by Eva Martinez
(Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)
For people living in temperate and other cold countries, hot water had already been included in their daily necessities. One of today’s in-demand water-heating systems is the tankless water heater. Since the system is relatively new, not many people are conversant with it.
Here’s a quick run-through in buying tankless water heaters.
Tankless water heaters and how it works
Also called Instantaneous or On Demand water heaters, tankless water heaters provide hot water only when needed. (By contrast, traditionalstorage tank water heater systems heats up water and store them for anticipated future use.)
Tankless water heaters heat water directly without storage tanks, thereby avoiding the standby heat losses in storage tank types of water heating systems. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through the pipe into the unit and gets heated right away.
In an electric system, the electricity heats the water, and in a gas-firedtankless water heater, a gas burner does the heating. There is no need for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water.
Tankless water heaters provide 2 to 5 gallons of water. Gas-firedtankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than its electric counterpart.
Smaller models, however, cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous use in a big household. To solve this, either one can install two or more units (connected in parallel for simultaneous demands) or install a “whole house” type.
It is also advisable to install dedicated water heaters to appliances that use a lot of hot water like dishwashers and laundry machines. Other applications include remote or outdoor sinks, pool house or pool showers, remote bathrooms or hot tubs.
The system is 24% to 34% more energy efficient than traditional storage tank water heaters. More savings can be had if a unit is installed on each outlet that needs hot water.
Before buying and installing a tankless water heater, one should consider the following: fuel type, location, size, and volume of water demand.
One should decide whether one needs the electric version or the type that uses gas. If the choice is an electric tankless water heater, there is need, too, to consider the requirements of voltage, amperage, and circuit breakers.
There are several choices as far as models of different voltages and amperages. You have to be sure if your house or area can support the electrical demands of your tankless water heater.
Circuit breakers are to ensure you have a circuit (or circuits) that will support your electric-run water heaters. There might be a need that these electric tankless water heaters have to have their own circuits.
Consultation with an expert is advisable if in doubt. Your dealer can also help.
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