Benefits of having a gas tankless water heater
When it comes to getting a new water heater, you can either get a standard model that comes with a tank or a tankless model. While tankless models are a bit more expensive upfront, they offer a ton of benefits over standard models, such as:
- Energy-efficient – One of the biggest issues with a standard gas water heater is that it comes with a tank, which is used to store the hot water. Whenever you use hot water, the tank will empty, which is when the heater kicks in to heat the entire tank again. This is extremely inefficient. A tankless model, on the other hand, doesn’t need to heat up any water that you aren’t using. Instead, it heats the water as you need it, which is much more energy-efficient.
- Long lifespan – Since a tankless water heater doesn’t need to work nearly as hard as a standard model, they are much more likely to last for a good long time. In fact, tankless models usually will last, on average, 5-10 years longer than a standard water heater.
- Less storage space – Another big benefit that the lack of a water tank provides you is that you need a lot less space to store your water heater. Since tankless models are much more compact than standard models, they can fit into smaller basements or tighter spaces, they can even surve as under sink water heaters.
- Unlimited hot water –The final and, perhaps, most important benefit that you will get to enjoy when you select a tankless water heater is that you will never run out of hot water. Since these amazing heaters heat the water as you need it, it is impossible for you to run out of water, which is very different than with a standard model, which will eventually run out of hot water.
Features to consider while choosing a gas tankless water heater
As you can imagine, there are several things that you need to keep in mind when you are looking for a tankless gas water heater. In this section, we will go through everything that you need to know to find the right model for your home.
Which fuel is required
The first thing that you want to check into with each tankless water heater is the type of fuel that it requires. When it comes to fueling your new water heater, you can choose from a heater that is set up to use propane, natural gas, or both. Both of these fuels are relatively inexpensive, though natural gas is a bit cheaper. The more important factor in the type of fuel you pick for your new heater is the type of fuel that your home is set up to use.
While it is always possible to switch between fuel types, this is going to be an expensive process, so you might want to just stick with what you already have. Or if you could foresee switching fuels sometime down the road, you might want to just get a heater that can handle both fuels, like the Rinnai RUC98iN. Unlike electric tankless water heater, these devices need to be ‘charged’ in time.
The heating power of each of these tankless water heaters is measured in BTUs. These units indicate how much heat a unit can put out. If you have a lot of family members, then you are going to want to look for a unit that has a lot of BTUs, like the Rheem RTGH-95DVLN. That way, you can help to guarantee that you will have enough hot water to go around, regardless of the demand for it.
Of course, the higher the BTUs, the more expensive the model is going to be upfront. If you are looking to save a bit of money an don’t mind the lower heat output, you can probably get by with a model like the Camplux BW264, which is still a very efficient heater, even though it has a much lower BTU output.
Gallons per minute
The next thing that you will need to consider after you have your BTUs figured out is the flowrate that you need for your home. This rate is usually communicated in gallons per minute. This number will tell you how many gallons your new heater will be able to keep nice and toasty for you each minute. If you live in an area with lower pressure, then you can probably get by with a lower flow rated model, such as the Eccotemp i12-NG.
Of course, if you have a home with higher water pressure or your family uses a ton of water, then you will need to get a model with a higher gallons per minute rating. Otherwise, you could still end up with less hot water than you want, even though you have a tankless model. The Rheem RTGH-95DVLN is a great option in this instance.
Something else that you will want to take into account is the temperature range that your new heater will be able to produce for you. Thankfully, no matter which heater you select, you are going to be guaranteed ample amounts of hot water, but just how hot that water needs to be is up to your personal preference.
Obviously, the hotter the water, the more fuel you are going to consume, which will also cause your energy bills to go up. No matter the heat range that you decide upon, you need to make sure to get a heater that is easy to adjust, so that you can get the temperature exactly where you want it to be.
When it comes to a tankless water heater, no matter what model you select, you are going to save a ton of space over a model that uses a tank. That being said, not all of them are as slim or space saving as you might like, which is a pretty big factor if you have a smaller basement, to begin with. If you are looking for the slimmest model possible, then the Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG is a great option. This model is especially small from front to back, which makes it an exceptional unit when it comes to saving floor space.
One of the only disadvantages of getting a tankless water heater is that they cost a good bit of money upfront. While they more than make up for this by saving you money on operation costs, you definitely don’t want to spend any more money than you need to. That is why you need to make sure that you find a model that comes with a good warranty.
A warranty is very much like an insurance policy. Basically, it helps to cover you in case something goes wrong with your unit. A warranty will help alleviate the expenses that you need to pay out of pocket should any part of your new heater fail during normal use. Of course, you need to make sure that you read through the fine print as carefully as possible. Lots of companies will claim that they offer a long warranty, but actually, only cover a small list of repairs.
While water heaters are relatively straight-forward devices that don’t come with a ton of bells and whistles, it isn’t a bad idea to be on the lookout for a few extra features that will help to make the unit that much more effective. One such feature is a digital display and easy-to-use controls. These features will make adjusting the temperature a whole lot easier, as well as allowing you to see if your machine is working properly.
Something else to keep in mind is the type of ventilation that your new heater is going to require. To save time and money, it might be a good idea to get something along the lines of the Rinnai RUC98iN, which can be vented in several different ways.