If you’re thinking about getting a tankless water heater, you’ve probably already heard tons of good reviews about them coming from people who’ve used them for years. Because let’s be real, who doesn’t like the sound of endless hot water?
But these heaters come with tons of choices and possibilities that you must take into account before settling on one.
The Types: Non- Condensing and Condensing
With the constant innovations in this industry, there are literally countless ways to categorize tankless heaters. But one distinction you need to consider before making a selection is between non-condensing and condensing heaters.
The non-condensing units are traditional models and have a 0.8 EF rating. The condensing models are roughly 10 percent more efficient and have a 0.9 EF rating. This basically means that the energy used by the non-condensing models will be used up by say 80% to heat the water, while 20% of it will be lost to the environment. In the condensing model however, 90% of the energy will be used to heat the water.
We would still recommend going with the non-condensing model, though, because it’s a model that’s been around for a longer time; tried and tested is never a bad approach. Non-condensing also means fewer features and lesser parts; hence, there are a lot less chances of a part malfunctioning. Additionally, the cost of installation on these is much lower.
Things to Take into Consideration Before You Install
They Require Maintenance
Tankless water heaters do require a bit of regular maintenance, so you must take this into account before investing in one. Especially if you live in a place where you get hard water and have a large family, the more hard water that goes through, the more maintenance your tank will require.
They All Run on Power
Tankless units use electricity for circuitry and for the burner. This means that if the power ever goes out, you won’t have any heated water. With a standard tank heater, you’d have water in reserve for emergencies, however, you give up on that option when you give up the tank.
There are two kinds of models that you’ll come across, the ones that can be mounted indoors and the ones that need to be installed outdoors. In Texas, the outdoor variant is more popular.
The exterior units are great because you save precious indoor space, but extra precautions need to be taken for freezing. You might need to have it on the entire time to keep the internal electric heater active, while also wrapping the pipes in insulation.
Get Professional Advice
Water heaters are one of the most important investments you could make for your house. Most times of the year, a house simply cannot be run without a good quality water heater. While researching on your own is a great first step, a professional plumbing service can tell you what the right choice for you is in the long run, taking into account your water usage, location and budget.