A Tankless Water Heater Is More Than Just A Passing Fad
Tankless water heaters, also known as on demand or instantaneous water heaters, have gained immense popularity in recent years.
Unlike standard heaters, a tankless heater doesn’t store hot water in anticipation of your needs. Instead, it heats water on demand, piping water through the unit and on to your shower, dishwasher, or other appliances.
It provides hot water exactly when and where it’s needed, offering numerous advantages over traditional storage tank water heaters.
In this blog, we outline the advantages of a tankless water heater systems—including how to choose, install, maintain, and trouble shoot one.
Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater System
1. Reduced Standby Heat Loss
A tankless water heater reduces standby heat loss from the tank walls and water pipes Tank style water heaters continuously maintain a tank full of hot water, which allows heat to escape through the tank walls and water pipes. In contrast, tankless heaters only heat water when you need it, eliminating this wasteful energy loss.
2. Instant Hot Water
If you have a tankless system, you won’t need to wait for the storage tank to refill and heat up. As soon as you step into the bathroom and turn on the shower, you’re greeted with an immediate rush of hot water. No more shivering as you wait for the water to heat up. This is the beauty of a tankless water heater – hot water as you need it, when you need it.
Picture this: You’re running a load of laundry, your dishwasher is humming, and someone in your house is enjoying a warm shower. In the past, this might have led to a hot water shortage. But with a tankless system, it’s a different story. Tankless water heaters can be used in various applications. This also means that they are perfect for multi-line installation as tankless water heaters can be installed in more than one location within your home.
If you want this flexibility for your household, consider consulting with an expert and booking a tankless water heater installation today.
4. Energy Efficiency
Tankless water heaters are known for their energy efficiency. They only heat the water you use, which means they consume less energy compared to conventional storage tank water heaters that must continuously maintain water at a set temperature.
5. Space-Saving Design
Tankless heaters have a compact and space-saving design. Unlike their bulky tank counterparts, which can take up significant room in your utility area, tankless heaters can be installed on walls, under cabinets, or even outdoors, freeing up valuable space.
6. Reduced Risk of Water Damage
Since tankless water heater units don’t rely on a large storage tank, the risk of water damage from a broken or failed tank is virtually eliminated. This feature provides added peace of mind for homeowners.
How to Shop for a Tankless Water Heater
Before purchasing a tankless water heater for your Barrie home, here are important things you need to consider:
1. Decide the Size Needed: The size of the tankless water heater you need depends on the number of hot water devices attached to the unit that will be used simultaneously, the number of gallons used, and the temperature difference between the incoming cold water and the desired heated water.
2. Determine the type of fuel you would use: Decide on the type of fuel you would like to use, considering its availability and cost. You need to decide whether you an electrical tankless water heater or a gas tankless water heater—choose the one that suits your preferences and local energy options.
3. Calculate Energy Efficiency: Calculate the energy factor of the tankless water heater by determining how much hot water is produced for each unit of fuel used. This will help you understand the unit’s efficiency and long-term cost savings.
4. Estimate Operating and Maintenance Costs: It’s essential to consider all tankless water heater cost including the annual operating costs and the initial installation cost when selecting a tankless unit. Additionally, factor in maintenance costs, which tend to be lower compared to traditional water heaters due to their simpler design.
Considerations Before Tankless Water Heater Installation
To ensure a safe and efficient water heater installation, it’s best to enlist the help of a qualified professional.
Expert installers ensure that the unit is set up correctly, including the vent pipe for condensing tankless water heaters, stainless steel water supply lines, and the necessary electrical or gas connections. Proper installation maximizes efficiency and performance.
A successful tankless water heater installation requires careful consideration of factors like location, ventilation, sizing, and water quality.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
1. Location: Tankless water heaters can be installed both indoors and outdoors. Indoor units are usually placed on walls or in utility rooms, while outdoor units are designed to withstand the elements. The choice of location depends on your space, climate, and local building codes.
2. Ventilation: Proper ventilation is essential for gas-powered tankless water heaters. These units produce exhaust gasses that must be safely vented outside. Ensure that your installation complies with ventilation requirements to prevent potential health hazards.
3. Gas Line and Electrical Supply: Gas-powered tankless water heaters require a gas supply line, while electric models need a dedicated electrical circuit. It’s crucial to have the appropriate connections and wiring in place for a safe and efficient installation.
4. Water Quality: Tankless water heaters are sensitive to water quality. Hard water with high mineral content can lead to scaling inside the unit, reducing its efficiency and lifespan. Consider installing a water softener or descaler if you have hard water in your area.
5. Sizing: As mentioned earlier, selecting the right size is crucial. An undersized unit may struggle to meet your hot water demands, while an oversized one could lead to unnecessary energy consumption. Consult with a professional to determine the ideal size for your household.
6. Professional Installation: While some homeowners may be tempted to install tankless water heaters themselves, it’s highly recommended to hire a licensed and experienced plumber or HVAC technician. Professional installation ensures safety, compliance with local codes, and optimal performance.
At Custom Comfort ClimateCare, a trusted HVAC contractor in Simcoe County, we offer a wide range of hot water solutions for Barrie homeowners. We can help you with your tankless water heater installation services needs.
How to Maintain A Tankless Water Heater
Ongoing maintenance is crucial to maximize the lifespan and performance of your tankless water heater. Regular flushing, checking for leaks, cleaning air filters, and professional maintenance are essential steps in keeping your unit running smoothly.
To keep your tankless water heater operating at its best, follow these tips:
1. Flush the System: Over time, mineral deposits can accumulate in the heat exchanger, reducing efficiency. It’s advisable to flush the system regularly to remove these deposits. The frequency of flushing depends on your water quality; hard water areas may require more frequent flushing.
2. Check for Leaks: Inspect the unit periodically for any signs of water leaks, loose connections, or damaged pipes. Promptly address any issues to prevent water damage and ensure the system’s longevity.
3. Clean Air Filters: Gas-powered tankless water heaters have air filters that should be cleaned or replaced as needed. A clogged filter can affect combustion efficiency.
4. Inspect Venting: If you have a gas-powered tankless water heater, inspect the venting system for any blockages or damage. Proper venting is essential for safe operation.
5. Test the Pressure Relief Valve: The pressure relief valve is a safety feature that releases excess pressure from the unit. Test it periodically to ensure it’s functioning correctly.
6. Monitor Temperature Settings: Keep an eye on the temperature settings to prevent scalding. Some tankless water heaters allow you to set the maximum temperature. Adjust it according to your household’s needs.
7. Schedule Professional Maintenance: While some maintenance tasks can be done by homeowners, it’s essential to schedule regular professional maintenance. This includes a thorough inspection, testing, and any necessary adjustments to keep the unit in optimal condition.
8. Monitor for Strange Noises: Unusual noises, such as rattling or popping sounds, may indicate an issue within the unit. If you notice such noises, consult a professional for diagnosis and repair.
How to Troubleshoot Tankless Water Heater
Understanding how to troubleshoot common issues can save you time and money on repairs. Prompt attention to any issues will help you get the most out of your tankless water heater and enjoy the benefits it offers for over 20 years.
Here are some troubleshooting tips:
1. No Hot Water: If your tankless water heater isn’t providing hot water, first check that the unit is receiving power or fuel. If it’s receiving power but not heating water, there could be an issue with the heating element or burner, which requires professional attention.
2. Fluctuating Temperature: Fluctuations in water temperature can be frustrating. This issue may be caused by a clogged water filter, a malfunctioning thermostat, or inconsistent water flow. Cleaning or replacing filters and having a technician check the thermostat can often resolve this problem.
3. Error Codes: Many tankless water heaters have digital displays that show error codes when something is amiss. Consult your user manual to decipher these codes or contact a professional for assistance.
4. Strange Odors: If you detect unusual odors coming from your water, it may be due to bacterial growth in the system. Flushing the unit with a vinegar solution can help eliminate this issue.
5. Frequent On/Off Cycling: If your tankless water heater repeatedly turns on and off, it might be experiencing issues with water pressure or flow. Check for any blockages in the water lines and ensure that water pressure is within the recommended range.
By following these tips, you can address common tankless water heater issues promptly. However, keep in mind that more complex problems may require the expertise of a qualified technician.
Our expert HVAC technicians at Custom Comfort ClimateCare can help you with your water heater issues from a quick tune up to replacing a water heater altogether.
A tankless water heater system offers numerous benefits, from energy efficiency and space-saving design to instant hot water.
As energy costs rise, it will become more economical for many households to switch to tankless heaters. They have a disadvantage, though: Especially in homes with large families, they may not meet everyone’s hot-water needs simultaneously. For instance, a tankless heater might not be able to supply both the dishwasher and the shower at once. Some households install two tankless heaters, or designate a tankless heater to supply only one appliance.
If you have questions about tankless heaters, please contact us at Custom Comfort ClimateCare. We are always happy to answer questions.