When it comes to buying a tankless water heater, you have plenty of options. The choices include gas pilot light and electronic ignition, point-of-use heaters and heaters that supply the whole house. The best tankless heater for your home is the one that meets your family's hot water needs without breaking your budget.
If your home has no gas supply, an electric tankless heater is the obvious choice. However, if your home is supplied with gas and your household is large, you might be better off picking a gas water heater. One exception to this is if you're looking for a small water heater to supply one area of your home, such as a bathroom. In that case, an electric tankless heater could be more suitable for you.
Gas tankless heaters are usually the best option because their flow rate is higher compared to electric heaters. Gas tankless water heaters supply around five gallons of hot water per minute versus roughly two gallons per minute from electric heaters. To give you an idea what that means, a hot water faucet delivers around 0.75 gallons per minute and a standard shower head supplies about 2.5 gallons per minute. If your water heater can't keep up with your household's hot water demands, the result is lukewarm water and unhappy family members.
A gas-fired heater requires venting to the outside, either through the roof or a side wall, depending on the model. If you've already selected a spot for your new tankless water heater and you want a gas model, be sure there's a place for the vent. Tankless water heaters can even be mounted outside but require special provisions. If you aren't sure which type of water heater is best for you, contact Ragsdale for expert advice.