If you're building a new home, you probably want to fill it with the latest and greatest technology. Tankless water heaters aren't a new concept, but they've only risen to prominence in the last several decades. More efficient and reliable technology means that these units are often the heater of choice for many homes, and they can add a touch of luxury to your new house.
While many people choose these heaters for their efficiency and convenience, they may require some extra considerations that traditional designs do not.
Tankless Heater Installation Considerations
Most people install traditional storage water heaters in a utility area, such as an out-of-the-way closet or the basement. Since storage tanks tend to be large, the chosen location must have a reasonable amount of floor space. This space is necessary to accommodate the heater and allow for ease of installation and future maintenance.
Tankless water heaters require some of the same considerations — including plumbing and utility access — but considerably less space. Most manufacturers design residential units for wall-mounting, and they can usually comfortably fit in small closets. You may even be able to install smaller heaters directly below sinks or other fixtures.
Plumbing Design Options
Unlike storage water heaters, tankless units give you multiple options for designing your new home's plumbing. These two options are typically known as centralized and point-of-use. In a centralized system, you install a high-capacity tankless heater in the same location you would traditionally install a storage heater. Centralized tankless heaters do not require any special design considerations.
Point-of-use installations allow you to utilize the on-demand nature of tankless heaters more fully. With these systems, you place smaller heaters near the areas where you need hot water. You may have a separate heater for your kitchen sink, bathroom, laundry room, and so on. Heaters can supply hot water to either a single fixture or multiple fixtures in one room.
Point-of-use systems provide faster access to hot water, minimize demand issues from using too much hot water, and can even simplify your home's plumbing. Since you're heating water close to every fixture, your plumber will usually only need to run cold water lines to each room. Shorter pipe runs then carry hot water from the point-of-use heaters to the fixtures they serve.
Which Is Right For Your New Home?
Your budget and personal preferences will dictate which option is suitable for your new home. Centralized systems tend to be cheaper to install but at the cost of reduced efficiency and potential demand problems. Point-of-use systems are costlier but provide greater efficiency and longevity since each individual heater is usually much smaller.
Whichever option you select, it's best to decide early in your planning phase. Making this decision before your plumbing rough-in begins ensures that your plumber can make the best design decisions to install your new system correctly and affordably.
Contact a local plumber to learn more about tankless water heater installation.