Wolseley PRO Pipeline Blog
Water heaters account for 19% of the energy used in the average Canadian home. To avoid spending a fortune on heating their water, homeowners need to understand that the cost to operate a system over its lifetime is just as important as the initial purchase price.
Homeowners looking to purchase new water heaters rely on contractors for recommendations and advice. Tankless water heaters can save homeowners money in the long run, while making their day-to-day lives easier. Here’s how tankless water heaters work, how they benefit your customers and why they are a reliable solution for water heating.
How does a tankless water heater work?
Rather than storing a tank full of hot water, tankless water heaters heat water only as it’s needed. To heat water passing through, the tankless water uses a heat exchanger, a device that transfers heat from one source to another. When you turn on the tap, cold water flows through the pipes, through the heat exchanger inside the tankless water heater, and out the tap at the chosen temperature.
There are two different types of tankless water heaters: point-of-use heaters and whole-home units.
Point-of-use Tankless Water Heaters
Point-of-use heaters are small units installed right by exit points, like showers, sinks, or washing machines. Their small size makes it easy to fit them in tight spaces, even under kitchen cabinets. While their close proximity prevents any loss of heat, their small size can only handle heating an individual faucet, which means homes typically require more than one.
Whole House Tankless Water Heaters
Whole house heaters are much larger and provide hot water for multiple points-of-use. With the hot water needing to travel far distances before being used, some hot water loss does occur.
Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters
1. Constant, unlimited supply of hot water
Because tankless water heaters don’t have a tank holding a home’s hot water supply, they never run out of water. Heating hot water only when it’s needed gives homeowners an unlimited supply of hot water, rather than a depleting stock of hot or warm water.
2. No ruptured tanks
Water tanks that hold large amounts of water have the potential to rupture. With a tankless water heater, this risk is eliminated. Since your clients won’t have a giant tank of water in their basement, their chance of basement flooding is much lower. Help them regain peace-of-mind with a tankless water heater.
3. Energy efficient
Since tankless water heaters don’t need to keep a large tank of water heated 24/7, they use less energy. Only heating water as it’s needed reduces standby heat and wasted energy keeping the water tank hot. This is a more efficient choice for homeowners and can save them up to 20% on their water heating bills.
4. Can qualify for rebates and earn LEED points
By replacing old appliances with energy efficient products that meet provincial criteria, homeowners can qualify for rebates, saving hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on their home improvements. This can encourage your customers to spend the extra money on a tankless water heater if they know they’re going to be getting some money back.
Tankless water heaters can also earn LEED® credits, optional elements or strategies that projects can elect to pursue to gain points toward LEED certification. LEED certification verifies that a building or community was built and designed to use strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health.
5. Save space
Tankless water heaters are much more compact than traditional water heaters. Tankless water heaters are a great solution for saving space in closets, basements, and especially in small homes. Homeowners can even use small point-of-use water heaters under their sinks to help minimize energy loss.
Point-of-use water heaters are great for places that are far away from the main water heater because they prevent the water from losing heat as it travels through the pipes. Consider this solution for outdoor showers, kitchens and hot tubs.
6. They can help you grow your business
A DIY enthusiast won’t have the required skills to swap a tank-based water heater with a tankless water heater. There are technical elements required to make the switch, including an upfront investment due to venting and installation.
Due to these technical requirements, it is recommended that only experienced professionals install and maintain tankless water heaters. Use this as an opportunity to grow your professional plumbing business by marketing your team as experts in the field.
Tankless water heaters are costly. They can go for anywhere between $500 to $800 for a whole-house electric model and between $1000 to $2000 for a whole-house gas model. This can cost up to three times more than regular tank water heaters. It’s important to educate your customers on long-term benefits and cost savings, not just the upfront expense. Tankless water heaters can last up to ten years longer than tank water heaters. Plus, with the amount they can save homeowners on their energy bills, the cost can be easily justified.
If your customers are having a hard time deciding between a tankless water heater and a water tank heater, tell them to compare the yellow Energy Guide sticker on them. This will help them see which one is more efficient and will save them money on their energy bills in the long run.
Browse our collection of tankless water heaters on Wolseley Express.
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