Infrared Electric Water Heaters With No Maintenance?

We all love the cost savings we get when we use tankless water heaters. That said, I think we can all agree that we don’t like doing the routine maintenance of descaling and flushing! Maybe it’s not such a big task, but it’s certainly important and not something you want to forget about.

But what if I told you that there is new technology available in tankless water heaters that give you both the cost savings and require no annual maintenance?

siogreen infrared water heaterAn innovative new company called SioGreen has developed their product called the IR260, one of the first of it’s kind. Using innovative materials in both the heat exchanger and the heating chamber, the infrared technology allows you to heat water without the accumulation of calcium and limescale. This completely takes one of the biggest draw backs to tankless heaters right out of the equation.

To be fair, there are other companies working infrared with this as well.

Of course, there is a catch. There’s always a catch.

This technology is relatively new and with it comes two pit-falls: it is not very powerful, barely able to produce 2.5 GPM, and that is when water is above 67F. (Sorry Canada, this one is not for you)

In addition, it’s untested. Some big companies like the iWaterPurification foundation suggest it’s the best RV water heater, but to me it’s hard to know if your warranty will hold up in 10 years and if SioGreen will even be around. So buyer beware, this is an untested product.

You can learn more about SioGreen and their water heater with their SharkTank submission video here:

What I do love about this new development is that we can likely expect over the next 5 to 10 years that this technology will improve and will become more powerful, allowing every day people to enjoy the benefits of tankless water heating without the dreaded maintenance that comes with it.

That’s right, a tankless water heater for the lazy hero.

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Should I get an Electric or Gas Tankless Water Heater?

When you are first starting to do your research on tankless water heaters, you’ll notice that the majority of them are either gas powered or electric powered. You will probably also notice right away that the electric units are much cheaper than their natural gas counter parts.

In this short article, we will explain the difference between the two types of tankless water heaters so you can make the right choice.

The Biggest Factor: Power

powerful water heatersBoth electric and gas can heat water, that much is obvious. What makes them difference is just how much water they can heat. The power of the unit is measured in two ways: how much of a temperature rise can it achieve, and how much is the flow rate, in gallons per minute.

Most electric water heaters cannot raise the temperature of water more than 40F, which means it’s not generally acceptable for incoming water temperatures below 50F. In winters months in northern states, this simply will not suffice for the winter.

In addition, electric water heaters have low flow rates, usually topping out around a maximum of 3.0 GPM. This is basically only enough for a shower and a sink, and not much more.

The Other Biggest Factor: Price

That is why electric water heaters are significantly cheaper, because they are significantly less powerful. That said, you can just as easily purchase 2-3 electric units for less than the price of a single natural gas unit and basically achieve the same effect (For people living in the south, or if it’s only used during the summer).

In addition, electricity is also generally more expensive than natural gas, if you measure by money required to heat a gallon of water 40F. You will spend more, if you draw energy from the grid, if you use an electric water heater versus a natural gas or propane powered one. So while you may save some money initially, you will pay a little bit more each month over time that will erode those savings.

The x Factor: Infrared

siogreen infrared water heaterInfrared water heaters are the only type on the market that don’t require annual maintenance. Both standard electric and gas powered tankless water heaters all need routine maintenance to clean out the limescale and calcium. However, a new type of electric water heater using infrared technology is actually able to heat water without accumulating sediments on the heat exchanger. This technology is relatively new and we will post more about that next week.

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