Tankless or “demand-type” water heaters offer uphot water on an as-needed basis. There isn’t a reservoir of hot water at the ready (thus the lack of tank), but that’s okay—you don’t need hot water “just in case” when the right tankless option can instantly heat things up. Plus, this means you won’t be paying for that pesky energy loss that can happen with traditional storage heaters (in other words, you’ll be saving cash).
Basically, turning on a hot tap makes cold water move through a pipe into the tankless unit. That water is then heated either via electricity or natural gas (whichever your property is outfitted for), and you can enjoy endless hot water. There’s no waiting for tanks to fill, but there is a cap on just how generous the flow is—hey, sometimes that high water pressure shower you enjoy simply outpaces what even the best tankless heaters can supply.
Heating Things Up
The highest quality models can provide between two and five gallons of hot water per minute, which is plenty for most folks in Salt Lake City. In fact, Captain Plumbing has rarely come across the SLC resident who needed more. However, gas-powered systems generally provide more hot water faster than electric. You might need to wait until after your shower to run the dishwasher and a load of laundry, but studies show that serious multitasking isn’t good for you anyway.
You may also want to install two (or more) water heaters that can be connected to work in tandem. Most homes will enjoy between 24 and 34 percent energy savings with tankless compared to conventional water heaters. Add in a demand heater at every outlet and you can get up to 50 percent more efficiency. Now for the downside: The upfront costs for tankless are typically higher, but they last longer and you’ll make up the cost in energy consumption quickly.
But which model do you choose?
Tank You Very Much
Rinnai was founded in Japan by a duo in 1920 focused on oil cooking stoves. Today, over 30 million Rinnai tankless water heaters have been installed around the globe, and the North American arm has flourished since being established in 1974. “Commanding quality” via in-house design, top notch manufacturing and engineering, the company philosophy is founded on fostering people by applying thinking backed by science.
Navien is a newer company founded in 2006 jointly in the US and Canada. However, it’s one of the quickest growing companies “in the home comfort sector” around North America. Focusing on tankless gas water heaters, the company reveres state of the art technology, reliable quality and high efficiency to quickly bring it to the forefront of industry leaders.
Finally, there’s Bosch—a leader in the field for over 100 years. Founded in Germany in 1886, the company goal is to “enhance the quality of your life every day by providing solutions which are both innovative and truly beneficial.”