Upgrade to an Energy Efficient Tankless Water Heater

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Upgrade to an Energy Efficient Tankless Water Heater

Written by Carollyn Farrar, Marketing Program Manager, NW Natural

Humans have been inventing new technologies to heat water since the mid-2nd millennium BC.It all began with baths cut into hillsides from which hot springs poured at Knossos, Crete. The Romans took their lead from the Greeks and created hot water baths found in Santorini that were larger than the Greek versions. The Roman aqueducts provided water that was later heated for use in the baths.

Throughout the 19th century several innovations helped to evolve water heating technology to hold and heat water in storage tanks. Tank water heaters stored hot water on a standby basis, heating and reheating the same water as it was needed. The energy used to heat and reheat was lost in the venting and through the walls of the tank.

Although today’s tank water heaters are more efficient than those sold a few decades ago, an efficient tankless water heater only heats water when it is called for. The main advantage of a tankless water heater is no extra cost of keeping 40 to 50 gallons of water hot in a storage tank, so it wastes less energy.

Today, many brands of tankless high efficiency natural gas water heaters use a smaller amount of energy to produce the same amount or more hot water than traditional storage tanks.

Each builder at the 2018 NW Natural Street of Dreams has chosen to install a natural gas tankless water heater to serve the home.About the size of a suitcase, it can be installed in doors or outside.

With interior space at a premium, MJ Boyles selected the newest Rinnai Sensei™ RU130e to be installed on the exterior of her tiny 204 sq. ft. home, connecting via Wi-Fi with smart home voice-enabled devices, and freeze protection down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The BC Custom Construction home, Private Reserve, showcases an AO Smith natural gas tankless water heater that delivers hot water to three bathrooms at the same time, and takes about seven minutes to fill a tub.

The Pahlisch home, Serenity, chose the energy efficient Rheem natural gas condensing tankless water heater with built-in recirculation pump that reduces water waste. The condensing feature allows the heat exchanger to capture and reuse heat from the exhaust to enhance energy efficiency and provide energy savings.

Top five benefits of choosing a natural gas tankless water heater:

  • Plenty of hot water when needed
  • Longer life, lasting five to 10 years longer than tank water heaters
  • More efficient with no extra cost of keeping water hot in a storage tank
  • Suitcase sized, it can be installed in a closet, closer to the point of use
  • No possibility of flooding due to a leaking tank





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