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Ah, the joys of warm showers and cozy baths — simple pleasures made possible by the unsung hero of your home: the water heater. In the frosty landscapes of Canada, selecting the right tankless water heater isn’t just a choice; it’s a key to home comfort and budget savings. But fear not! We’re here to explore the factors that play a crucial role in selecting the right tankless water heater, guiding you through a maze of options to find the perfect fit for your home.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater: All You Need to Know
Tankless water heaters are innovative systems designed to provide hot water on demand without the use of a traditional storage tank. Unlike conventional water heaters that store and continuously heat water, tankless models operate by heating water as it passes through the unit, offering an on-demand, energy-efficient solution. Their compact and space-saving design, coupled with their ability to provide an endless supply of hot water, has made them a popular choice for homeowners seeking efficiency and convenience in their water heating systems.
Energy Efficiency: How Tankless Water Heater Can Save Your Budget?
As we said before, tankless systems operate by heating water on demand. This specialty significantly reduces energy consumption by eliminating the constant need to keep a large tank of water heated. Here is how you can benefit from buying a tankless water heater:
- Lower Energy Consumption: Thanks to the heating on demand, tankless water heaters’ efficiency can result in savings of up to 20% on your water heating bill, contributing to a noticeable reduction in overall energy costs.
- Longer Lifespan and Reduced Maintenance Costs: Additionally, tankless systems tend to have a longer lifespan compared to traditional tank-based water heaters. With proper maintenance, tankless heaters can last up to 20 years, considerably longer than the average 10-15 years for traditional tanks.
- Reduced Water Waste: Beyond energy savings, tankless water heaters contribute to environmental conservation. With no need for preheating and a consistent supply of hot water on demand, tankless systems minimize water waste.
- Return on Investment: Investing in a tankless water heater in Canada may have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional tank systems. However, over time, the considerable energy savings and extended lifespan make it a wise and cost-effective choice for budget-conscious homeowners.
Flow Rate and Proper Sizing
The flow rate of a tankless water heater determines its ability to meet your household’s hot water demand. Measured in gallons per minute (GPM), the flow rate varies across different models and directly affects the unit’s capacity to supply hot water. When considering flow rate, it’s essential to align it with the size of your home and the number of hot water outlets it will serve.
We recommend you begin by identifying the simultaneous hot water needs in your home. Assess the number of showers, sinks, appliances, and any other hot water outlets that may run concurrently. Each outlet requires a specific flow rate. For example, a shower typically needs 1.5 to 2.5 GPM, while a dishwasher may require 1 to 2.5 GPM.
Number of Hot Water Outlets
Required Flow Rate (Gallons per Minute – GPM)
Small (1-2 people)
1-2 (eg., 1 shower, 1 sink)
2.0 – 5.0
Medium (3-4 people)
2-3 (e.g., 2 showers, 1 sink)
Large (5+ people)
3+ (e.g., 2+ showers, 2+ sinks)
7.5 – 10.0+
Now, a few words about tankless water heater sizing. Selecting the right size involves understanding not only the flow rate but also the heater’s ability to handle the demands. A smaller tankless water heater might be overwhelmed by simultaneous heavy usage, leading to a drop in water temperature. Conversely, an oversized unit for a smaller household may lead to unnecessary energy consumption. Thus, the key is to match the flow rate to your household’s specific hot water usage patterns to ensure a consistent and comfortable hot water supply without wastage or inadequacy.
Recommended Tankless Water Heater Size
Small (1-2 people)
30,000 – 40,000 BTUs
Medium (3-4 people)
40,000 – 60,000 BTUs
Large (5+ people)
60,000 – 80,000+ BTUs
Still not sure about which tankless water heater size is suitable for your home? Consult our professional HVAC specialists via the link below.
Fuel Type Selections: What Are Your Options
Tankless water heaters are available in two primary fuel types: electric and gas. Let’s consider both of them:
- Electric Tankless Water Heaters: Electric tankless hot water heaters are generally easier to install, making them a convenient choice for various homes. They do not require venting and can be installed closer to the point of use, making them ideal for smaller households or locations where gas connections might be impractical. While electric units tend to have a lower initial cost, they might have higher operational costs in areas where electricity prices are relatively high.
- Gas Tankless Water Heaters: Gas-powered tankless water heaters, typically powered by natural gas or propane, are known for their higher flow rates and ability to cater to larger households with higher hot water demands. They require proper venting and adequate combustion air supply, usually demanding professional installation. Gas units might have a higher initial cost, considering the need for proper venting and gas line installation. However, they often result in lower operational costs in areas where gas prices are reasonable.
To conclude, smaller households or locations without access to gas connections might find electric models more suitable, while larger households with heavier hot water demands might benefit more from the higher capacity of gas-powered units.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tankless Water Heater in Canada
Choosing the right tankless water heater involves careful deliberation to ensure it meets the unique demands of your household. Each factor holds the key to unlocking the perfect fit for your hot water needs.
Adapting to Canadian Climate
In Canada, where temperatures can plunge to staggering lows, it’s imperative to select a tankless water heater that’s built to brave the elements. Look for models explicitly designed for the cold Canadian climate. These units are equipped to maintain consistent performance even when the mercury takes a nosedive. By choosing a model that can withstand the frigid winters, you ensure hot water is always at your fingertips, no matter the weather.
Curious about what is the ideal water heater temperature setting? Check out our previous article.
Warranty, Reliability, and Maintenance
The reliability of your tankless hot water heater is a cornerstone of your investment. Prioritize brands that offer extended warranties, as they provide peace of mind against potential hiccups down the road. A longer warranty often indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s durability. Additionally, consider the ease of maintenance. Select models that have a reputation for straightforward care and are equipped with features that simplify upkeep, ultimately extending the lifespan of your unit.
Innovative Technology and Features
Innovation is the key to unlocking enhanced performance and user convenience. When exploring your tankless water heater options, keep an eye out for models with advanced technology and features. Smart controls allow you to tailor your hot water experience, optimizing energy usage and ensuring hot water is available when you need it most. Energy-saving mechanisms, like modulating burners, make your unit not just efficient but eco-friendly. These features not only improve your quality of life but also contribute to long-term savings.
Cost Analysis — Initial and Long-Term
Investing in a tankless water heater is an investment in your comfort and savings. While the initial cost may be higher than traditional tank-based systems, don’t be deterred. Consider the long-term savings. Tankless water heaters are renowned for their energy efficiency, which can lead to significant reductions in your utility bills over time. Combine these energy savings with a longer lifespan, and the return on investment becomes evident. Your unit can pay for itself in terms of cost savings in the years to come.
Check out our tankless water heater installation costs guide to be able to plan your budget effectively.
The Best Tankless Water Heater Brands in Canada
Selecting a reliable brand stands as one of the most critical factors when choosing a tankless hot water heater. It’s not just about the product itself; it’s about the quality, reliability, and ongoing support that a reputable brand provides. Trusting a well-established brand ensures not only a superior product but also a commitment to exceptional customer service.
Below, we have considered 5 of the most trustworthy tankless water heater brands in Canada.
Renowned for its innovative technology and high-quality units, Navien offers a wide range of tankless water heaters that excel in energy efficiency and performance. With a strong emphasis on eco-friendly designs and user comfort, Navien stands as a top choice for many Canadian households.
Rinnai is a household name in the tankless water heater industry, known for its technological advancements and reliability. Their diverse product line, including both gas and electric models, features high efficiency and durability, offering tailored solutions for various household sizes.
Trusted for their durability and performance, Noritz tankless water heaters are recognized for their innovation and commitment to energy efficiency. Their units are designed to withstand the rigors of Canadian climates, providing a consistent and reliable hot water supply.
With a reputation for quality and durability, Bosch tankless water heaters stand out for their performance and sleek design. They offer a range of gas and electric models, known for their energy efficiency and ease of installation.
Rheem tankless water heaters are acclaimed for their reliability and advanced technology. With a focus on energy efficiency and smart design, Rheem offers a variety of units suitable for different household sizes, promising reliable performance and user convenience.
At HVAC Service Solutions, we provide professional tankless water heater repair, installation, and maintenance services for a variety of brands. Choose us as your tankless water heater provider for a seamless experience and ongoing support for all your hot water needs.
Investing in a tankless water heater isn’t just about upgrading your home; it’s about enhancing your everyday comfort and making a smart, long-term investment. At HVAC Service Solutions, we recognize the significance of this decision and stand ready to be your partner in ensuring that your home has a reliable and efficient hot water supply. Your comfort is our priority, and we’re here to ensure your satisfaction and convenience every step of the way.