A tankless water heater can be your ticket to energy savings.
Although running the air conditioner and furnace account for the largest part of your utility bills, heating your water is right up there too. Going with a tankless system can help you keep that cost down. You can ratchet up your savings by optimizing your tankless water heater’s performance. Here are five keys.
Correctly size your tankless heater. Sizing is determined by calculating the temperature rise and flow rate. Determine the flow rate by counting the number of locations in your home where the tankless unit will deliver water. Calculate the amount of water these locations will demand in gallons per minute. Your unit should be capable of delivering a temperature rise of 70 degrees at the flow rate you require.
Determine the correct minimum flow rate at all the faucets to be serviced by your tankless unit. Make sure the unit you choose can exceed that minimum rate. Generally, minimum flow rate is a half gallon to 2 gallons per minute.
Consider getting more than one tankless unit, if necessary. A tankless unit delivers the hottest water to the closest locations. If you have a sprawling house with bathrooms that are far from a single tankless unit, you may not get the hot water you want. In situations such as this, more than one unit may be best.
Weigh the option of a supplementary water-heating system. One type of supplemental system incorporates a small storage unit that preheats water going into the tankless unit. This minimizes the delay in hot water delivery when you turn on a faucet.
Get professional help. Little about tankless systems is do-it-yourself, and a reputable plumber can help you go through the sizing and selection process. He can also ensure that your system is installed correctly, minimizing the risk of dangerous back-drafting.