Are you tired of the space a standard water heater takes up? Did you know that an on demand water heater is roughly the size of a small suitcase and can provide the same amount of hot water (if not more) as a storage tank water heater? Tankless water heaters can also save you in utility costs, as on demand water heaters only produce hot water when it’s called for (turning on a faucet, turning on a dishwasher, etc.). If you are in the market for an on demand water heater, the question becomes, what type should you get?
There are two types of on demand water heaters; gas fueled tankless water heaters and electric tankless water heaters.
Types Of Gas Fueled On Demand Water Heaters:
- Natural Gas
- Propane Gas
So, what contributes to dictating your decision on what type of tankless heater you can/will get?
- Power Source – The type of power source your home has will determine what type of tankless water heater you can install.
- Cost – Electric tankless water heaters are cheaper than gas fueled. If your home allows you to use electric or gas, electric would be a more economical cost in terms of the heater itself, but gas tankless water heaters are actually cheaper to run.
- Maintenance – While both types of units are fairly low maintenance, gas fueled on demand water heaters will require a bit more upkeep. They will need to be cleaned thoroughly because of the fuel, whereas, an electric heater will have fewer parts to keep clean.
- Environmental Impact – Electric units do not emit poisonous gasses which makes them the more environmentally-friendly option.
- Ventilation Requirements – A gas fueled unit requires an extensive venting system due to the carbon monoxide emission. Whereas, an electric unit does not need a ventilation system at all.
On Demand Tankless Water Heaters May Require Some Lifestyle Changes –
- Making the change from a storage tank water heater to and on demand water heater means your home will operate a bit differently.
- You may not be able to run the dishwasher, washing machine, and take a shower at the same time.
- Depending on the temperature of your ground water, there may be some waiting required until the water gets hot.
- The colder the water gets, the longer it takes to heat up (whereas, a water heater with a tank is constantly heating the water, so it’s already hot prior to turning on the faucet to call for hot water).
Switching from a storage tank heater to and on demand heater will require a plumbing retrofit and potentially an upgrade to electric service or gas lines. Because of this, DIYing such a complex unit install is not ideal. On demand water heaters are quite appealing for several reasons, but it is important to make sure it’s the right choice for your specific home and needs. If your storage tank water heater is nearing the end of its life and you are considering a tankless upgrade, consider these areas of focus above. Kulk’s Plumbing & Heating can assist in all water heater repairs, replacements and new installs!