Many homeowners install tankless water heaters because of the promise of on-demand hot water and a reduction in their energy costs. While some homeowners gush about their systems, others feel left out in the cold, complaining about long waits for less-than-hot water. Often problems can be traced to lack of maintenance, a poor initial installation or an inadequate design. Always remember that these units require proper design, installation and ongoing service to work properly.
Here are five points to remember for optimum tankless water heater efficiency:
- Get the right size heater. The size of a tankless water heater system depends on the size of your house and how much hot water you use. Figure out your maximum flow rate (measured in gallons per minute) by adding up the flow rates of all hot-water faucets to be connected to your tankless unit. Then find a unit that will raise the temperature of that flow rate by at least 70 degrees.
- Make sure your plumbing meets the minimum flow rate. Tankless water heaters need a minimum flow of water to operate without overheating. To avoid pesky, automatic shut offs, check that all your hot water sources meet the minimum flow rate.
- Decide if you want to conserve water with a point-of-use system. Some homeowners believe they are not saving water because it takes tankless systems longer to deliver hot water than conventional storage tank systems. This may be true of a whole-house configuration. However, point-of-use units can be installed right next to water sources, delivering hot water more quickly than conventional tank units.
- Make sure to properly vent your unit. If you have a gas-fired tankless water heater, you can ensure proper ventilation of carbon monoxide and other exhaust gases with a sealed-combustion, direct-vent setup.
- Make sure that the gas line to tankless heater and the house is sized properly. Sometimes the addition of a tankless heater requires the gas service to the home to be increased. If this is missed, the heater performance and other gas appliances in the home might be compromised.
- Hire a qualified technician. A qualified technician can properly assess the size of the unit and whether you will need any electrical and plumbing changes to get the best tankless water heater efficiency.
Contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling to discuss any questions you may have about tankless water heater efficiency. For more than 75 years we have been providing the Cleveland area with superior customer service. Our technicians can install a system that is safe and efficient -- and that gives you all the hot water you need.
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