If you need to upgrade your old, inefficient water heater, don’t assume that a standard tank system is your only choice. Tankless water heating offers families flexible water heating options, and they are generally more efficient than even the highest-rated conventional systems.
Water heaters are rated via an “energy factor” (EF), which takes three efficiency factors into account: standby losses, cycling losses and recovery capacity — and tankless water heating systems beat out even high-efficiency storage tank systems.
The latter scores an energy factor of 0.65, while tankless systems rank at 0.82. And even though condensing gas water heaters can achieve an EF of 0.86, tankless water heaters still outrank them in terms of lifetime costs when lifespan, purchase costs and monthly energy costs are taken into account.
If you’re interested in exploring a tankless system, there are two key factors you’ll need to consider:
Tankless systems operate differently from standard ones, which hold a large body of hot water at the ready. Instead, tankless systems heat on demand, quickly heating water only when you turn on a tap or appliance. And installation options are many.
But when choosing this type of water heater, you’ll need to evaluate the flow rate, or how much water the unit can produce. For instance, you can install a unit to supply a bathroom with water after calculating the flow rate of the shower/bath and sink. Or larger systems can be installed to provide water to your appliances, such as a dishwasher and clothes washer.
Your home’s water supply enters your home at a particular temperature. The tankless unit you install will then raise the water’s temperature for appropriate uses. Therefore, when choosing where and how many units to install, you’ll need to factor in the temperature rise, particularly because appliances generally require higher water temperatures compared to temperatures for showering and hand washing.
To take energy savings to new heights, consider the value of tankless water heating. For more information about tankless units, contact the friendly professionals at Quality Mechanical Services today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about tankless water heating and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.