Tankless water heaters are heaters that give you hot water instantly, and their growing popularity is an indication of the many benefits that they have over the traditional storage type water heaters. One good method of deciding on the right water heater to buy for your home is to read and understand the reviews for the various models that are on offer.
Reviews are written by actual users, who may be ordinary people and not technical experts, and will, therefore, look at heaters strictly from a utility and cost point of view as most of us would do so for any appliance that we install and use in our homes. So, hopefully, they will more clearly understand what you as a new buyer, would be looking for in a heater, and should be able to answer all the questions that you would have.
To begin with, your reviews should tell you that tankless water heaters are compact in design and energy efficient. The fact that they occupy very little space can be of great importance to you, if you live in an apartment or small sized home. Remember that traditional heaters store water in tanks of varying sizes, and need the energy to keep the water hot, even while it is being stored for you to use. As far as a tankless water heater goes, the amount of water you need for your shower is not based on the hot water that is stored but is delivered on demand.
When you switch on a tankless heater, cold water takes its place in the heater and the heating element, gas or electric, starts up and begins to heat the water as it runs through. The water that then comes out is hot and ready for use. These hot water systems will supply you a constant flow of hot water, but is limited by the flow rate of the installed unit. So, in your reviews look for mentioned flow rates of the unit being reviewed and see whether it suits the need in your home.
You need to select a tankless heater that can meet all the needs of your household so that you do not run out of hot water when it is needed. It may make more sense to buy a heater for each bathroom or outlet that you have so that you can go in for really small units that will occupy hardly any space on the wall of your bathroom or kitchen. This way, every user will have the hot water on demand, and be able to use it as needed by them.
Traditional hot water heaters will lose heat when they are idle and require the water to be reheated when there is a demand. A tankless heater will be switched on only when needed, and this can lead to substantial savings in energy costs. These heaters have a longer service life, and in your reviews look for those that promise a life of at least twenty years if not more.
They will require periodic maintenance to ensure this long life, and you must be aware of the sort of service that the manufacturer of your chosen model can give you for replacement spares.
Tankless heaters are compact and can easily be mounted on walls in bathrooms, or even just outside. They must be mounted at a place and height that does not in any restrict your use of the bathroom. The water that comes into a tankless heater when it goes into operation is always fresh, and this ensures that there is never any build up of rust or mineral scale from water, that can greatly affect its working and the efficiency of the elements.
Make sure that you look at reviews that mention the size of the unit, as this can allow you to decide exactly where you can conveniently place it in your own home. The heater must be located as close to the point of use, your shower, bathtub, or wash basin. Place it closer to the point where you will have the maximum use of hot water so that there is least heat loss while the hot water travels from the heater to the point where it is used. Look at reviews that also tell you the amount of power they would need for this instantaneous heating of water, as you do need to have an element that is large and will consume more power.
For electric heaters, you may need to look at the power you have available and may need to upgrade your system if it cannot provide the extra needed power. If you are using a heater that is fueled by gas, you may need to provide vents and that can add to installation costs.
Look for reviews that also indicate the energy factor which is a measurement of the efficiency of heating that it has. Higher ratings will give you heaters that are more efficient and will save you energy in the long run.