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Sunday, November 20, 2011
Tankless Water Heaters : Good or Bad?
TANKLESS WATER HEATERS
On-demand, Tankless Water heaters are beginning to attract more attention in Canada. These provide hot water right where you need it, when you need it, without a storage tank. When a hot water faucet is turned on at a household fixture, cold water flows through coils in the unit and is immediately heated to a preset temperature, then distributed to the plumbing fixture. Using electricity, gas, or propane as a heat source, tankless water heaters, in some cases, can cut your water-heating bill by 10 to 20 percent. The savings come by eliminating standby losses - energy wasted by warmed water sitting around unused in a tank.
When first introduced years ago, few builders or homeowners became interested because of their relatively high price and reliability problems. But the continuing escalation of fuel costs and the redesign of many units to eliminate some of the earlier problems has led to renewed interest. The key benefits touted in the marketing of these units are their energy efficiency, limited space requirements, and ability to supply hot water whenever needed.
Residential-sized gas-fired models that are now on the market supply only five gallons of water heated by 90 degrees per minute - a comfortable enough output for a house with one or two people. If you have a large family, however, and need to do laundry and wash dishes at the same time others shower, a tankless system probably won't meet your needs. Electrically heated models provide even less hot water than gas models - more like two gallons a minute, heated 70 degrees.
Undoubtedly, the reduced space need is a plus for almost all installations – not only because the unit takes up less physical space but because the smaller size provides options on placement in many different areas of a house that could not accommodate a large storage tank.
To meet an expected high demand, multiple tankless heaters can be installed at one central location, or several units can be distributed throughout the house. A tankless unit can also be used as an indirect heater by installing an insulated storage tank. The feasibility of this option, however, must be weighed against the cost of installing a conventional water heater.
When contemplating installing one of these units, homeowners must look at all the costs and benefits versus storage tank type units.
Don't just buy these units thinking they are everything you need. Do you research!
Best Regards, Denis Hrstic Investment REALTOR®
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