Tankless water heaters are becoming one of the more popular heating systems thanks to their energy efficient ways. Unlike storage tanks, tankless water heaters do not require a continuous standby amount of energy to remain operational, and can save at least 30% in energy costs throughout its entire lifespan. Although tankless water heaters are already exceptionally energy efficient, there are plenty of features that you can look for that will further improve overall efficiency of the entire system. Here are 3 components that will help you save even more.
Electronic Ignition Systems vs. Gas Pilot Lights
Tankless water heaters can be turned on with either electronic ignition systems or gas pilot lights. Some of the newer designs have direct-spark electronic ignitions that can help you save even more energy. If possible, opt for these tankless heaters instead. This is because tankless water heaters that require gas pilot lights will need to keep the lights lit at all time. Gas pilot lights consume a significant amount of energy throughout the year, and is absolutely unnecessary.
Condensing vs. Non-condensing
The mechanism employed by the tankless water heater to harness extra energy and heat will also play into its overall efficiency rating. In particular, you should be able to differentiate the difference between condensing and non-condensing tankless water heaters, as they both function differently and have unique energy efficiency ratings. Condensing tankless water heaters are the better of the two, as they possess energy efficiency ratings between 90% to 98%. Non-condensing tankless water heaters, on the other hand, have energy efficiency ratings of approximately 80%. This means that around 20% of the heat is wasted.
Condensing tankless water heaters extract additional heat from the exhaust gases in the system to be used to heat up the water. These tankless water heaters rely on PVC schedule 40 pipes to handle the corrosive gases that are produced as a result. Higher end models typically use polypropylene materials. Non-condensing tankless water heaters, on the other hand, will push out any and all corrosive gases that are produced as a byproduct of the system to a vent outside. As a result, a lot of heat is lost. Basically, the heat from the exhausted gases are used to reheat the water, so that less energy is needed; it's a cycle. Thus, you might want to consider using a condensing tankless water heater to avoid losing too much energy over time.
Timer Controllers and Data Recorders
Last but not least, some tankless water heaters come with timer controllers. These controllers offer homeowners the convenience of being able to set recirculation patterns that coincide with general household usage patterns that are recorded with the data recorders. This feature promotes optimal energy usage because it ensures that the tankless water heaters are producing hot water whenever it is needed. This reduces the need of circulating hot water throughout the entire day.
The time controllers are typically a separate component of the tankless water heaters and need to be installed to the wall, as a wall-mountable digital control panel. The controllers must be compatible with the model of the pump that is used in the heater. Some time controllers will allow homeowners to save several settings and alternate between them in order to get the most out of their tankless water heaters.
Knowing which features to look for when purchasing tankless water heaters to be installed in your home can help you make a better purchasing decision. While the features and components mentioned above can help you save a significant amount of money, keep in mind that there are always new technological advances that are being introduced. To save even more money, be receptive to new models and try to familiarize yourself with how the newly introduced parts and components can improve the overall energy efficiency for the different systems and units.
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