Choosing the right tankless water heater can be difficult if you do not know much about plumbing or electrical. There are different types of tankless water heaters that are best suited for different types of homes. For instance, if you have natural gas ran to your home then you may choose a gas tankless unit but for a home that is equipped with electricity and not gas an electric unit may be more affordable and economical. Here are some tips for choosing a tankless water heater for you home.
Gas or Electric: If your home has gas then a gas unit is best suited because gas tankless water heaters tend to cost less to run. However, for a home that does not already have natural gas a gas tankless water heating unit is not as economical and could be very costly to install since there will be the added need to run gas lines and a tank. First decide whether you will use a gas unit or an electric unit based on what is already being used at your home. For most homeowners, if they are already using an electric water heater the switch to a tankless unit will simply be to switch to an electric tankless water heater.
Gas Options with Tankless Water Heaters: The next thing to consider is that if you plan on using a gas tankless water heater you will have to choose which type of gas is used to power the unit. Some homes have natural gas within the home while others use propane. Again, this is usually a matter of using what is already preexisting in the home.
Electric Tankless Water Heaters: If you choose to go with an electric tankless water heater then you will have still three options to choose from. There is the whole house unit, a point of use tankless unit and a point of use tank unit. The whole house tankless water heater will allow the entire house to have instant hot water while the point of use unit is typically placed underneath a kitchen cabinet or immediately next to the faucet that you wish to have the instant hot water. Regardless, both point of use tankless units and point of use tanks will only give hot water immediately to the faucet that it is connected to.
Number of Bathrooms: The next thing to consider when shopping for a tankless water heater is the number of bathrooms that you have in the home. For smaller homes that only have one bathroom a smaller unit can be used sufficiently to get hot water instantly throughout the home while homes with 2 or more bathrooms will require larger units to accommodate. Most two bathroom homes should use a tankless water heater that has at least the capacity to heat 5 gallons of water per minute to assure that there is hot water throughout the home. This will assure that you do not have to take a cold shower just because someone in the kitchen is washing the dishes.
A five gallon per minute tankless water heater will allow the shower to maintain heat while the dishwasher is running or while the kitchen sink faucet is being used. This is also sufficient to bring hot water to the washing machine at the same time as well. A smaller unit may require you to only run certain hot water appliances at a time to reduce the risk of running out of instant hot water from the tankless water heater.