Water heater research

How Can I Get The Most Out Of My Tankless Water Heater?

(Last Updated On: April 13, 2020)

man shoutingWater heaters are an essential item in the modern home. We all need hot water for our showers, dishwashers and washing machines, and our water heaters are the backbone of our comfy lifestyles.

As you’ll know if you’ve visited our site, there are two options when it comes to choosing a water heater for a modern home. You can either opt for a traditional storage water heater, which holds hot water in a tank until it is required, or a tankless water heater which heats up water only on demand when it is required.

Although tankless models have been common for decades in Europe, they’ve only recently started to catch on in the US. Increasing numbers of households are opting for the tankless system because of the many benefits it offers.

Storage-based water heaters aren’t very economical to run, wasting a lot of energy on heating water even when it isn’t required, and causing your energy bills to mount up. Much more ecologically friendly, a tankless water heater uses less energy and can therefore save you money on your energy bills. Plus, you’ll have hot water as long as you need it, without worrying about emptying the tank and waiting for the whole inefficient thing to reheat. 

While a tankless water heater is undoubtedly a better choice for your home, you should make sure you understand the limitations of using one. You’ll never run out of supply when you use one of these, but you’ll get into trouble if you try and draw on too much hot water at a given time. 

Think of it this way: a tank model only gives you as much hot water as it holds in the tank. So, you’re not limited by the volume you get at any given time, but by a set quantity that’s kept in storage. When you ditch the tank, you can run hot water as long as you like, but only so much at once.

That’s why it’s important to optimize your home to optimize your hot water usage, so that you don’t end up having to pay for a larger tankless unit than you should actually need. Doing so can save water and reduce your energy costs even further. So, how do you go about optimizing your system? Here are some helpful suggestions for you!

*some of these suggestions will help you lower your hot water usage, which allows you to operate on a smaller tankless hot water heater. Some other suggestions will help you get even more energy savings from the heater you end up using. Try them all for the best results!*

Turn Down Your Thermostat

Man Turning Down the Thermostat

Usually, when you purchase your tankless water heater you will find that the manufacturer will already have set the thermostat at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a common standard.

However, for the purposes of most households, there is no need for the temperature to be so high. You can easily lower it down to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit without noticing the difference.

Not only will this help you to save money on your energy bills but it was also be safer for your family! Especially if you have children, they will be well protected from accidental burns from hot water.

Turning down your thermostat also ensures that the build up of  minerals inside the heater is reduced. Corrosion inside the heater’s components and pipes will also be reduced.

You can also enjoy impressive savings on your energy bills of up to 5% for every 10 degrees that you lower your thermostat! That adds up fast, 

Cut Your Water Consumption

turning off the faucet

This is where you can lower your GPM requirements, and hopefully find that you’re able to get by with a smaller tankless water heater than you might think.

If you want to get the most out of your tankless water heater, you should try to reduce your water consumption as much as possible. That’ll lower your GPM requirements, since you’ll arrive at them by adding together the GPM of all the things you might regularly use at the same time (such as a shower, sink, and dishwasher). 

This will also help to reduce your energy bills even further! Reducing your water consumption all around the house will cut both your water and heating bills, saving your money.

The biggest thing most of us can do is to use low-flow shower heads. They’re not like they used to be: some of them are actually great! Try High Sierra fixtures, if you want our advice. They use 1.5 GPM, and they feel fantastic.

Right there, you’ve cut nearly half the water out of each shower. So, you can run an additional one on the same GPM! Showering is the most intensive hot water draw most homes have, and it’s usually the way we measure how large a water heater we need.

You should also make sure that you turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth instead of leaving the water running! Do the same when you’re doing dishes by hand. Little cuts add up! 

Install an aerator in all of your faucets to cut the flow. That’s the same principle as using a low-flow shower head.

Always wait until your washing machine is full or your dishwasher is fully loaded before turning it on instead of washing a half load or washing your dishes by hand. There is no need to use the pre-wash setting, and in most circumstances you will find that the Economy setting works just fine!

Unless you’re doing a whites wash, or need to sanitize something, you shouldn’t be using hot water to do laundry. Switching to the “tap” setting cuts a whole appliance out of the equation when you’re figuring out how much hot water you need at a given time.

Be Conservative When You Size Your Tankless Water Heater

Man installing Tankless Water Heater

It is important to always size your tankless water heater appropriately in order to achieve a proper temperature rise (usually 70 degrees). Most people who end up frustrated with their tankless water heater run into trouble because they haven’t bought something powerful enough. 

To avoid trouble, always be generous when you match a heater to your needs. Round up by about 50%, if you want to be certain you’ll always have enough to match your demand. If you add up your usage points and get 4 GPM as your  baseline, buy something that can put out 6 GPM, for example. That’s especially true in winter. If you live in a colder spot, you may want to round up by even more to make sure your heater can tackle the temperature rise when February comes around.

Always Use A Professional To Install Your Tankless System

When you are purchasing a new tankless water heater, you can begin optimizing it from the very moment it arrives in your home. If you use the services of a professional installer, you can be sure that not only will they have all of the essential knowledge to install the system effectively and correctly but they will also have all of the necessary knowledge to help you to choose the perfect system to suit your individual requirements. An experienced contract will also be able to ensure that all of your piping will be adequate to support the chosen water heater.

Insulate Your Piping

Although it may not be the first idea that occurs to you when you think about optimizing your water heater, insulating all of your exposed piping will help to maximize the potential of your system.

When you add insulation to your hot water pipes your water will be between two and four degrees warmer when it arrives at your faucet, and this means that there is no need to run the water for so long before it warms up.

This will save you water, energy and, of course, money on your energy bills. This is an inexpensive way to cut your costs as you can simply buy some low cost self-sealing sleeves which slip over your pipes. Start with the pipes which are exposed in your basement and work upwards.

If you follow these helpful tips, you will find that you can optimize your tankless water heater so that it gives the best quality of performance and you get the best value for money. Not only will you lower your energy bills but you will save water and help the environment too.

If you need some help and guidance when it comes to choosing a new tankless water heater for your home, you should take a look at our site so that you can make an informed decision about which is the right model to suit your requirements.

Tankless Reviews was created with the goal of helping people to understand the benefits and practical knowledge related to tankless water heaters. After purchasing my very first tankless heater years back, I realised that other people needed to hear about the incredible money-saving ability of this household item, and wanted to share my lessons with you!