Do tankless water heaters work?
In order to use this guide you must fully understand how tankless water heaters work. But first for comparison reasons, let’s discuss how a traditional hot water heater works. A traditional water heater has a large tank that holds and heats the water. The tank continually heats the water to a constant temperature to be ready when the faucet is turned on. Since a traditional heater system keeps the stored water heated, they waste a lot of energy.
In contrast, tankless water heaters only heat the water as needed. A tankless water heater senses the water flow, usually 0.5 gpm, but each system varies. When the minimum flow rate is reached the system ignites, water flows into the unit, the heaters kick in and flash-heat the water as it flows through the heat exchanges. Since there is no standby heat loss, the savings can amount to 40%.
- The big question is, are tankless water heaters worth the investment for your rental units? Here are things to consider, when making that choice.
On-Demand hot water vs. Lag time
After the “standby heat loss” the systems do as promised and deliver instantaneous hot water. Tankless water heaters are equipped with a heat exchanger that delivers heat from one element (or coil in some units) to another.
The downside to the tankless water heater is that the water doesn’t come straight out of the faucet hot because the cool water that is already in the pipes will need to be released before the hot water will begin flowing. So, there is still a wait time to receive hot water, but once it starts flowing, it is an endless supply.
Endless supply of hot water vs. hot water Inconsistencies
Ever been last in line to take a shower? Chances are your shower was lukewarm or possibly even cold. A tankless water heater is supposed to solve the problem. The whole concept of tankless water heaters are to be on-demand heaters. So, they’ll provide you with hot water when you need it usually just enough power to heat the amount of water needed at that time.
On the other hand, the amount of hot water simultaneously can drastically impact water temperature causing fluxuations. The size of your system and your hot water demands will determine how many showers may be taken or other appliances running simultaneously.
Longevity vs. The investment
Tankless water heaters are built to last twice as long as a traditional tank system. While a quality tank system normally needs replacing every 10 to 15 years, tankless heater systems are designed to last 20 to 25 years, this is saving money over decades of use.
The upfront initial investment have deterred many building managers and owners from updating their systems. Some think that saving money over decades does not justify the investment. Remember it isn’t just the cost of the tank involved, the more intense labor results in higher installation cost.
Space savings vs Innovations
A major benefit is the size of tankless water heaters compared to tanked heaters. These space savers free up precious floor space in basements of apartment buildings.
Depending on location, many tankless systems need a water softener. This may eat away at the saved space from the heater.
Environmentally friendly vs luxury
The obvious environmental advantage is the energy savings. However, today’s gas tankless water heaters have virtually zero emissions and are environmentally friendly. Most models use low NOx technology to keep emissions low.
While tankless systems are definitely more, “green” than the tanked counterparts, the benefits are more collective than personal.
Longer warranty vs warranty stipulations
Tankless water heaters are designed to outlast traditional heaters and so the warranty is last longer. Some warranties will offer full replacements making it a desireable option.
However, most warranties will become void if certain stipulations are not met. Such as--adhering to a maintenance schedule, adding a water softener system or an annual cleaning. These are added cost to factor in when deciding on a tankless system.
Condensing Vs. Non-Condensing
A condensing Tankless Water Heater extracts the exhaust gases and uses it to preheat the incoming cold water as it passes through the heat exchanger.
Whereas, a non-condensing water heater push the exhaust gas outside to vent. These gases are around 300°F so special non-corrosive materials are needed for the pipes to withstand these temperatures. These materials are often very expensive.
No Fear of Flooding
Although tanked heaters have a possibility of a ruptured tank and flooding the area it is located, tankless heaters does not have a tank to rupture. Therefore, easing the fear of flooding.
For apartment managers and property owners tankless hot water systems can help reduce operational costs and save property owners money in the long run.