How to Choose a Tankless Water Heater?


Tankless water heaters are a great investment, especially if you live in a smaller apartment where space is an issue. You do not need to worry about how you will accommodate a big tank for the water heater in your bathroom.

What I also like about tankless water heaters is that they can provide hot water almost instantly! But I can understand if you are confused about which one you should get. After all, there are so many options in the market, picking one out of the many options can be quite daunting.

In the following sections, I have laid out some of the factors you may want to consider when you are choosing a tankless water heater. I hope these pointers give you some clarity when you are in the market to make your choices:

Find Out the Size

The first step in choosing the tankless water heater that works for you is finding out what size you will require. As I have mentioned before, there are several options for tankless water heaters in the market. But you will find that these options also come in various shapes and sizes.

What you need to find out, however, is not the capacity of the water heater but the gallons per minute (GPU). For this, you will need to make a list of all the appliances in your home that will need water from the heater, then add up all their GPUs.

So, if you only need hot water for your bathroom sink and shower, add both their GPUs and then pick a tankless water heater that has the combined GPU to provide water to both these outlets. Remember, the GPU of the water heater needs to be the same as or more than the combined GPUs of the various appliances that will draw water from the heater.

Another important detail you must know to pick the right size of the water heater is the temperature of the water. Find out at what temperature the water is entering the lines in your home.

If you live in a colder climate, the temperature will be considerably lower and the water heater will have to work twice as hard to heat the water. So, pick a water heater that has the flow rate and temperature capacity to provide an adequate amount of hot water to your home.

Check the Efficiency Rating

The main USP of a tankless water heater is how efficient they are in terms of managing space. But other than that, they must also be efficient in performance or there is no point in investing in one. Check your water heater’s Energy Factor (EF) rating to get a sense of how efficient the device will be.

The higher the EF rating, the more efficient the tankless water heater will be. Of course, I must add that a higher rating may even reflect in the cost of the water heater. But if you are looking for a quality product, you may find that a little expense is worth it for the product you get in return.

Check the Warranty

Before you purchase any electronic product from the market, it is extremely important to check its warranty. Tankless water heaters are no exception. Try to find a water heater that comes with an extended warranty so you do not have to fret too much, even if it breaks down.

Since this is an electronic device that you will likely use on a daily basis, you need something that can withstand wear and tear, and that is also protected by a good warranty period. Consider things like frequency of use, the quality of water in your home, etc. If your home gets hard water, there is a chance it can damage the internal workings of the water heater because of sedimentation. This is another big reason to get an extended warranty for your tankless water heater.

Gas vs Electric Water Heaters

To choose a tankless water heater, you also need to decide whether you want a gas water heater or an electric one. A gas water heater tends to heat water faster and provides greater heat output.

However, these units also tend to draw more gas than traditional water heaters, so you may have to ensure there is enough gas coming into your home to power the tankless water heater. You will also need to decide what kind of ignition you want in your water heater. There are three kinds—power ignition, direct ignition and standard.

Electric water heaters, on the other hand, are much cheaper than gas ones. They also have a simpler design, so these units are easier to repair or install than gas ones. Since these units also do not release any exhaust gases, they also do not require ventilation. But while they may be cheaper and more efficient, gas heaters do provide quicker and hotter water. Based on what your home can accommodate, pick an electric or gas tankless water heater.

Indoor vs Outdoor Units

Next, you need to decide whether you are looking for indoor or outdoor units. If you have an indoor gas-fueled unit, that will require a vent to get the gas exhaust out. If you get an indoor unit that requires venting, then consider hiring a professional to install it so you can get it done correctly.

For an outdoor unit, you do not require venting, but there are other factors to consider here. While outdoor units have been built to withstand various weather conditions, if you live in an area that sees extreme climates, it may still be better to look at indoor options.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what factors go into choosing a tankless water heater, it should become easier to make a choice. Simply make a list of what your requirements are based on the factors I have listed out and I assure you, the choices will become much simpler. It is only a matter of getting clarity on what you need and what your home can support.

Leave a Comment