Water heating is generally the second largest energy consumer in most homes, coming in just behind home heating and cooling in terms of energy costs. Using tankless water heaters can help to decrease water heating costs, but you need to know how many systems to install.
Tankless water heaters are able to bypass energy losses common to conventional water heaters, because they instantaneously heat water on demand. Without having to depend on a tank to store hot water, the reason why conventional systems are subject to standby energy losses, tankless water heaters can reach rather high efficiency ratings.
However, tankless systems do come with their own unique set of concerns, just as conventional water heaters have to overcome standby energy losses.
Cold water runs
If a tankless unit is installed in your basement, for example, far from its point of use in a second-floor bathroom, it may lose some of its heat as it travels through a long run of plumbing pipes. By the time it reaches your bathroom, the water generally won’t be as hot as it was when it was generated at the system.
Tankless water heaters must also be properly sized for hot water output. If you install a 150-litre system in your basement, it may not be able to accommodate multiple, simultaneous draws on the system, for example, a dishwasher, shower and bathroom sink.
Install several systems at their point-of-use locations, which will reduce the distance that water has to travel from the point where hot water generates to the point of delivery. This strategy will also help you to appropriately select the correct water supply for each system to match the water needs within a specific space.
Due to Calgary’s local hard water supply, it’s generally necessary to use a water softener with tankless systems to decrease hard water buildup and ensure efficiency. However, tankless units offer a benefit that tank systems don’t: They last twice as long.
For help selecting tankless water heaters for your home, contact Arpi’s Industries, serving Greater Calgary-area homeowners for almost 50 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about tankless water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.