Energy Efficient Tankless Hot Water Heaters - April 25th 2007
Q. My home is 12-years-old and still has the original furnace and water heater. The mid-efficiency furnace is working great but I know the water heater will probably not last much longer. In an attempt to prolong its life, I have kept up with flushing it twice a year. I don't want to wait for it to go, and then be forced to replace it at the last minute. I am interested in your opinion on Tank-less water heaters. They seem to cost a more but I am curious about the energy savings in regards to how long it would take for the tank-less system to pay for itself. I am concerned about switching because the plumber that I have been using for years has advised me against going tankless and does not install them.
A. If your plan is to stay in your home and your vent stack is adequate for the hot water heater, go for the instantaneous tankless water heating system. They're 30% more efficient than the conventional tank-type heaters because they're not continually heating water that sits in a storage tank. The tankless water heating system, although more expensive initially, can last 20 years or more with regular maintenance; twice as long as the standard tank heater. Most plumbers can install these units but some will not because they are not familiar with them. With higher energy costs and the growing customer demand, more plumbers are installing tankless water heaters than ever. You may want to consider a second opinion from another plumber. Keep in mind while this technology is just gaining popularity here in North America, many other countries such as Europe and Asia, all use tankless water heaters. I would suggest that you contact Astravan Distributors directly @ 604-929-5488 for further information on the Bosch tankless hot water heaters. There are also federal grants available under the ecoENERGY Retrofit program for replacing your domestic hot water heater with a qualified instantaneous gas water heater which you may want check into as well.