In Part 1 of our Tankless Hot Water Heater buying guide, we talked about the differences, advantages and disadvantages of gas-fired and electrically powered tankless hot water heaters. Today, we’re going to talk about the other main considerations that are the most important when buying and installing your new tankless hot water heater.
What’s It For?
When you’re trying to decide which tankless hot water heater to purchase, consider where you need hot water delivered, and how much. The amount of hot water that can be delivered to a given point by a tankless hot water heater is called the heater’s “flow rate,” so you should be looking at what kind of flow rate is required for the intended usage. For instance, a kitchen sink typically flows no more than 1.5 gallons per minute, whereas a bathtub could require 4 or more gallons per minute.
Start with a few basic questions, and you’ll be on your way to choosing the right tankless hot water heater:
- Do you only need hot water at a single point, like one bathroom sink?
- Do you need hot water delivered to an entire bathroom’s fixtures, from sink to tub to shower head?
- Do you need to supply hot water to an entire condominium, apartment, or house?
Point of Use
If you’re only looking to have hot water delivered to one particular fixture, like a single bathroom sink, or even a single shower, you need a point of use tankless hot water heater. This just means the water heater can be installed right where it’s needed so it can provide instant hot water just to one appliance or fixture. Virtually all point of use tankless hot water heaters are electric.
Multi-point tankless hot water heaters, like point of use ones, are also installed right in the area where they’re needed, so they can provide water to several adjacent fixtures, like the sink and shower in a bathroom. If you are planning to use a multi-point tankless water heater to supply two or more fixtures, make sure the flow rate of the heater you purchase is sufficient. We recommend asking an RS Andrews technician for input if you need a multi-point tankless water heater, as calculating flow rates for multiple fixtures can be somewhat complex.
Whole-house tankless hot water heaters are just what they sound like; they’re designed to replace your current hot water heater in supplying your whole house’s plumbing with hot water on demand. When choosing a whole-house solution for hot water, it’s important to take into consideration the size of your house, the number of plumbing fixtures and the number of occupants that will be using hot water. Tankless hot water heaters are an excellent, energy-efficient choice for whole-house usage in small or average-sized houses with only a few occupants, but in larger houses with more people using the sinks and bathrooms, you may need to have additional point of use hot water heaters installed to take up the slack.
Be sure and ask RS Andrews for help in choosing a whole-house tankless hot water heater, as they can be a significant investment up front and you’ll want to make sure you choose the right one so you can enjoy the savings that a properly sized and located tankless hot water heater will generate over the years.
Don’t Forget to Ask the Pros!
Now that you’re up to speed on the basics of choosing the right tankless hot water heater for your home, give RS Andrews a call, and we’ll help you turn this knowledge into an energy-efficient hot water solution for your home. Our technicians have been the most trusted in Atlanta for over 40 years, and we’ve installed and maintained tankless hot water heaters from Alpharetta to Roswell, so give us a call today if you have any questions about tankless hot water heaters or any other aspects of your home’s plumbing!
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