As the second-highest contributor to your energy bills, water heating costs should certainly be a concern. If you had the chance to cut back on your bills, wouldn’t you jump on that opportunity? After all, who wouldn’t want to save on water heating costs?
One proven way to make this a reality is to install one of our quality Rinnai tankless water heaters. However, before you take the plunge, follow these tips to ensure optimal performance from your new tankless water heater.
Size the Appliance Correctly
It’s important to know what size water heater to invest in for better energy efficiency, reliable performance and a more economic purchase price. To size a tankless water heater, you need to know the maximum temperature rise at a given flow rate.
To determine the flow rate you require, add up the gallons per minute of each hot water device you plan to use at the same time in your home. For instance, you may want to be able to take a shower (2.5 gallons per minute) while running the dishwasher (1 gallon per minute), meaning you need a tank with a minimum flow rate of at least 3.5 gallons per minute.
Because most hot water appliances call for 120-degree water and incoming water is usually about 50 degrees, you want a tankless water heater that can provide a temperature rise of at least 70 degrees.
If you’re still confused, we can help you with your calculations when you decide to purchase a tankless water heater.
Choose the Right Fuel Type
Your choices are natural gas, propane and electricity. Where available, natural gas is the best option. Propane is a great choice where natural gas rates are high. Electricity is almost never the most economical fuel.
Consider Minimum Flow Rate
The water heater you choose must have a low enough minimum flow rate to keep your water hot even when you lower the flow rate at the tap to a mere trickle. Minimum flow rates range from 0.5 to 2 gallons per minute and a lower number is better if you want optimal performance from your new investment.
Insist on Professional Installation
Tankless water heaters are complex units to install. Never attempt it yourself, and when you hire a professional, make sure they are highly trained and experienced with this sort of job.
Make Sure the Unit is Vented Correctly
Ventilation is a concern for natural gas and propane-fired tankless water heaters. Proper ventilation prevents backdrafting, a dangerous occurrence that could bring combustion fumes back into your home. Make sure your system has sealed combustion and direct ventilation to prevent backdrafting.
Consider a Point-of-Use Model
In small homes, one whole-house tankless water heater is sufficient. However, we recommend point-of-use units in bigger homes. For example, if you install a small tankless water heater near the master bathroom, your sink and shower water heats up almost instantaneously. This adds convenience and comfort while reducing water waste as you wait for the water to heat up.
Maintain the Unit Regularly
Just like regular water heaters, tankless versions require periodic maintenance. Schedule tune-ups as often as the manufacturer recommends in order to help you get the most from the potential 20-year lifespan of your tankless water heater.
Reduce Your Hot Water Use
Low-cost ways to reduce hot water consumption include fixing leaks, adding pipe insulation and installing low-flow plumbing fixtures. You should also consider replacing old hot water appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine with energy-efficient upgrades to boost the performance of your tankless water heater even more.
Combine Tankless Water Heating with Other Energy-Efficient Technologies
Solar powered water heating and drain water heat recovery are two energy-saving techniques that preheat the water traveling to the tankless water heater. This helps speed up the water heating process so the delay shrinks between calling for hot water and it actually arriving.
In the end, no matter how you operate your tankless water heater, you can count on endless hot water every day! We just want to make sure that you know how to get the most from your investment from day one.