To Tank or Not to Tank:
Anybody that lives in the 36 States where water shortages are expected over the next 5 years, should consider some type of hot water heating system. Whether it’s Solar, Tankless, or other types, it is important to consider water conservation for the near future. There are two sites that explain how a Water heater works, How A Tankless Water Heater Works and Tankless Water Heater 101. Both give great detailed information, more than I personally want to know! Quite frankly I don’t care how they work, I just want them to work, be hassle free, save me money and is great for the environment.
So, after much research, I still don’t know exactly what I will be doing. I do know I will put some type of point of use system in my kitchen sink, whether that is Tankless or another system is yet to be determined. What I do think and based upon research, is you have to look at the whole picture of energy and water savings. Think about the long term in what you are trying to achieve, do your homework and make a plan to conserve energy and water for the whole house.
Tankless Water Heaters have been around for many years, and just starting to take off in the USA. Because of the trends and the anticipated water shortages many companies manufacture Tankless Water Heaters. Some pros and cons with reviews are listed on Low Impact Living:
Tankless water heaters are not infallible as per this news from Consumer Reports ;
The most economic over the long term is a Solar Water Heater. which is expensive, but will add value to your home.
So in investigating To Tank or Not to Tank here are why you should buy or consider purchasing a Tankless Water heater.
Why to Buy:
- Long term investment-Trend of the future
- Need new water heater
- Going for the ‘Eco’
- Old water heater takes too long to heat water
- Not getting enough hot water
- Wasting water in general.
- Water bills too high
- Federal Tax Credit Tax Credit Information
- Homes that use less than 41 gallons per day= 24-34% more energy efficient
- Over 41 gallons per day- 8-14% more energy efficient.
- Installation at hot water outlets points: 27-50% more efficients
- Might need some modification of plumbing
- Might need permits and inspections, depending on local regulations.
- If you live in a condo or apartment, you have to consider CCR’s or your lease agreement.
- Might need Venting
- Can be used in conjunction with Solar Energy heating
- It is not recommended you install yourself.
- Should be EnergyStar Rated
What To Look For:
Point of Use:
- Under Kitchen Sink for immediate hot water (less expensive)
- Lower Capacity in points of use.
- Has to be able to handle multiple demands at the same time.
- The number of house tankless will be driven by flow rate and number of fixtures used.
- Higher capacity (2-5 gallons per minute)
- Electric: Do not heat water as quickly. Not recommended for whole house. Although does not require ventilation’s. Consider Voltage, Amperage, and your circuit Breaker
- Natural Gas or Propane : Heats water quickly and efficiently. Natural gas must be available on you street. If not consult a plumber, who will have to organize with city.
Region of the Country you live has a lot to do with how much hot water a tankless water heater can produce. Depends on Groundwater temperatures. For instance a tankless waters heater will have to warm more incoming water in Maine than in Arizona.
Size the Unit:
In order for a Tankless water heater to be the most effective it is very important you have the right size. You have to consider the region of the country you live in as well as follow Manufacturers recommendations. This is not the area to stint on the recommended size. Size is dependent on:
- The volume of Water the unit is required to heat. (Gallons per Minute)
- The Temperature of the cold water entering the unit
- Needed temperature of the hot water exiting the unit.
Alternatives to Tankless Water Heaters:
The Hot Water Lobster: Looks easy to install, rebates available in some cities
Eternal Hybrid Water Heating System/ A Review by Hojin
ReTherm: Heat Recycling System / Drain Recovery system – Rebates available in Oregon and Vermont
Enviropak: EnergyStar Labeled Heat recovery system that generates free hot water utilizing central air conditions or refrigeration systems.
Reviews on Water Heaters: From Water Heaters Pros- Great resources
Inflatable Solar Water Heater: In the Future
Books Available on Amazon: