Both tank and tankless water heaters have their unique advantages and disadvantages. The cost of acquisition, routine maintenance and your water consumption are some of the factors you’ll need to consider before upgrading. Apart from this, the water heaters must be properly installed for you to achieve optimum energy efficiency. In this article, we’ll look at factors to consider when upgrading to a tankless system in Bexar County.
1. Temperature Rise and Flow Rate
Since they heat water instantly, tankless water heaters are generally more efficient than conventional systems. Because you don’t have to wait for the water to heat up, tankless is a more convenient option. They also don’t need a storage container. Consequently, the water does not lose energy while in the tank.
Each tankless water heater has a flow rate. This indicates the amount of water going through it. Listed in gallons per minute (GPM), this rate is a critical factor in calculating whether a device will meet your needs at any one time. You’ll have to determine your overall consumption by assessing the flow rate of each of your faucets and water fixtures and then adding their output together. The total GPM of your potential usage should not exceed the flow rate of your tankless water heater.
Before choosing between a tank or a tankless heater, you will also need to calculate the temperature rise. This is the difference between the temperature of the groundwater and that of the hot water coming from your faucet. The state of the groundwater will depend on your geographical location. In some colder regions, the temperatures are too low, and a lot more energy will be required to make the water comfortably warm. A conventional tank system may be more feasible for people in places with this type of climate.
The tankless heater you choose should be selected for its capabilities of dealing with the highest flow rate and temperature rise you anticipate for your home. Otherwise, when all the fixtures are open, the device will heat water inconsistently. Proper system design and consideration of your home’s heating demands are required to prevent the occurrence of a cold-water sandwich. This is when the temperature of the water dips and then rises again. It often happens when several taps, appliances and showers are running at the same time.
To prevent costly upgrades later, the installation must be efficient from the start. A Beyer Plumbing professional can help you determine the best system for your San Antonio home’s requirements. Our plumbers have the expertise to evaluate the hot water usage and recommend the best equipment for your needs.
2. Maintenance and Repairs
Compared with a conventional system, a tankless water heater has lower maintenance and replacement demands. Traditional water heaters have far more components, which increases the need for repairs and maintenance.
While tankless heaters are more expensive to acquire, they are simple in design and easier to service. An on-demand heater may be as much as double the cost of a tank system, but it is more efficient at heating water, which lowers its operating costs. The components are also more accessible than those in older tank heaters.
3. Space Considerations
One of the most significant disadvantages of traditional systems is the bulky container they utilize to store hot water. Regulations now require that the container have layers of insulation, which can be a few inches thick. As a result, tanks for modern water heaters are significantly larger than they once were. This means it will be difficult to find a new tank that fits exactly as your older one did. Put simply, they take up a lot of space.
Tankless heaters, on the other hand, are usually small. They’re typically the size of a suitcase. On-demand systems are, in many cases, the best choice for situations where there is a shortage of space. You can place one behind cabinets or under the shelves. Situating this type of device is far more convenient.
4. Type of Heater
There are many different types of on-demand tankless heaters you can install in your home. The two main distinctions are between a point-of-use device or a whole-house system. The advantage of a point-of-use system is the small size, which allows you to install it closer to the fixture dispensing hot water. Point-of-use tankless water heaters typically employ electricity. They are suitable for applications that require small quantities of hot water regularly. This includes pool showers and outdoor kitchens.
In most cases, whole-house systems use either natural gas or propane as a source of energy. These more powerful systems are often the most convenient option for applications that require large quantities of water.
However, there are several factors you’ll need to consider before choosing between a gas or electric tankless water heater. For instance, while gas is generally cheaper, it may be costly to acquire in some places. Also, gas prices tend to fluctuate, which makes it virtually impossible to estimate your recurring expenses for the long term.
5. Cost of Installation
Gas systems are usually more expensive to buy and install than electric tankless heaters. This is especially true for modern gas equipment with an electric-ignition switch. Building standards also stipulate that gas appliances should have proper venting for safety. Keep in mind that the vents you currently have may not be suitable for this application. You may also need to install a condensation drain and a vertical PVC vent to comply with the building codes. Other than the extra cost of installation, you will need to determine how it will affect the aesthetics of your interior.
On the other hand, electric heaters are cheaper to acquire, and they require less maintenance. Their parts are also cheaper to replace. In addition, they usually have a fairly straightforward installation process. The biggest drawback of electric tankless water heaters is that you may need to upgrade your electrical system. On-demand systems use a lot of electrical power to heat water instantly. That means your home may require additional circuit-breakers. The wiring in your residence may also need an update to enable it to handle the additional electrical load.
All in all, many variables must be carefully considered before the installation of on-demand systems. For the best results, you should consider consulting Beyer Plumbing in San Antonio. A professional design will guarantee that your hot water demands will match the output of the system you install. That way, you can minimize the risk of frequent breakdowns and boost your home’s comfort.
San Antonio residents can rely on Beyer Plumbing for tankless water heater and soft water treatment solutions. We have certified professionals who can handle plumbing repair, maintenance and installation. If water runs through it, we can work on it. We also provide dependable emergency services, and we’ll be glad to help you troubleshoot your system for your peace of mind. For more information on our quality solutions, call us today.