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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Sizing Tankless Water Heaters for a Whole-House Application

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 @ 11:01 AM

Tankless water heaters can be excellent money savers over the long term. In some homes, one tankless heater can perform admirably, meeting the household's needs while suffering none of the energy loss associated with traditional, storage-tank heaters. However, in larger homes or in households where lots of hot water is needed in multiple appliances at once, more than one tankless water heater might be necessary.

does your home need two tankless water heatersTo determine whether additional units may be required, your installer should calculate the the maximum water-flow rate when your home's hot-water demands are at their peak—for example, when the shower, the dishwasher and the washing machine are all in use. Your technician also will consider the distance between your hot-water appliances and the tankless heater. If the distance is too great, the temperature of your heated water could fall noticeably by the time it reaches its destination.

If you and your contractor decide you need more than one tankless water heater, you have several options. Among them:

  • You can install two or more heaters parallel to each other to produce all the heated water you need during peak demand periods.
  • You can install heaters at a distance from each other to serve different parts of your home.
  • You can dedicate a single tankless heater to a single appliance that frequently uses a large amount of hot water, such as a hot tub or the dishwasher. 

Properly sized and installed tankless water heaters can provide an almost limitless amount of hot water on demand, so that no one is ever left with "cold shower".  Before deciding on a tankless water heater for your home, work with a heating and cooling professional to determine your home's precise needs. Another very important and often overlooked factor is to make sure that the home has enough gas piping to support the added load of the tankless heater.  If you have a large family, a large home or large hot water demands in general, you may require more than one tankless heater. But in many cases, the energy savings are worth the additional cost. And tankless water heaters also typically outlast storage water heaters, further offsetting your upfront expenses.

If you are considering installing a tankless heater, contact the professional technicians at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We can explain in detail how these water heaters work to reduce energy costs and help you determine how many units you might need.

Photo Credit: Foilman

Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: water heaters, energy savings, tankless water heaters

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