Need Fast Reliable Service Today? Click here.icon

A Comprehensive Guide To Selecting The Right Tankless Water Heater

Congratulations! You have decided to get a tankless water heater for your home! Now, how do you choose the right one? First of all, getting a tankless water heater is one of the best decisions you can make for your home. It is perhaps the best way to help you save on utility bills over a year.

Unlike traditional water heaters that store hot water in a tank, tankless water heaters heat water directly as it flows through the device. This on-demand approach provides a continuous supply of hot water and is more energy-efficient, as it eliminates the need to keep a large volume of water heated at all times.

Recommended reading: Pros and cons of tankless water heater

There are many considerations when choosing whether to purchase a tankless water heater. This guide covers many factors you need to consider when deciding on a tankless water heater. 

How to Select a Tankless Water Heater for your home

1.  Assessing Your Hot Water Needs

The first step in choosing a tankless water heater is understanding your peak hot water demand. Consider the number of bathrooms, kitchen usage, and any other simultaneous demands for hot water in your home or building. This also involves considering:

  • Number of occupants: The more people living in your home, the higher the potential simultaneous hot water demand.
  • Hot water appliances: Dishwashers, washing machines, and even some coffee makers use hot water. Consider how often these appliances are used and if they coincide with peak shower times.
  • Shower preferences: Do you have long showers or prefer fast, efficient showers? This can affect how much hot water you need per minute.
  • Climate: Warmer climates may require less hot water overall, but colder climates may necessitate a higher flow rate to quickly heat up incoming water.

2. How Energy efficient is it?

Energy efficiency is a significant factor in choosing a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters, by their very nature, offer some inherent energy-saving benefits compared to traditional storage tank heaters. They only heat water when you need it, eliminating standby losses that occur in tanks constantly keeping water hot. However, within the world of tankless water heaters, there’s a spectrum of energy efficiency.

Look for models that boast the Energy Star label. This government-backed certification signifies that the water heater meets strict energy-efficiency standards, often exceeding the minimum federal requirements. Energy Star-rated tankless water heaters can save you up to 16% on your water heating costs compared to standard models. That translates to real money in your pocket, especially over the lifespan of the water heater.

While the initial cost of a high-efficiency tankless water heater might be higher than that of a less efficient model, the long-term savings often outweigh the upfront investment. Consider it like buying a quality energy-efficient appliance—you might pay more initially, but you’ll reap the rewards in lower operating costs for years to come.

  • The higher the Energy Factor (EF) rating on a tankless water heater, the more efficient it is. Aim for an EF of 0.95 or higher for optimal savings.
  • Gas-powered tankless water heaters tend to be more efficient than electric models, especially in regions with lower electricity costs.
  • Factor in your local utility rebates and incentives for energy-efficient water heaters. These can significantly offset the initial cost and make high-efficiency models even more attractive.

3. What is its Flow Rate and Size?

To accurately size a tankless water heater, understanding appliance hot water demands is crucial. This guide presents the average temperature and flow rate (GPM) for various appliances.

  • Bathtub Flow Rate: Bathtubs have an average flow rate of 3.0 to 4.0 gallons per minute (GPM) at a temperature of 102 ℉.
  • Shower Flow Rate: Showers have an average flow rate of 2.0 to 2.5 GPM at a temperature of 104 ℉.
  • Washing Machine Flow Rate: Washing machine flow rates average 3.0 to 5.0 GPM at an average temperature of 120 ℉.
  • Dishwasher Flow Rate: Dishwashers have an average flow rate of 2.0 to 4.0 GPM and an average temperature of 110 ℉.
  • Kitchen Sink Flow Rate: Kitchen sinks have an average flow rate of 11.5 to 2.2 GPM and an average hot water temperature of 110 ℉.

4. Selecting the power source

Tankless water heaters use three different types of power sources – natural gas, propane, or electric.

  • Natural Gas Tankless Water Heaters: These are systems that use a gas burner to rapidly heat water as it flows through a heat exchanger. They are best utilized in homes that already have existing natural gas lines, particularly for larger households with a high demand for hot water, and they are also more advantageous in areas where natural gas is cheaper than electricity.
  • Propane Tankless Water Heaters: These function similarly to natural gas models but utilize propane as their fuel source. These heaters are often employed in areas where natural gas is not readily available. They are particularly useful in remote locations that lack natural gas service, providing a viable alternative for hot water needs. 
  • Electric Tankless Water Heaters: These devices use electric elements to heat water on demand. They are particularly well-suited for use in smaller homes or apartments. These heaters are an ideal choice in areas where natural gas and propane are either impractical or too expensive to use. Additionally, they are perfect for point-of-use applications, such as providing hot water for a single bathroom or kitchen sink, offering a convenient and efficient solution for specific, localized needs.

When adding an electric appliance like a tankless water heater, assess its impact on your home’s electrical system, especially in older homes where the electrical capacity might be limited. Electric tankless heaters might not be suitable in such cases due to potential overload.

Natural gas and liquid propane tankless water heaters are generally more powerful and used for whole-home hot water needs. They are also more energy-efficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, electric models save about $40 annually in energy costs, while gas and propane models can save around $100 per year.

Vossler Plumbing is here to Help

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge to select a tankless water heater, you’re ready to proceed. This thorough guide assists you in selecting the best tankless water heater tailored to your needs. Should you have any inquiries or require assistance during the installation, Vossler Plumbing Company is just a call away at 346-712-005. Our friendly team is available to offer guidance and support throughout the entire process.

Need assistance?

Request an estimate today.

Whatever you’re experiencing, we have the technical expertise to help. Click below to share your information along with any specific details or photos, and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible with an estimate.