Heating water can account for nearly one third of the energy budget for the average family, according to Consumer Reports. That's why many people have switched to a tankless hot water heater, which is usually thought of as more energy efficient and can reduce heating bills by as much as 30 percent. This is because a tankless hot water heater only heats water when it is needed instead of storing already heated water in a tank, like a conventional water heater. A tankless hot water heater is also preferred by some for its compact nature and its longer life expectancy as compared with conventional water heaters.
When shopping for a tankless hot water heater, here are four factors to consider:
Replaceable parts. Tankless heaters generally cost much more up front than conventional models, due partially to the increased setup, which can include extra electrical outlets for the fan, upgraded and larger gas pipes, and a new ventilation system. Because of the greater upfront cost, you'll want to select a system with replaceable parts so if something breaks, you don't have to repair or replace the tankless hot water heater system—just the part that's broken. Read this guide on some great tips on maintaining water heaters.
Size. Determine the appropriate size of your tankless hot water heater by considering how much hot water you may need at one time. Tankless heaters are rated based on gallons per minute and temperature rise. Follow the Department of Energy's series of steps to find out what size your family actually needs.
Location. Because tankless water heaters are about the size of a small suitcase, they can usually be placed on exterior or interior walls, as well as in nontraditional places like attics or crawl spaces. When shopping for a heater, ask the installation company what the options are for placement in your home specifically.
Type. Tankless water heaters come in two styles: electric and gas. Your home may determine which type you must get—but if you have a choice, weigh the pros and cons of each. For example, electric are generally cheaper to purchase and install so long as you have adequate electrical service. However, natural gas is slightly cheaper to operate (unless natural gas prices rise a lot in the future, of course).
Once you've decided to get a tankless hot water heater, research and discover the best one for you by taking these factors into consideration. If you ever need a water heater repaired or replaced, an expert professional plumber from Roto-Rooter can help. Good luck and happy shopping!