Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are often confused with instantaneous water heaters (point of use water heaters). Instantaneous water heaters are typically very small and used to supply just enough hot water for a cup of coffee or tea. Tankless water heaters are used to replace the traditional water heater that supplies the whole home with an unlimited supply of hot water.
The introduction of tank-less water heaters is gaining popularity and Custom Vac has once again been keeping pace by conducting our own research, speaking with various Manufacturers, Suppliers, Installers and Service personnel. At this time Custom Vac is prepared to recommend the Takagi and Seisco products.
Tankless water heaters are growing in popularity with the increasing costs of energy. While not for everyone or every application they should be given consideration. Here in Manitoba there is an issue with the flow rates, measured in gallons per minute (GPM) available from many tankless water heaters. This is primarily the result of our low ground water temperatures.
With average ground water temperature of approximately 44ºF, a temperature rise of 76ºF is required to raise the water to 120ºF. If a minimum of 130ºF were desired, an 86ºF temperature rise would be required. This would result in the GPH rating of the water heater having to be de-rated. On some models this could be slightly less than 3 GPM on a unit rated at 9 GPM and higher ground water temperatures, such as those found in southern Ontario or British Columbia.
The Takagi flow rates are based on 80ºF rise and typically can handle whole house demand. Also many homeowners are opting to install newer energy efficient appliances that no longer use domestic hot water to operate. Examples of these appliances are dishwashers and washing machines that incorporate their own heaters. The use of low flow showerheads also helps with those times of high-demand.
Tankless gas water heaters are 82-92% efficient. Compare this to a new traditional gas water heater that are 55-60%, you begin to see how much savings can be realized.
Sizing - this must be done by and calculated by Custom Vac or someone who is qualified and understands tankless water heaters because the temperature of the water and flow rate is what will determine the size or capacity required.
Another issue can be the increased sizes of wiring and gas piping, and method of venting required. So, while it's true they consume a great deal of energy when operating they use no energy when not supplying domestic hot water. Not having to maintain 60-gallons of water at 135ºF in itself can reap substantial energy savings. Higher initial installed costs compared to a traditional domestic water heater, the savings remain very attractive. Not having years of history here in Manitoba with tankless water heaters, lifecycle costs and life expectancies are not yet known.
The Bottom Line - Although the tankless technology is new to Canada, it has been around for almost 50-years in Europe and Japan. It is the most energy efficient hot water solution on the market today. Give serious consideration of joining the tankless revolution, call Custom Vac today.