The Best Tankless Heaters for Small Businesses
When most small businesses look for cost-cutting tips to include in the office, they usually overlook their HVAC systems. Depending on the type of business you have, HVACs may play a huge role in your day to day business operations. And if a water system is a significant component of your small business, you may want to consider using a tankless water heater.
Depending on the type of business you have (i.e. a small gym, restaurants, laundry mats, etc), with cold weather the use of hot water increases dramatically and will likely cost your business a considerable amount of money. Most businesses typically use a standard storage water heater; however, these waste a lot of energy because they switch to "stand-by" mode when hot water is not in use. When switched on and in use, they take a while to warm up, causing you to wait and resulting in loss of business efficiency.
The Benefits of Going Tankless
A tankless water heater is the perfect solution for those who want hot water and to save money. These units, which are also called instantaneous or demand water heaters, are becoming extremely popular these days because of their efficiency. Cold water travels through a pipe into the water heater and is then heated by an electric or a gas-fired element. As a result, hot water is instantaneous, and you don't need to waste your time waiting for the water to warm up.
These water heaters can also simultaneously produce and supply endless streams of hot water to multiple outlets without the hassle of temperature fluctuation. These units are so popular that even the U.S. Department of Energy recommends them.
Additional benefits include:
- Space Savings - tankless water heaters are compact units and in most cases can be wall-mounted units.
- Energy-Efficiency - 30-50% percent more energy efficient than a traditional water heater.
- Money-Saving - automatic shut off when the water supply is closed, resulting in lowered utility bills.
3 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Tankless Water Heater
1. Gas vs. electric
If you have a choice between gas and electric, we may be better off going with gas units since they are typically more powerful and more energy efficient than the electric units. Not all buildings can have a gas unit installed due to specific venting requirements. The electric tankless water heaters are hardwired and typically have high amperage requirements; however there are no venting requirements with an electric unit.
Electric units are primarily suitable for industrial uses when they can replace a standard tank that is using thousands of kilowatt hours per year to heat water for a bathroom that does not require much hot water. In this situation, an electric tankless heater can result in substantial savings over an existing electric tank water heater.
2. Flow rate
While tankless water heaters can provide an endless supply of hot water, they have a limitation as to how much hot water can be produced at any given time. There is also a relationship between the amount of hot water produced in GPM (gallons per minute) and the temperature rise. The temperature rise refers to the number of degrees the inlet water temperature is increased.
For example, in the US the average inlet water temperature is 55 degrees, so to raise the water to 115 degrees in this case would require a 60 degree temperature rise. Modern gas tankless systems can produce as much as 9 gallons of hot water per minute which is the equivalent of four standard showers at once.
3. How much hot water do you need at one time?
Do you need to run 2 showers at the same time or maybe a shower and a couple sinks? We suggest using 2.0 GPM for a shower and 1.0 GPM for a bathroom as a reference point in determining your total simultaneous water needs.
Start Enjoying the Benefits Today
With all the benefits a tankless water heater offers your small business you should check out the different models available. You can find the perfect one for your water heating needs and start enjoying saving space, energy and money!