumps, and much more interesting methods of water heating.
Essentially the choice is yours! I hope I was able to answer some of your questions in regards to tankless water heaters. Below is a link of the class I took, it is a very insightful power point, after reading it I am sure you will have all your questions answered. It also contains efficiency data comparing different types of water heater, including some I did not mention. Most importantly, it provides an analysis for return on investment (I am sure you will be surprised by the results).