Are you considering installing tankless water heaters in your commercial building? Perhaps you’re still weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a tankless water heater versus a traditional water heater, or maybe you are wondering which one will best supply your building with a continuous supply of hot water. While tankless water heaters have increased in popularity over the last few years because of their speed and convenience, they are more expensive, so there are several factors to consider when making your choice. 

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

We’ve all been in a situation where we need hot water, but the tank is empty and there’s no hot water to be found. Whether at home or out in public, the need for hot water is often essential, and tankless water heaters offer a solution. As the name indicates there is no storage tank for this type of water heater. Instead they produce an endless supply of hot water on demand so you never run out. 

Tankless water heaters are especially beneficial for larger commercial buildings like apartments, schools, shopping malls, museums, and more. Imagine how quickly you’d run through a single tank of hot water in a shopping mall that has dozens of sinks, or on a large university campus where there are student showers on the premises. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters

Advantages:

  • Endless supply of hot water. As mentioned above, you’ll never encounter an empty tank or unwanted cold water when you have a tankless water heater. 
  • Tankless water heaters save space. Giant water tanks, especially commercial ones, take up a lot of space on your property. Going tankless allows you to reclaim a lot of space and use it for other important purposes. 
  • Energy efficient. Because tankless heaters only heat up water when it’s needed, they aren’t filling entire tanks of water only for it to sit there. They’re much more energy efficient than traditional water heaters. 
  • Longer lasting. You can expect your tankless water heater to last as long as 25 years! When you compare that to the average lifespan of a traditional water heater, which is between 8 – 12 years, you can understand the appeal. 
  • The water is always fresh. You don’t have to deal with dozens of gallons of stale water that has been sitting around in a tank when you have a tankless water heater. 

Disadvantages:

  • Higher installation costs. Some people are discouraged from investing in a tankless hot water heater because of the installation costs. Your HVAC technician can give you an estimate, and they’ll also need to inspect your property to ensure there’s an adequate place for the tankless heater to be installed. On the other hand, because a tankless water heater only heats up the water you need, it can end up saving you money on your monthly energy bills if you don’t use a lot of hot water each month. 
  • Need to install a 3-way mixing valve along with your tankless water heater to ensure proper safety. Tankless water heaters can be installed without a mixing valve, however, you run a major risk of growing Legionella and then delivering this contaminated water to people in your building. A 3-way mixing valve ensures no water is just sitting and waiting to be contaminated by harmful bacteria. Many people like to forgo this extra cost by just upping the operating water temperature to 130F to kill the Legionella bacteria. But this solution isn’t fool-proof because now you run a scalding hazard to people on the other end of the faucets. 
  • They don’t work if there’s a power outage. Tankless water heaters use electricity to function, so if your power goes out, you’ll be without hot water until it comes back on. There is a workaround, however, and it comes in the form of a battery back-up generator so you’re never without hot water, even during a power outage. A battery back-up generator can be installed alongside your tankless hot water heater to keep the hot water flowing, even when there’s no electricity in your building.  

For more information about tankless water heaters, or if you have any questions about whether or not a tankless water heater is right for your commercial building, please contact our team at Tri-Tech Energy today or visit us at: https://www.tritechenergy.com/