Are you thinking it may be time to upgrade your water heater system? Perhaps you may be finding that your gas bill is growing or you realize that it is close to 15 years since you first purchased your standard water heater. Tankless water heaters are known to have long lives reaching 20 years or longer. If you could save yourself $40 to $100 a year on your electric or gas bill, is that not worth a look into what else a tankless water heater can offer?
Types of Tankless Water Heaters
Gas Tankless Water Heaters
This type is available in both outdoor and indoor models. Any household that is looking for a way to maximize their savings with energy bills will want to have one of these in their home. When you decide to purchase a gas tankless water heater, you can feel secure in knowing that you will always have an energy-efficient endless supply of hot water for showers, dishes or washing the clothes.
You can purchase either a liquid Propane tankless water heater or a Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater. If you are unsure of which model to choose, you may want to consider calling in a home inspector to discuss your needs. Propane tankless water heaters are available for both residential and commercial use.
Depending on the make and model of water heater you are considering, these gas tankless water heaters start usually around the $600 range and run up to as high as $7000. With installation and the possibility of special parts, plan on spending at least $1,800 or more.
The lower priced models can start with 74,900 BTUs while the more expensive ones are capable of maintaining 400,000 BTUs. Depending on the make and model, the ignition types can range from a pilot light, hydro-generated, or direct electronic start. Most are standard 120V.
Electric Fired Tankless Water Heaters
These models are known to consume less than half the electricity needed for the standard storage type heaters. You do not have to wait for hot water to be generated when you turn on a tap as this unit heats instantly and comes with an exclusive built in scald guard thermostat to protect you and your loved ones from being burned. There is also no need for a circulating pump with these models. They are also more affordable for installation. They are frequently used as “point of use” heaters in an addition bath or kitchen. A professional home inspector could give you more details dependant on your location and specification of your home. These units also come in many different sizes and are available for 120V, 208V as well as 240V. The cost of these units can range from around $160 to $1,000.
These units are much more compact in size than the Gas Tankless Water Heaters which have a standard size of approximately 23.6″H x 13.8″W x 10.2″D per unit depending on make and model. A standard size for an Electric model is 6.5 x 3.25 x 7.5 with the larger units being 15.5″ H x 15.25″ W x 4.5″ D on average.
Many of these units can be installed either indoors or outdoors. If you would like to save even more space indoors, you should speak to a professional home inspector to see what he may recommend for your home. If you live in an area that is not too cold, having an outdoor tankless water heater could be a possibility.
Most of these units are pretty compact and can be installed by the average do-it yourselfer, but if you are unsure of how to install the unit, where to hook it up or the best choice for your property, you should consider calling for a home inspection so you can be properly informed of costs, savings, proper installation procedures and any other concerns you or your family may have before beginning.
Other reasons you may want to call in a professional to help you install your new tankless water heater are:
- They often require larger diameter gas supply lines;
- A higher voltage power supply is needed if you are thinking about getting the electric on demand units;
- A dedicated stainless steel flue may be required;
- A larger diameter exhaust system may be required.
It is also recommended that you purchase and use special union connector sets for the water supply since these will employ a bypass capability and allow for an easy maintenance process for de-liming when needed in the future.
As with most anything you decide to switch for your home, there are pros and cons. You will be able to save money on your energy or gas bill with these units, but at the same time, you may have to invest in new piping to fit with the unit properly. With these units, you will also get another five to seven years of performance before you need to replace one. The savings over this period of time could counterbalance all other expenses occurred at installation. Get all the information you can regarding the unit you would like to purchase. Talk to a professional home inspector or other friends you may know who bought one. When you feel ready, then you can make your decision and move forward.