There has been a lot of probing and questioning of the new tankless water heater technology. It is advertised as a “green” energy for heating water without keeping a tank of water hot 24 hours of the day. They do have their merits, but they also have their tankless water heater prices. Herein contains an assessment of the technology along with helpful electric tankless water heater reviews.
Tankless water heaters are designed to be smaller and more efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. Instead of holding hot water, they are part of a complex electrical mechanism that instantly heats water when the valve is opened. This product is often touted to save money on energy, especially when hot water is only needed momentarily at the point of use.
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The manufacturers of tankless water heaters usually tout them to be a source of “unlimited” hot water. This is true to an extent, but it really depends on how much water is used at different faucets simultaneously. Tankless water heaters work best when they are closer to the point of use. This means that the longer the pipe is from the source, it will take longer to heat up. Also, if too much water is being used at the same time at different sources, the temperature will drop.
A single water heater will typically heat one bath, one dishwasher and one washing machine. To accommodate more use of water, more units should be installed. Large families would usually do better to use multiple small tankless systems than one big central tankless water heater.
Now this is where the real question comes in: Is it worth the tankless water heater prices? Initially investing in a tankless water heater can help reduce gas and energy consumption from 19 to 53 percent. In terms of savings this can be around $42 to $121 annually. Purchasing and installing more electrical systems to use simultaneously lowers the savings substantially.
In order to qualify for the warranty, the electric tankless system must be installed by a technician. Factor in the cost of installation and it becomes a $2,000 to $5,000 project. To install a permanent system, it is sometimes necessary to upgrade existing electrical systems in the home. The Center for Energy and Environment in Minneapolis calculated that it could take anywhere from 22 to 72 years worth of annual savings to pay off initial investment.
Electric Tankless Water Heater Reviews
The Ecotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater and Outdoor Shower
For $119, this little guy is a lightweight, battery powered and easy to use. It can raise the water temperature 35 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the input water. It comes equipped with a shower head, and all it needs is water and external pressure to make it work. It comes with a one-year warranty.
- Built for the outdoors; it’s essentially designed for camping, off the grid conditions or any situation that calls for warm to hot water and portability.
- Suitable for very light use.
- When dealing with cold water in the winter, expect warm, but not hot, water.
- Easy to connect to water supplies and outlets with output garden hose adapters.
The Ecotemp L10 High Capacity Outdoor Tankless Water Heater
This is the L5’s bigger brother, and for $220, it comes with everything that the L5 doesn’t. It’s designed for more permanent outdoor installation. Good for cabins, campers or barns. It comes with a one-year warranty.
- Easy to install.
- Heats water anywhere from 80 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the temperature of the input water.
- Delivers a little less than 3 gallons of water per minute, which is enough for two simultaneous hot water applications.
The Rheem RTE 13 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 4 GPM
At $179, this is a fine point of use water heater. It’s compact and built for indoor use. Installation takes some time to figure out, and a hired technician needs to do it. It might require some upgrades to the current electric set up in the home. It is better as a point of use heater because the temperatures don’t travel more than a few feet before dropping. It also doesn’t do well in extremely cold places. It comes with a one year warranty for the parts, and a 10 year heat exchange warranty.
- Complicated installation.
- Good for light, indoor use.
- Not good for delivering well water.
- It has a manual temperature control on the unit.
The Ecosmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater
For $490, this one comes with self modulating technology. It has a digital thermostat that can regulate the temperature by the single degree. It is a good all-around water heater; a family of 4 to 5 could subsist on just one of these. It might also require some electrical upgrades. This one has a lifetime warranty.
- Self regulates how much energy is needed to efficiently heat the specific temperature.
- Complicated installation.
- Heats larger amounts of water at a time.
- Designed for colder climates, but uses more energy to heat cold water.
Tankless water heater prices are worth the money if you don’t use a lot of water at one time, despite the “unlimited” hot water claim. They hold up great for general use. Simply being prudent with resources is what really helps save money.