Monday, June 23, 2008

Home Tankless Hot Water Heaters

Are you considering a home tankless hot water heater? Today there are many choices and options if you want to make this type of upgrade in your home.

While a business definitely has to consider usage factors, home users may have a little more flexibility. If you have only one or two home users, smaller point of use or an electric tankless home heater may do the trick for you. With three or more users, a little additional research should be done up front to make sure your new tankless water heater has enough juice to keep up with family demands.

So how do you go about sizing a home tankless water heater. Well to do that we have to get into BTU and GPM discussions. Yes I know you don’t really want to get into the math, but a little math now makes the family happy later. BTU or British thermal unit has to do with power inputs and energy efficiency. These combine to hopefully give you the proper flow rate information.

Flow rate is what you really need, and is expressed at gallons per minute, or GPM. Home tankless hot water heaters will usually deliver between 1.2 and 6 gallons per minute of hot water. How much water is that?

Small point of use water heaters are used for just a bathroom sink or maybe two are in the low range here. Typically, you won’t need more that 2 gallons of hot water at a time so that is where something that is rated 1.2 GPM will work out okay.

Mid-range home tankless hot water heaters are in the 2.6 to 4 gallons per minute range. This range is probably where 75 percent of US homes will be able to find an acceptable tankless water heater option. At the low end, you can usually run one application at a time, such as a shower or a dish washer. At the 4 GPM rate, you will generally be able to use two hot water applications at the same time.

Finally, we come to the Big Boys when we are talking home tankless water heaters. Those rated in the 6 gallons or per minute range fall into this category. A six gallon heater can handle two showers at a time, while something in the area of 8-9 gallons per minute can handle three hot water applications at the same time.

So think about how your family uses the various applications, then check with a local dealer to find the best
home tankless hot water heater for you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters

Rinnai is one of the major tankless hot water manufacturers in today’s market. Rinnai focuses on the gas tankless water heater market, making both LP (propane), and natural gas fired heaters.

So obviously the first thing you should check before you look at a Rinnai tankless water heater is whether you have either a natural gas or propane connection. If your not sure, you can check with your local utility company and they can help you.

Rinnai became fairly well know in the last few years after adverting extensively on the Rush Limbaugh show. Rinnai mainly designs tankless hot water heaters for whole house applications. Their top of the line model can deliver 9.5 gallons of hot water per minute, so obviously it is a powerful unit. Thats enough water to take a shower, run a dishwasher, and wash a load of clothes all at the same time. And even when your done with that, the hot water will still keep coming.

Rinnai tankless water heaters are also more efficient than traditional water heaters because of their design. A traditional water heater continually eats up energy, as the water in the storage tank must constantly be reheated. With a Rinnai heater energy is used only when you use hot water. Thus depending on the cost of energy in your area, you may save up to 50 percent off your traditional water heating cost by upgrading to a Rinnai tankless heater.

Another nice thing about Rinnai tank is that it is much smaller than a traditional water heater that has a large 40-50 gallon tank. Rinnai tankless heaters are about the size of a suitcase, and can be mounted either inside or outside your house. This can save you floor space in your basement or attic where a regular water heater would regularly sit.

So how does the Rinnai tankless water heater work? As mentioned, there is no tank, thus the smaller size. The Rinnai system is attached in-line with the current plumbing system, generally somewhere near where the main water line enters the house. When a tap is turned on asking for hot water, the Rinnai system kicks on and water flows through a heat exchanger. While it takes a little bit longer to actually get hot water to the tap when comparing to a traditional water heater, the difference is usually negligible.

So if its time to replace your old system, definitely check into a Rinnai tankless water heater.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

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Here is the famous privacy policy for

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Bosch Tankless Water Heater

When it comes to tankless water heaters, Bosch is one of the most respected manufacturers. What kind of tankless hot water applications can Bosch help your family with?

Bosch tankless water heaters can be placed in three specific groups: Gas, Electric, and point-of-use. With Bosch, you have a variety of choices, and you can always find something very specific to apply to your situation. Bosch is undoubtedly a leader in the tankless water heater field, producing over one and half million units every year.

Bosch gas tankless water heaters come in a variety of sizes. The largest capacity heater is the new 2700ES. This mother of all tankless water heaters can supply hot water for three major applications at the same time, such as a washer, shower and dishwasher. Better yet, you will still have hot water after using all three at the same time. The first step down is the Bosch Aquastar 2400ES. This model will allow use of two major hot water applications at the same time, and has an expected 20 year life.

Next is the Bosch 1600P and 1600PS. These heaters will provide up to 4.3 gallons of hot water per minute. They are also compact, small enough to hang on a wall. The Bosch 1000P is the smallest tankless gas water heater available from Bosch. It is designed mainly for small homes, such as cabins or cottages that may be natural gas (NG) or liquid propane (LP) powered.

What if your home is not propane or natural gas powered? Bosch electric tankless water heaters may be your best choice. Bosch makes two electric tankless water heaters, and they are classified under the PowerStar brand name. First is the Powerstar AE125, an electric tankless heater that can provide 3.7 gallons per minute. That should be enough for one bathtub or shower, or two sinks at the same time. Available at a lower price is the Power Star AE115, which provides up to 2.3 gallons per minute. The AE 125 is recommended in colder climates, while those in warmer states should be able to use the AE 115.

What about point-of-use water heater? Bosch distributes two different lines in this area. First, the Ariston GL line has three different models. The three models here offer either two and a half, four, and six gallon capacity heaters. Designed for use with either one or two sinks, these point of use heaters offer immediate hot water when installed in these locations.

The other point-of-use line offered by Bosch is the PowerStar AE series. Four different models are available in this line, the AE 3.4, AE 7.2, AE 9.5 and AE12. The nice thing about these Bosch Power Star models is that they are so compact, they fit right underneath the sink and can be mounted in almost any direction.

So as you can see, Bosch tankless water heaters can really simplify your life, as they offer unlimited hot water in easy to use applications.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Gas Tankless Water Heaters

When considering a tankless hot water heater, one of the first things to decide is whether you want to go with an electric or a gas mode. Read up on electric tankless heaters in our previous article, and keep on reading if you are looking into a tankless gas water heater.

Tankless gas hot water heaters are designed to be used in whole-house applications. Special circumstances must be met for these gas heaters, which are discussed here. So why replace that old gas water heater with a new tankless model?

A tankless gas hot water heater will provide your house with an unlimited supply of hot water. So you can run multiple showers, then still have the water available to run the dishwasher or the clothes washer. Depending on the capacity of the tankless gas heater you buy, multiple appliances can also be run at the same time. Most models are smaller than a regular water heater, so you may also have some space savings as well.

Costs are certainly a consideration. While a regular water heater is usually about $500, a tankless gas water heater will cost at least double that amount. Paloma, Takagi,and Rinnai are three well known manufactures of gas powered water heaters. Consulting with one or more local dealers is usually the best way to price tankless water heater manufacturers and models.

While natural gas powered heaters will work in most situations, some homes are fueled by propane. Check with your local utility company if your not sure if you have natural gas or propane. Several manufactures including Bosch and Stieble Eltron offer propane powered tankless water heaters.

The Bosch AquaStar line is a popular series, with several models offering between 3-6 gallons of hot water per minute. Higher capacity models will cost more, but are better for large families where several hot water applications are needed at once.

A nice feature with tankless gas water heaters is the constant availability of hot water. Unlike a traditional heater where the hot water may run out based on the capacity of the heater, the tankless heater will continue to pump piping hot water, whether you need it for five minutes or five hours.

Nice to have when someone just filled up the tub!

One final factor to consider is the installation cost that may be involved. A tankless gas hot water heater requires proper ventilation, so check the price and reputation of contractors in your area. In almost all cases, this means a professional installation to ensure the safety of you and your family.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Electric Tankless Water Heaters

When considering a tankless water heater for your home, there are two specific choices: electric or gas. What can an electric tankless heater offer?

Electric tankless water heaters are generally cheaper than their gas counterparts. Whole house electric heaters can start as low as $500 and move up to the $1000 dollar range. This compares to gas heaters which generally start at $1,000 minimum and go up from there. So which is better for you?

The answer to that question really depends on several factors. Your hot water needs really are what determine what will work out best. While manufacturers of electrical hot water heaters claim their performance is fairly close to gas heaters, gas manufacturers have valid arguments for going down that path. A qualified dealer can run cost comparisons for you to determine if gas or electricity will work out best.

There are several advantages of an electric tankless water heater include the previously mentioned lower initial price tag. Saving $500 or more over a gas tankless heater is what most consumers consider first. Another advantage is the lower initial installation cost. Because electrical tankless water heaters are about one-third the size of a gas heater, there is often more flexibility on where it can be installed.

There are not any venting issues with an electric heater, thus they can be placed under sinks, in closets, or in crawl spaces where a full sized water heater could never be used. Of course they can also be placed wherever your old water heater was.

If you are considering a whole house electrical water heater, you may have to have an electrical upgrade wherever the heater is installed. This is because these are very high power electrical appliances, like your dryer. Thus a 200 AMP, 208 to 240 volt electrical service outlet is needed. If you live in a warm climate like Florida, you may be able to get away with a lower demand heater, and use a 100 or 125 AMP electrical service.

What will your monthly cost be with an electric water heater? While you will save over a traditional water heater, you probably won’t save as much as having a gas tankless water heater. Then again, natural gas and propane rates continue to rise, bringing the energy costs of electric and gas tankless heaters close together.

What about water use? Can a tankless electric keep up with its gas counterpart? In most cases, yes. Whole house heaters can produce between 3-8 gallons per minute of hot water. Why such a wide variance? It depends on the incoming water temperature. For example, the incoming water temperature in Arizona is much different than the incoming temperature in Minnesota during January. In cold climates it is going to be closer to three gallons a minute.

How about gas tankless water heaters? Next time we will consider the advantages of gas over electric tankless water heaters.