Residential Tankless Water Heater Buyers Guide 2020 Featured Photo

Residential Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide for 2020

The Essential Buyers Guide For Residential Tankless Water Heater Systems in 2020

The popularity of tankless water heating units has been reaching an essential fever pitch in the United States lately. As you might expect, the marketplace is currently overflowing with a variety of good quality options. For a homeowner like you, this can mean only one thing – selecting the right tankless water heater system for your home and family is becoming more complicated as time goes by.

Tankless hot water heaters are used extensively in Europe and other parts of the world. They have just recently gained traction and appeal for many property owners in the United States. For some, using a tankless water heater is a choice based on wanting to be more environmentally friendly, while others are more focused on cost savings from lowered energy use.

In some homes, a tankless water heater is the only practical option due to restricted space readily available for mechanical equipment. Whatever the factor, tankless hot water heaters are here for good, so why not learn a little about buying the right one for your home.

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

As the name suggests, tankless water heaters have no storage capacity. They have a powerful heater that quickly warms the water when it senses circulation. There are electrical tankless hot water heaters readily available, but most are gas or propane-fired systems with a burner or heating elements, heat exchanger, controls, and a venting system. The unit’s heater fires up the burner when it senses water circulation. The heat exchanger then warms the water as it heads to whichever fixture called for it.

Tankless water heaters are energy efficient and can help you save money on your monthly electric bill

Are Tankless Water Heaters Gas or Electric?

On-demand water heater systems can be both. You can purchase systems that can operate on either gas or electricity. You will want to install any electrical on-demand style water heaters near a 220V power source and are best run on an electrical circuit with a 200amp main breaker.

Tankless gas water heaters can operate efficiently on either natural gas or propane and are typically more powerful in their water heating abilities than electric tankless water heaters, providing you with instant hot water.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

Navien NPN series non-condensing tankless water heaters vs condensing tankless water heaters information chart
Courtesy of Navien Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the usage of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, non-heated water enters through a pipe into the water heating system. Either a gas burner or an electrical component heats the water. Because of this method of heating water, tankless hot water heaters provide a continuous supply of warm water. 

With a tankless water heater, you don’t need to wait for hot water anymore; you can get it on-demand. Nevertheless, the lower output from a tankless water heater tends to restrict the flow rate to your fixtures (which usually is not an issue as many systems have one heater per fixture or component). 

Are Tankless Water Heaters More Energy Efficient Than Traditional Water Heater Systems for the Home?

Electric tankless water heaters tend to have very high efficiency, with greater than 98% of the energy provided to the devices utilized to heat the water. Over time, this can add up and save on energy and expenses for many years to come! On the other hand, tankless gas-fired water heaters typically have an energy score of much less, with an energy utilization of less than 85%.

It’s essential to bear in mind the quantity of water that can be heated up utilizing a tankless system (0.5 to 2 gallons per minute for a single point heating unit as well as 5 – 10 gallons per min for a whole-house device). When thinking about which system might be ideal for a building, this is essential.

In cool environments, with cold outside temperatures, it’s even more difficult for the heater to supply the warm water into your home requires. Customers in cold climates will require a tankless gas water heater since electric kinds do not carry out successfully in freezing temperature levels.

What Are the Costs Associated with Owning a Tankless Water Heater?

The upfront costs of a tankless hot water heater are above that of a conventional storage water heater. However, tankless water heaters will generally last considerably longer and also have reduced operating and also energy costs, which could offset its greater price point. 

Energy efficient appliances at home can save you money and help to save the environment while you're at it

Many tankless units have a life span of greater than 20 years. Likewise, they have quickly replaceable components that can prolong your tankless heater’s life for many more years to come. On the other hand, storage tank water heaters last roughly 10 – 15 years by comparison.

Buying an on-demand or tankless water heater today in the year 2020 will cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 installed. The cost of a tankless water heater does go beyond $3,000, but that starts to get out of range of the average price.

How To Install a Tankless Water Heater In Your Home

When to Service your Tankless Water Heater

The upkeep and maintenance of an electric tankless water heater is extremely straightforward. Apart from making sure that the inlet filter that protects against big particles from going into the system, is clear of obstructions every couple of months, no other upkeep is typically called for.

Also, if you have a leaking water heater, maintenance and repair are suggested as soon as possible as well. It is always in your best interest to have the situation analyzed by a professional if you have a water heater leaking or think you may need to repair or replace your water heater for whatever reason!

One of the really nice things about a tankless water heater and doing maintenance on or replacing it is; opposed to other types of water heating systems, you don’t have to drain the water heater tank! Which, if you have ever tried to drain a water heater tank with your standard garden hose (which is the only option most people have as the water heaters are indoors and need to be drained to the exterior of the home), you know it can take some time and be problematic if you’re unlucky enough to have any trouble while draining it.

On the other hand, propane and natural gas tankless water heaters need an annual inspection and servicing to ensure safe fuel combustion and that the unit is still running correctly. On the occasion of a breakdown, electric tankless water heaters tend to be a lot easier to diagnose, repair, and also to troubleshoot.

Tankless Water Heater Sizing Guide

For the unit to adequately and effectively satisfy your hot water needs, a tankless water heating system only needs to be large enough to satisfy your house’s hot water demands based on what fixtures need to be supplied. Getting one that is too large will only result in needless energy expenditures.

It is important that you purchase the correct size of tankless water heater for the type and amount of fixtures you need supplied with hot water

Having a water heater that is too small will lead to not being able to generate sufficient hot water for your home’s needs. If a unit is too small for a systems needs, you could get a blast of icy cold water if someone tries using a second or third fixture while someone is already showering. Many of you have probably also experienced this when the toilet flushes in the bathroom when you’re showering.

On the other hand, a water heater that is too big will end up being more expensive than necessary, given that you will likely be paying much more for the larger unit and it’s increased operating costs (although maybe helpful if you intend to upsize your house later).

Tankless Water Heater Sizing Calculator

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Which On-Demand Water Heater is Rated the Best?

Tankless hot water heating systems aren’t just a purchase, they are an investment, so it is essential to ensure you are making the right choice from the start by equipping yourself with the right information and details to locate the very best tankless hot water heater for your home and family.

Before picking the tankless hot water heating unit or system to purchase, there are several system specifications you will want to consider. These include energy rating, flow rate, temperature increase, and also the size of your system.

  • Dimensions of the Tankless Heater – When you understand what the flow rate and temperature rise of your system are, you will better comprehend what size tankless water heater you’re going to need. Consider the number of people who will undoubtedly be using the system and also just how they make use of water. The outcome of those factors to consider will certainly assist you in identifying the ideal dimension unit for your residential or commercial property.
  • Energy Rating – Every device these days appears to have an energy rating, and tankless systems are no different. This can be practical to consider since not all tankless water heating units are developed to be environmentally friendly. Called the (EF) or Energy Factor, this rating is a measure of how much of a single unit of gas, or energy, is consumed to heat an amount of water. The greater this number is, the more reliable the tankless water heating system will be. Simply put, it is the ratio of input to output from the system.
  • Temperature Rise – Simply stated, temperature rise in regards to tankless water heaters is the difference in temperature of the water as it enters the home, and the temperature of the water any particular component is set to inside your home. Some units will have the ability to manage this heat differential better than others.
  • Flow Ratings – The flow rate or rate of flow is dependant on exactly how much water will be heated up as it flows through the heat exchanger and into the home. The flow rate can change drastically depending on how much water is needed at a given time, as well as how many fixtures or components are being operated simultaneously. It is recommended to speak with a residential water heater professional (they will usually provide a free examination) about what this could mean for your particular residential property before making your purchase online.

As of this writing in 2020, The consensus seems to be that Rinnai makes the best tankless water heaters! Just about across the board, Rinnai tankless water heaters have some of the highest ratings of any on-demand type residential water heating systems in production.

Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters

Never run out of warm water again. Rinnai tankless hot water heaters are the top brand name in the U.S. and are backed by the market’s leading guarantee, as well as being the first major Tankless Water Heater brand name to produce in the U.S.

Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters last as much twice as long as comparable storage tank-type water heaters, have two times the warranty and save power as they heat your water only when it is needed. You never need to worry about not having enough hot water with a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater, since it maintains the home’s water heating needs as long as required.

Navien Tankless Water Heaters

As the first and only non-condensing tankless water heaters, the NPN series of on-demand style water heaters come with a stainless-steel heat exchanger to deliver unparalleled durability as well as performance.

Unlike systems that throw away power to heat large storage tanks of water, the Navien NPN series tankless devices use 82 cents of every $1 to heat your water. When hot water is required, to enable greater energy and financial savings and lower its impact on the environment, the NPN only operates at the same time there is a demand on the system for hot water.

Installations in or near home offices, family rooms, or any type of living areas of your house are possible with the silent running NPN series tankless water heater. For above-average domestic hot water demands, the NPN can also be cascaded with one more NPN unit to increase the system’s capabilities.

No matter the brand of tankless hot water heater you choose, having instant on-demand hot water for your morning showers is truly a blessing well worth the cost

Rheem Tankless Water Heaters

Take pleasure in the convenience and comfort of continuous hot water as needed with a Rheem tankless water heating unit. The whole-home tankless water heater, offered in propane gas, natural gas, and electric models, is terrific for families with active households, homes with luxury bathrooms, and cabins, and vacation homes. In contrast, Rheem’s point-of-use electric tankless water heating systems are optimal for a solitary tap or shower.

Whether you’re seeking to supply the hot water needs of your whole house, a solitary fixture, or for additions to the home, such as garages and barns, even for RVs, Rheem has a full variety of on-demand heating alternatives. You can always find the finest tankless water heater for your needs at Rheem.

Rheem tankless hot water heaters integrate innovative modern technology and capability for a water heater that can supply a constant circulation of inexpensive warm water whenever you need it, and anywhere you want it. Regardless of the number of fixtures and components, irrespective of how deep the Whirlpool bathtub, you will never lack hot water with an appropriately sized Rheem tankless water heater.

Noritz Tankless Water Heaters

“At Noritz, tankless water heaters is all we do. Noritz customer service representatives are all certified water heater specialists and available to assist you with any aspect of installation and service.”

Noritz offers three lines of water heaters to support a wide variety of customer needs.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, this article should provide you with enough information to help you understand what a tankless water heater is, how tankless water heaters work, the situations and circumstances for which you might want to consider purchasing a tankless water heater, the top brands and highest-rated tankless water heater models, and how you should go about sizing the hot water needs for your family and home.

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