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Is A Tankless Water Heater Right For You?

Updated: Feb 8, 2023



If you’re in the market for a new water heater, a good alternative worth considering to your conventional water heater is a tankless water heater.

Often referred to as on demand system, like in the name, it does not have a tank that holds water to continuously heat but instead heats it up as required. So what are some of the pros and cons? Keep in mind these are for non-combi boiler installations (read further below for more details)

PROS:
· Energy Efficiency over longer period of time
· Less impact on mechanical room sq ft
· If sized properly, provides a continuous hot water supply for the home
· Technology & Efficiency is always improving

CONS:
· Initial up-front cost (venting, permits, etc)
· After warranty period, repairs can be costly
· May require water treatment to prolong appliance life
· Power goes out, you have no hot water (conventional water heaters do not require electricity to heat water)

There is one other caveat, and that is tankless units are not designed to run in-floor heating as a heat exchanger is required to separate the domestic and in-floor heating water. However, even when you do add an external heat exchanger, the units are not designed to supply in-floor and domestic as running both may cause the unit to fail prematurely. Ideally, domestic water is to be heated to 130 degrees, where in-floor heat shouldn't be heated more than 120 degrees. If a tankless is supplying both, it has no way of controlling separate temperatures for separate demands.

When tankless units first came out, there was no equipment to handle both, so this is how builders/installers would get away with installing the units. Now, there is what we call a Combi-Boiler (Combination Boiler), which can handle domestic and in-floor heating.

Clear as mud? If you’re having trouble deciding, give us a call and we would be more than happy to chat more and give you our best recommendation based on your household.
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