In the United States, water heating accounts from 20 to 30 percent of every household’s energy consumption. All across the U.S., more residential energy is consumed by water heating than air-conditioning. This is because most households in the U.S. still use the more traditional storage tank water heaters which are not just energy hungry, but also inefficient as they frequently suffer from standby heat loss. Storage tank water heaters continue to maintain the temperature of the water inside the tank even while you are sleeping or out for the day’s work. This makes them consume a lot of energy unnecessarily. This type of high energy consumption can be eliminated if households install tankless water heaters. In fact, with a tankless water heater, a household could potentially save nearly 60% on their water heating bill.
A tankless water heater is basically an on-demand type water heater which heats water only when the hot water tap is turned on. This means that the water heating unit does not heat water during standby unnecessarily and thereby is not subjected to standby heat loss. Tankless water heaters are also called on-demand water heaters and instantaneous water heaters. They do not store water that has been heated, unless the tankless unit is in a combination setup.
There are basically two types of tankless water heaters, a whole house water heater and a point-of-use water heater. Whole house water heaters are larger units that serve multiple hot water taps around the home. Point-of-use water heaters on the other hand are smaller units and are usually installed near the area where it will be used, such as on shower areas, dishwashers, and washing machines.
The main drawback in using a tankless water heater as compared to a storage tank water heater is that the former has a lower flow rate, especially if two or more hot water taps will be used simultaneously. This is specifically true with electric tankless units. However, gas-fired tankless units are able to compensate a bit as they are able to generate a higher flow rate than electric tankless units. The only problem with gas-fired tankless water heaters is that they have a standing pilot light which needs to be kept on constantly, thus offsetting the potential energy savings. This would not be a problem with a gas-fired tank unit as the pilot light helps to heat in some way the water inside the tank.
If you purchase a unit with as standing pilot light, there is always a feature though to turn it off when it is not in use so you could save a bit on energy. There are also models that have an ignition device so you would not have to worry about having a standing pilot light. You can inquire about models with this type of feature with manufacturers.
Tankless water heaters are without doubt more energy efficient as storage tank water heaters. The only problem is that they take some time getting used to, especially if you have grown accustomed to storage tank units. This is because with tankless units, when turning the hot water tap on, you need to wait for several seconds before hot water comes out of the faucet. This is partly because water is not heated unless there is a demand for it. If you don’t mind a few seconds of delay, then you are into a lot of savings.
There are actually many brands of tankless water heaters. However, there are a few who makes better units than others. The list below shows top 5 manufacturers of tankless water heaters. They represent the best when it comes to tankless water heaters. They are the foremost company you should consider when choosing a tankless water heating unit.
Bosch – although this company is known for making a great lineup of power tools, auto parts, and appliances, they also have been making tankless water heaters for more than 5 decades. Bosch’s line of water heaters is called AquaStar, a brand that still continues to set the bar with efficiency range of 80 to 87 percent. This efficiency range is the percentage of heat that has been generated on the water and not wasted. In fact, their line of water heaters have a high rate of flow which allows multiple showers to be used simultaneously, making them the perfect choice for large households.
Noritz – this is the company that is known for making some of the best tankless water heating units in the market. Their units have an efficiency range of 80 to 85 percent. If you will be moving to their tankless lineup from the traditional storage tank types, you will looking at somewhere around 50% savings on your water heating cost. Noritz is well acclaimed for research and development and is accredited to making some of the safest tankless water heating units in the market today. Some of their innovations would include advanced temperature controls (a feature that prevents scalding), and safety alarms.
Paloma – this is a company well known for its water heaters. It is a company that creates high tech systems for gas-fired water heaters where it has a sophisticated system that monitors and optimizes the combustion in the firing chamber to provide better protection for the household against Carbon Monoxide poisoning. In 1988, the Paloma Group acquired Rheem which is the largest water heater manufacturer in the U.S. and a leader in the HVAC industry.
SeIsco – although this is a relatively new company, SeIsco has been recognized in the industry for creating some of the best tankless water heaters. In fact, many of SeIsco’s products have now been recognized internationally. In 1995, SeIsco joined DuPont to develop a completely new level of technology for tankless water heaters.
SETS - this is a company that manufactures all its tankless water heaters in the U.S. and are known for having the most user-friendly equipment on the market today. In fact, SETS is very confident about the reliability and quality of their product that they offer a lifetime of parts replacement warranty.