Tankless Water Heater 101: 6 Tips for Optimal Performance
Heating water for bathing, cooking and washing clothes using a traditional water heater makes up around 12 percent of the average homeowner’s utility budget, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s a good incentive for switching to a more energy-efficient tankless water heater, which can shave up to 30 percent off of your water heating bill. However, do you know how to get the most out of your tankless systems?
- Choose the right size. To make sure that your new water heating system can handle the demand, count the number of water outlets in your home. With this information, an HVAC professional can help you calculate what size heater you’ll need.
- Consider the minimum flow rate. Tankless water heaters have minimum flow settings to make sure that the temperature stays constant. Look for a minimum flow rate of around .5 GPM (gallons per minute) for optimal performance.
- Decide between a whole-house system and a point-of-use heater. A whole-house water heating system can heat water for multiple outlets at one time. Point-of-use heaters are less expensive and waste less water, but heat only one outlet.
- Vent your water heater. Just like a traditional gas water heater, a tankless water heater produces combustion gases, such as carbon monoxide, that need to be vented to the outside of your building to avoid having them back up into your living space.
- Curb your expectations, slightly. Though most tankless systems are marketed as having instantaneous hot water, the truth is that it takes about two seconds for the hot water to start flowing.
- Hire a licensed plumber. Tankless water heating systems are complicated and tricky to install. It’s best to leave the installation to a professional.