During the last few years, tankless water heaters have gained popularity because of their efficiency and a seemingly endless supply of hot water. This is well-deserved attention, since a combination of tankless systems may save up to 50 percent of water-heating costs over typical storage-tank systems in the average home. However, tankless systems do have limits on the amount of hot water that they supply.

The three primary factors influencing hot-water supply for tankless water heaters are the heating source, your home’s flow rate (gallons per minute, GPM), and installation considerations.

  • First, if you choose an electric tankless water-heating system, you will maximize energy efficiency, but you will receive a lower flow rate. Electric tankless systems typically supply about 2 GPM, as compared to gas-heated (natural gas or propane) tankless systems’ generous 5 GPM.
  • The second factor, your home’s flow rate, is determined by adding up the flow rates of all hot-water outlets in use at one time (e.g., shower, washing machine, and the kitchen sink). Once you’ve determined your home’s flow rate and heating source, you’ll have a better idea of how many tankless water heaters your family needs.
  • The third factor of the equation is installation, regarding the location of the tankless systems to your hot-water outlets, and the type and combination of tankless systems you choose to implement: large whole-house tankless systems, and small single point-of-use tankless systems. A popular combination for larger households using 50 gallons of hot water per day (or more) is combining one whole-house system with one or more single point-of-use systems. For instance, the whole-house system could supply hot water to all bathroom sinks and showers, and the washing machine. The single point-of-use system could be dedicated to supplying hot water for the dishwasher and kitchen sink. It depends on the layout of your home.

There are other factors as well, such as temperature rise (total degrees in which water needs heating), which requires an experienced heating and cooling professional to evaluate. If you would like to learn more about the advantages of tankless water heater systems, call Pipe Works Services today.

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