Introduction to Tankless Water Heaters

Bathroom of Modular Home in Sea Bright NJHave you ever experienced a morning where you jump in the shower after getting the kids ready only to realize they used all the hot water?  Upgrading to a tankless water heater can provide you and your family with a seemingly endless supply of hot water.  These home appliances are also saving you money by eliminating the need of endlessly heating water you are not intending to use.  Coastal Modular Group is ready to help with your custom modular home design that highlights all of the newest energy star appliances.

These tankless water heaters are sometimes referred to as “on-demand water heaters”.  They are available for purchase in electric and gas models.  However for homes in cold climates the option will most likely be limited to gas.  If you are going to invest the money into one of these systems, you want to make sure you are selecting the right tankless system for your home.  To get started consider these questions below…

  • How many bathrooms do you have?
  • How many people are living in the household?
  • Geographic location of the property?
  • Gas or electric?

When determining the system that is right for your home you will most likely hear the term “flow rate” which is the volume of water required to be heated, and it is measured in gallons per minute (GPM).  The geographic location of your property also has to be considered because of the temperature of the ground water entering the unit.  You can imagine that the ground water temperature would vary dramatically from Portland, ME to Orlando, FL in the middle of December.  Tankless water heaters are sized by rating its temperature rise in correlation to the GPM needed in your home.  Temperature rise refers to how many degrees your unit will have to heat the water, from the entering temperature to the exiting temperature.

There is also a possibility, based on the needs of your household, that you could require multiple systems.  While there are two basic systems, point-of-use and whole-house, they both work in a similar way.  The prices between these two systems can vary from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars before installation.  That is why the prior planning and estimating of expected water usage is crucial… while you don’t want to over estimate and spend money needlessly, under estimating your hot water usage could make you regret the installation altogether.

  • Point-of-use: would be a small unit installed at a location, such as your kitchen sink, that would provide hot water at a specific temperature.  These units are typically small enough to fit in a drawer or a cabinet.
  • Whole-house: would simply be a unit that supplies the hot water for your whole house similar to the way your current tank unit does.  Depending on your household’s required flow rate and the entering water temperature multiple water heaters may be required for optimum efficiency.

Another important tidbit to point out is that in order to determine a fairly accurate GPM usage for your home, it is necessary to consider the type of fixtures that will be used in your home.  Fixtures with a higher GPM will limit your access to on-demand hot water, so the lower the GPM rating on your fixtures the more fixtures your will be able to use simultaneously (example:  running two showers at the same time).

Check out these two tables below for basic guidance to determine an estimated GPM for your home…

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(2) Tables sourced from: http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/water/drinking-water/best-practices/water-system-planning-estimating-water-use

A tankless water heater system can be a wonderful energy-efficient upgrade on your custom modular build with Coastal Modular Group.  Rest assured CMG will help you determine your dream home’s GPM so that your HVAC professional can plan to install a system that meets the needs of your family’s water demands.  Then before you know it you will be enjoying endless hot water without being dependent on a limited tank.  If you have questions about integrating a tankless water heater into your build contact CMG at (732) 800-2447.

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