Hot Water on Demand
While tankless water heaters have been around in Europe for many, many years they have not until recently in the last couple of years taken root in North America. You can have a whole house heating system or a combination of whole house and point of usage models.
According to Hansen Plumbing and Heating at the Calgary Home and Interior Design Show, the Navien system is 98% efficient because it only heats water when called upon. In essence the Navien system senses the demand for hot water flow and starts the heating process.
Unlike old technology water tanks that heat and reheat the same water 24 hours a day, this is more like hot water on demand.
The way the process works is that the Navien system automatically shuts off when the water source is turned off until it is needed again, at which time, it automatically turns back on and the water flows through a heat exchanger and is warmed to the designated temperature set by the homeowner.
According to Hansen Plumbing, when compared to a standard hot water tank, a tankless system operates seventy percent more efficient than an electric tank and at least fifty percent more efficient as a comparable gas tank. Another benefit is the space saved by the Navien model that can be mounted on your wall.
There is however a couple cons to using a these types of units, the number one downside being the price, the units can cost up to three times as much as a typical water tank system.
The unit operates with separate combustion venting that direct vents out of your home, this means some homes cannot use tankless systems because of their initial design. And the other drawback is the water takes a little longer to heat up than conventional hot water tanks.
Point of Use Solutions
The other problem was that only electric products were available at first and unfortunately electricity cost more than gas to heat our homes. While electric tankless water heaters are still used for almost all point of use heaters, natural gas and propane heaters are now more common.
An important thing to bear in mind when considering these types of heaters is the longevity of the unit, the amount of hot water your family will be using and the typical temperature of the climate you are living in, as the colder the groundwater the longer and more energy it will take to heat up the water.
Tankless water heaters are here to stay and all trend indicators point to the fact that they are becoming more popular in North America. And with all new technology that is adopted by the mainstream public the cost will eventually come down as more people have them in their homes.
One cost effective option is to use a central water heater for most of your house and also install a point of use tankless water heater at any outlying faucets such as in your bathroom shower.
To find out more about heating your home, contact:
Hansen Plumbing and Heating
520, 3208 8 Avenue N.E.
Calgary, Alberta, T2A 7V8
Tel (403) 248-2996 Fax (403) 248-3080