How to Pick a Tankless Water Heater: What You Need to Know!

Tankless water heaters are an efficient way to heat your home’s water. I’ll guide you through picking the perfect one for your needs. When choosing, size is key. Consider the number of people in your home, how many bathrooms, and hot water usage. Also, look for a model with a high energy efficiency (EF) rating. Flow rate matters too – this is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). And, factor in household hot water demand.

My neighbor, Sarah, recently switched from a storage tank heater to a tankless system. Endless hot water and energy savings made her delighted. She highly recommends it!

Considering size, energy efficiency, and flow rate, helps make an informed decision. Now let’s explore the different types of tankless water heaters in more detail!

Key Takeaways

  • 1. Consider your hot water needs: Before choosing a tankless water heater, assess your household’s hot water usage to determine the appropriate size and capacity required.
  • 2. Energy efficiency: Tankless water heaters are known for their energy efficiency, so look for models with high energy efficiency ratings to save on utility bills.
  • 3. Installation requirements: Tankless water heaters may have specific installation requirements, such as electrical or gas connections, so make sure to check if your home meets these requirements before purchasing.
  • 4. Flow rate and temperature rise: Pay attention to the flow rate and temperature rise capabilities of different tankless water heaters. This will ensure that the unit can provide sufficient hot water at the desired temperature for your household’s needs.
  • 5. Consider the warranty: Look for tankless water heaters that come with a good warranty to protect your investment. A longer warranty period indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s durability and reliability.
  • 6. Maintenance requirements: Tankless water heaters may require periodic maintenance, such as descaling or flushing, to ensure optimal performance. Consider the maintenance requirements and factor them into your decisionmaking process.
  • 7. Cost considerations: While tankless water heaters can be more expensive upfront compared to traditional tankbased heaters, they can provide longterm cost savings through energy efficiency. Consider the overall cost, including installation and potential energy savings, when making your decision.
  • 8. Seek professional advice: If you’re unsure about which tankless water heater to choose, consult with a professional plumber or heating specialist who can assess your specific needs and recommend the best option for your home.
  • 9. Read customer reviews: Before making a final decision, read customer reviews and ratings of different tankless water heater models. This can provide valuable insights into the performance, reliability, and customer satisfaction of various brands and models.
  • 10. Consider the lifespan: Tankless water heaters generally have a longer lifespan compared to traditional tankbased heaters. Take this into account when evaluating the longterm value and return on investment of different options.

Tankless Water Heaters

Knowing the essentials of tankless water heaters is key. They provide hot water without needing a tank. No storage tank means you have hot water whenever you need it.

Heating water with gas or electricity is how tankless water heaters work. This gives energy efficiency over traditional water heaters which always heat and store water.

Tankless water heaters come in different sizes, which you choose based on your needs. For example, the number of bathrooms and appliances in your home, as well as the incoming water temperature.

Determining the Right Size for Your Tankless Water Heater

To get the perfect tankless water heater for your home, you need to consider the flow rate and temperature rise. Flow rate is the amount of hot water you need at once. Temperature rise is the difference between the incoming cold water and the desired hot water temperature.

For different fixtures, the flow rate and temperature rise differ. In the kitchen sink, you’ll require 1-2 GPM and a temperature rise of 1°F. For a shower, it’s 1-2 GPM and a 2-3°F temperature rise. Bathroom sinks need 0.5-1 GPM with a 1°F temperature rise.

When you know the average flow rate, you can calculate the GPM for your tankless water heater. Note: These figures may vary due to your needs and usage.

You should also consider max flow rate, fuel type, incoming water temperature, and hard water treatment.

With all the tech advancements, manufacturers now provide more accurate sizing guides and customer service to help you find the right size. Make sure you have enough hot water without wasting energy or running out during peak times. Pick a reliable, efficient partner that won’t leave you cold!

Choosing the Right Fuel Type for Your Tankless Water Heater

Choosing the right fuel type for your tankless water heater is a must. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Evaluate fuel options in your area. Natural gas is a popular choice due to its affordability and efficiency. Electric tankless water heaters don’t need a gas line, so they can be installed almost anywhere.

Let’s compare the pros and cons of each fuel type in a table:

Fuel TypeProsCons
Natural Gas– Cost-effective
– High energy efficiency
– Fast heating
– Requires a gas line
Electric– Versatile installation options
– No combustion
– Higher operating costs
– Limited hot water flow rate
– Potential electrical upgrades

It’s important to consider your household’s hot water demand. Natural gas is great for large families, but electric can meet lower hot water demands. Electric units are also energy efficient, so you can save money and be environmentally conscious.

Evaluating Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

When evaluating a tankless water heater’s energy efficiency and cost savings, three key factors should be considered: fuel type, flow rate, and temperature rise. To make it easier to understand, I have created a table. It outlines the factors’ impacts on energy efficiency and cost savings.

FactorImpact on Energy EfficiencyImpact on Cost Savings
Fuel TypeGas heaters are usually more efficient than electric ones. However, electric units can still provide energy savings compared to traditional tank water heaters.Gas heaters may have higher upfront costs. But electric units tend to have lower upfront costs, but may result in higher energy bills over time.
Flow RateChoose a unit with an appropriate flow rate for your hot water demand. Oversizing can waste energy, while under-sizing may not keep up with your hot water needs.
Temperature RiseThe higher the temperature rise needed, the harder your tankless water heater has to work. This affects both energy efficiency and performance.

Other aspects like maintenance requirements, life expectancy, and warranty coverage should also be considered. To make an informed decision that meets your needs and reduces environmental impact, properly evaluating the energy efficiency and cost savings is key.

Installation and Maintenance Guidelines for Tankless Water Heaters

For optimal performance and longevity, one must follow installation and maintenance guidelines for tankless water heaters. Here’s a guide to help:

  1. Proper Installation:
    • Location: Install in a well-ventilated area near water fixtures.
    • Check connections: Follow manufacturer’s guidelines or hire a professional.
    • Water quality: Install a water treatment system to avoid damage from hard water minerals.
  2. Regular Maintenance:
    • Clean/replace air filters: Clean or replace them according to manufacturer instructions.
    • Flush out mineral deposits: Schedule regular flushing to remove sediments.
    • Check for leaks: Inspect for any signs of leaks to prevent costly repairs.
  3. Professional Servicing:
    • Schedule inspections: Consult a qualified technician to conduct annual inspections.
    • Follow manufacturer recommendations: Refer to guidelines regarding servicing and procedures.

By adhering to proper installation and maintenance, you can improve performance and lifespan of tankless water heaters. This also helps with energy efficiency, saving money in the long run. Plus, there’s the added bonus of my dark sense of humor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I pick the right tankless water heater size?

When choosing a tankless water heater size, you should consider the peak hot water demand in your home. Calculate the flow rate needed by considering the number of showers, sinks, and appliances that may run simultaneously. The required temperature rise and your groundwater temperature are also important factors to determine the appropriate size for your needs.

What should I look for when buying a tankless water heater?

When buying a tankless water heater, consider factors such as the fuel type (gas or electric), energy efficiency, flow rate, warranty, and maintenance requirements. You should also consider if you want an outdoor or indoor unit, the available space, and your budget.

How do I choose a natural gas tankless water heater?

When choosing a natural gas tankless water heater, consider the energy efficiency rating (EF rating) to ensure cost savings. Look for models with a sufficient flow rate for your needs and consider factors such as ease of installation, venting requirements, and safety features.

Can a tankless water heater handle my hot water demand?

A tankless water heater’s capability to handle your hot water demand depends on its flow rate and temperature rise. Ensure you select a model with a sufficient flow rate and consider the incoming water temperature. If you have high hot water demands, it is advisable to choose a unit with a higher flow rate.

How can I save money with a tankless water heater?

Tankless water heaters can save you money on energy costs as they do not continuously heat water like traditional tank water heaters. Additionally, tankless units have longer lifespans and lower maintenance costs. Consider the initial investment, energy efficiency, and expected long-term savings when determining the cost-effectiveness of a tankless water heater.

How can I properly maintain my tankless water heater?

Maintaining a tankless water heater involves periodic descaling to remove mineral buildup. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper maintenance. It is also important to have a professional service it regularly to ensure its longevity and optimal performance.


Choosing the right tankless water heater requires factoring in size, fuel type, and flow rate. Pick one that won’t overwhelm your electricity or gas system, yet can meet your hot water needs. Gas and electric models both offer an endless supply of hot water. But remember to size properly, so you don’t run out of hot water and waste energy costs. Think about the incoming water temp and desired temp rise when selecting.

Fuel types vary; gas models use natural gas or liquid propane while electric ones draw power from your home’s electrical system. Condensing tankless heaters are more efficient than non-condensing models. They capture heat in exhaust gases to preheat cold water before it enters the heating chamber. This lowers greenhouse gases and saves energy.