If you are looking for a cost-effective and energy efficient heater that can provide you with an endless supply of hot water, then you should check out tankless water heaters. Most traditional water heaters are not reliable. Besides that, they consume a lot of energy. Fortunately, tankless water heaters are designed to help you avoid such challenges. Apart from saving you money, they are also versatile and convenient. You can install them almost anywhere in your home – under the sink, mount them on a wall or even install them in a closet, since they are compact and smaller in size, compared to traditional water heaters. But with so many models on the market, how do you ensure that you purchase the best tankless water heater for your home? Here are some tips to guide you.
Cost of Installation
When purchasing a tankless water heater, you should ensure that the manufacturer has factored in the cost of installation. As much as tankless water heaters are more reliable and cost-effective than their traditional counterparts, you should note that their cost of installation can be steep, due to the separate installation. Therefore, if you will be hiring someone to install the water heater, then you may not realize the cost benefits that come with these modern water heaters. Therefore, always make sure that such issues have been adequately addressed before you can leave the shop with the heater. If possible, ensure that there is a written commitment from the manufacturer that they will install it for you or cover the installation costs.
As noted earlier, energy efficiency is one of the main benefits of purchasing a tankless water heater. Therefore, it makes sense to consider how much the model you plan to buy will save on utility costs. Ensure you check the product’s Energy Factor or EF before purchasing it. The Energy Factor determines the heater’s overall efficiency. The best tankless water heaters tend to have a high EF rating, since the higher the rating, the higher the efficiency. At the same time, a high EF rating doesn’t always mean that the heater has lower operational costs. For instance, electric water heaters tend to have a higher Energy Factor compared to gas-powered water heaters. But since gas is considerably cheaper compared to electricity, gas-powered water heaters will have lower operational costs at the end of the year, compared to electric water heaters. When you find yourself in such a situation, then you have to consider other factors and not the fuel type alone.
Size, Flow Rate, and Demand
Tankless water heaters offer a lot of flexibility. You can purchase a large unit or a small unit, depending on your needs. The best tankless water heater should meet your daily needs when it comes to hot water. Also, you should note that with a tankless water heater, you should pay attention to the flow rate and not the capacity. Apart from the flow rate, you should also consider it’s temperature rise. It’s advisable to go for a model with a flow rate of 2 to 5 gallons per minute. And if you want to be on the safe side, go for a tankless water heater that can supply you with 8 gallons of hot water per minute. Also, you can use the following guidelines when purchasing your tankless water heater:
- Kitchen Faucet: 3 to 7 gallons of hot water per minute
- Bathroom Faucet: 3 to 5 gallons of hot water per minute
- Modern Shower: 4 to 8 gallons of water per minute
Also, you should consider other appliances that might need hot water in your houses such as dishwashers and washing machines. Besides that, you should calculate the model’s temperature rise to ensure you are purchasing the best tankless water heater for your home. To calculate the temperature rise, you just need to subtract the temperature of the incoming water from your desired output temperature. You should also note that temperature rise will fluctuate throughout the year, depending on the season.
As noted earlier, you can purchase an electric tankless water heater or a gas tankless water heater, depending on your preferences. Some models are also powered by propane. The best tankless water heaters are designed to provide a reliable supply of hot water while keeping your energy costs down. The space available, the design of your house as well as the fuel supply in your area will determine the model you will choose.
When it comes to purchasing a tankless water heater, you should always ensure that you get it right the first time. Considering that they don’t come cheap, you need to exercise thorough due diligence before purchasing any model. After all, you want to ensure that the model you have purchased will suit your needs for many years. But if you get it right and purchase the best tankless water heater, it will save you time, energy and money.