It’s a Tankless Job
Last time my excuse was holiday over-eating. This time I’m going with “I couldn’t get to the computer because of the flooding”. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. But now that we’re dry(er), I’m out of excuses (well, I do have “The dog ate my keyboard”, but I was saving that one for when I really needed it), I’m here to discourse on hot water. Not the “I forgot our anniversary” kind, but the “that hot shower was really relaxing” kind. If you need help on the first one, call a marriage counselor. If you need help on the second one, call Day Heating.
“What is a tankless water heater?” you might ask. Well, it’s a unit about the size of a carry-on suitcase that replaces your existing water heater. The tankless water heater will produce roughly 5 gallons per minute of 140° hot water by burning either propane or natural gas (I have yet to see a reliable electric based unit that has a capacity anywhere close to the gas units). At up to 98% efficient, they can produce an endless amount of hot water (limited only by your threshold of pain on your gas and water bill) at a lower cost than almost any other available unit. “Are they for everyone?” In short, no. If you live alone and only do weekly showers and monthly laundry, then your usage isn’t high enough for the unit to pay for itself (as a side note, I’m guessing that shower and laundry schedule might be the reason you’re living alone). If you have six kids between the ages of 4 and 16, and do three loads of laundry a day, then there’s no question you could make good use of a tankless water heater. If you fall between those two scenarios, then Day Heating would be happy to go through the details with you to determine if a tankless unit is a good fit for you. “Can you explain in a little more detail how they work?” I thought you’d never ask. The tankless water heater has a maximum input of 199,000 BTU’s, which is how you get the 5 gallons per minute of 140° hot water when you open every valve in the house. That’s great when you need a lot of hot water, but how about if you’re just washing dishes at the sink? The water heater has the capability to adjust its firing rate down to 16,000 BTU’s. So, when you turn on the hot water, it measures the flow through the unit and the incoming water temperature, then adjusts its firing rate (the amount of gas it’s burning) to just bring the water up to your desired temperature setting. If you open the valve a little further, or turn on the hot water at another location, the water flow increases, so the unit burns a little more gas to hit the target temperature. While I am quite knowledgeable on these units (for a cat), I must admit that my hot water usage is very low (no laundry and a monthly bath?- probably explains why I’m still single). So, if you call in with questions, it’s not too likely I’m the one they’ll connect you with. One of our highly knowledgeable staff can walk you through the details and answer any questions you have. Plus, over half our office staff have tankless units in their own home, so they’re responding to your questions with answers backed by personal experience. I don’t believe any of them have forgotten their anniversary, though, so if you’re in that kind of hot water, you’re on your own.