Switching from a standard storage-tank water heater to a tankless water heater makes sense for a few reasons. Tankless water heaters don’t run out of hot water, they use up to 50 percent less energy, and they last nearly twice as long (20 to 25 years) as storage water heaters (10 to 15 years).
There are three primary considerations for assessing size and number of tankless water heaters your household needs:
- Energy heating source.
- Temperature rise.
- Maximum flow rate.
Electric Or Gas?
Gas-heated systems typically provide a slightly higher flow rate, but they are less energy efficient than electric-heated systems. Factors for installing electric- or gas-heated systems are:
- Gas-heated systems will require ventilation, just as gas-heated storage systems.
- Electric-heated systems require their own circuit and adequate amperage.
Since tankless water heaters heat water on demand, the total degrees that incoming water must be heated to reach your desired hot-water temperature needs to be determined. This is the temperature rise. For instance, the average groundwater temperature in the Peachtree City, Newnan, Fayette & Coweta County areas is about 60 degrees. If your desired hot-water temperature is 120 degrees, then your home’s temperature rise is 60 degrees.
Maximum Flow Rate
The flow rate for a single application is the total gallons per minute it provides. The maximum flow rate for your household is the flow-rate sum of all appliances in use at one time. For instance, if the maximum appliances in use at one time are the shower, the dishwasher, and a sink, then the sum of those three applications is your total household’s flow rate. It’s important not to over-estimate your home’s flow rate in order to receive the most cost-efficient installation. Why pay for a larger system if you don’t need it?
Your contractor should perform these assessments with you for the best combination of systems, and for code requirements. Other considerations, like the distance to the furthest hot-water outlet, need to be factored as well.
To schedule a home assessment for a tankless water system, contact the friendly professionals at Powers Heating & Air.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about tankless water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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