Key Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Tankless Water Heater for Your Home
Heating your water is the 3rd largest energy user in your home, accounting for about 14% of your utility bill. That adds up to a lot of money, so here are some things to consider when selecting a tankless water heater.
Determine the peak water usage to meet your family’s hot water needs. How much hot water will you need if you often have two showers running while the dishwasher and washing machine are also running? What is the resulting required flow rate? Not sure? Use this information as a guide… smaller numbers for newer equipment and larger number for older equipment.
- Faucets: 0.75 gallons to 2.5 gallons per minute
- Low-flow shower heads: 1.2 gallons to 2 gallons per minute
- Older standard shower heads: 2.5 gallons to 3.5 gallons per minute
- Clothes washers and dishwashers: 1 gallon to 2 gallons per minute
You may lean toward saving money with a less expensive tank water heater, but don’t forget about the energy savings. You may save money on the equipment but not get as much savings on your utility bills. It’s a matter of instant savings verses larger long-term savings.
Electric tankless water heaters may place a higher load on your home’s electrical system which can require costly electrical upgrades. Things like not having the correct wire size can be unsafe. Gas and liquid propane tankless water heaters are most commonly used since they are more powerful than electric tankless water heaters. Of course, your home must have access to natural gas.
Installation and Maintenance
Proper installation is required for your unit to operate at optimal energy efficiency which translates to energy savings. Proper installation takes into account fuel type, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues. So, it’s in your best interest to have a Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling plumber install your tankless water heater.
Tankless Water Heater Repair
Many people choose tankless water heaters because they are low maintenance and very efficient, but they can still have problems such as:
- Mineral Buildup
- System Overload
- Cold Water Sandwich
- Air Supply or Exhaust Blockage
- Ignition Failure
- Flame Failure
If your tankless water heater is acting up, schedule a time for one of our experts to come out to repair your tankless water heater. If it’s an emergency, please call us right away.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
Tankless water heaters can last 20+ years if they’re properly maintained. They are marketed as “low-maintenance” units as compared to regular tank water heaters. While that is true, a tankless water heater is not a “no-maintenance” appliance. It does require preventative maintenance to lessen the chance of future problems.
Water hardness is something that can lead to the need for a repair. The tap water that runs through your tankless water heater always has trace elements of minerals that can build up over time within the heat exchanger, plugging up the passages so that water can no longer flow. This causes your water heater to work overtime to heat your water. Eventually this will shorten your tankless water heater’s lifespan and raise your energy bills. Plus, this mineral buildup on the heat exchanger can cause irreparable damage, requiring the replacement of the heat exchanger or the entire unit.
The harder your water, the more minerals it contains and the more scaling that occurs. Descaling is a process that removes the crud in the unit by running a significant amount of vinegar water through the system, followed by flushing the system for about 45 minutes. Flushing the system removes the vinegar and any other debris from the unit.
During a regular maintenance visit, Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling will descale your tankless water heater to make sure there’s no buildup around the heating elements. Regular maintenance will keep your tankless water heater running efficiently and effectively over the course of its lifetime.
Tankless Water Heater Replacement / Installation
Your tankless water heater should last for around 20 years, which is double the lifespan of a traditional water heater. If your tankless water heater exceeds that age, you should consider replacing it with a newer, more energy efficient model. Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers service on all brands, sizes, and models of tankless water heaters in Louisville. We can also make a professional recommendation based on your specific needs and install any type of tankless water heater. We have an outstanding complete guarantee on tankless water heater installations that is above and beyond industry standards.