Tankless Water heaters are not necessarily the best option for all domestic hot water applications. In fact, we believe many tankless units are somewhat over rated and not really a cost effective option for our Alberta climate. Although many plumbing & heating companies as well the tankless manufacturer’s seem to rave about the benefits of tankless hot water heaters.
Here in our northerly climate, tankless hot water heaters may work fine and provide adequate hot water flow rates during our spring, summer and fall seasons. However, in most parts of Canada, during our cold winter seasons, the typical cold inlet water temperatures (from the City feed ) can be under 40 F. So what this means, is that the temperature rise or delta (difference) is greater. If say, the inlet water temperature here in Calgary in January is 35 F, and you want 115 F hot water, that is an 80 degree F temperature rise. This means the unit will only flow a smaller amount of water in GPM’s (gallons per minute) than specified by each tank-less unit. Most of the tankless water heaters are designed and manufactured in warmer climates, ie Japan, the US or Europe. The claimed flow rates, rated as GPM (gallons per minute) can be much lower here in our area than the climate where the unit was designed.That could mean during our winter months while someone is taking a shower for example, and the dishwasher or wash machine turns on, with the average tank-less unit this will mean a drop in available hot water flow to your shower, resulting perhaps in a rather unexpected cold blast of water.
Everyone is raving about the benefits of a tankless unit. And yes, while they make more sense than a hot water tank, only because they heat hot water on demand and do not re-heat water stored within a tank. Tankless hot water heating systems are not the ultimate answer as far as domestic hot water delivery is concerned, at least not here in Calgary, Alberta and parts north during the cold winter months. There are many options available, and an experienced HVAC service company , should be able to come up with an economical and energy saving solution for any application.
For more information on what domestic hot water heating options are best for you, your house and family situation, give us a call. We have the answers you need! The options are numerous and varied.
Alberta General Plumbing