Thousands of people are making the switch from conventional water tanks to tankless water heaters all across north america. And with good reason — many states and provinces provide a tax rebate for making the switch. Tankless water heaters in general are more efficient, conserve more water AND have the ability to provide unlimited hot water to a household. So why doesn’t everyone switch right away?
Tankless Water Heaters – What exactly are they?
Instead of a home keeping a tank of water hot 24 hours a day, a tankless hot water heater only heats water on demand, and doesn’t waste energy keeping a tank constantly full of hot water.
Tankless Hot Water Heater Power Sources
The most common power sources for tankless water heaters are natural gas and electric. There are also propane and solar as well, but are less popular and not as practical.
Electric vs Natural Gas Tankless Water Heaters
Generally speaking, electric water heaters have a much lower flow rate than natural gas. Electric tankless water heaters are usually between 1 – 3 GPM, and that’s when incoming temperatures is 67F or above, whereas a natural gas unit can get you all the way up to 10 GPM, which is usually required for a 3 bathroom home.
A general rule of thumb is that if you live in the southern united states or somewhere where the incoming water is 67F or above, you’ll want to take advantage of electric tankless water heaters, but bear in mind you will need to buy a couple of them to heat water for the whole house. That said, it is more efficient and doesn’t directly emit CO2, like natural gas.
Which water heater should I buy?
If you plan to buy and install the heater yourself, it’s important to read some high quality tankless water heater reviews. We recommend the site WaterHeaterReviews.net
Maintenance for your Tankless Water Heater
Maintenance is a big draw back for tankless water heaters. They in general will require descaling every year and maybe more if you have very hard incoming water. It’s for this reason that many people do not make the switch, being afraid of doing the maintenance. With the right tools, maintenance can be easy, and some new heaters are coming out with new materials that don’t build up calcium or limescale.
When it comes to a tankless water heater, you’ll want to go with a name brand such as Rheem, Rinnai, BOSCH or EcoSmart. Some of the no name brands on Amazon can be a little dicey with quality and warranty.
Most tankless water heaters come with a 10 year warranty on the heat exchanger, which is standard in the industry. Anything less than this is not a fair warranty
Where to buy
In general the best place to buy a tankless water heater is from your local plumbing professional, who will know the exact specs required for your home. If you are an avid DIYer, you can also buy all the best brands on Amazon.