High Efficiency Blog #2

Tankless Water Heaters


In this blog series, we will explore the world of high efficiency hot water options. To head back to our High Efficiency Blog #1, click here.

Tankless water heater units have only become better known in North American over the last 5 to 10 years, although they have been around much longer in other parts of the world. We have installed many new units, but we have also serviced some that are up to 15 years old. While that may be going on a very long life, as long as they are maintained and serviced at least annually, tankless water heaters can stretch their lifespan. The one thing that may be a deciding factor for switching to this unit is the investment cost. They cost more than a standard or high efficiency storage hot water heater to install. But do not fear- we’ll explain what makes them worth the investment.

You may wonder, Can I have hot water without a big tank to heat and store it? Yes you can, and tankless units are the answer. Tankless water heaters offer continuous hot water and high efficiency because of their internal components and the fact that they don’t store any water which would otherwise cool in a storage tank over time.

Picture this: A family member takes a shower, then another person has a bath, and now you go to have your own shower only to find that BRR, there’s no hot water. This lack of hot water is because your storage tank doesn’t have enough water stored and heated for use. Once all the hot water is used, it needs time to refill & reheat it again. This means that you have to wait or shower in what feels like an arctic waterfall. This is the cause of most hot water tank grief, especially with big families (unless you have a bathroom schedule). Enter: the tankless unit. A water heater setup that requires no water storage.

So how is the water heated? The inside of the unit has a part called a heat exchanger. This quickly heats the water as it runs through the unit. Thus, no water ever sit in the unit, except for what may reside in the exchanger. Tankless units are great for people who have larger families or tend to use multiple fixtures simultaneously. With one of these units, you will never end up in an unwanted ice bath.

One thing to remember is because the water is continuous and heats up as you need it, there is sometimes a short lag to get the hot water to your plumbing fixture, as compared to a conventional tank. However, once you have it, the hot water is endless. You can even add a recirculation system to your tankless water heater to have that instant-hot, on-demand hot water experience. These are also very useful in commercial settings. Rather than installing large, high capacity commercial storage tanks, places like salons or eateries install tankless units in an effort to save on energy and have that water ready to go when needed. Imagine what this would be like in your home!

Tankless water heaters are also eligible for rebates. Click here to find links to rebates that are currently offered by FortisBC and LiveSmart BC, and call us for a free quote! 604-628-3333


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