When trying to find the best gas tankless water heater for your home, there are a few things that you need to compare. Even though many of these units may look very similar, there are small differences that can make one unit a better fit for your home over another. Knowing a few key facts about your hot water usage before you start shopping can also help the process along and ensure you get the perfect model for your needs.
Tankless water heaters are typically divided into either indoor or outdoor models. The difference is important and there may be a substantial delta in price between them. The outdoor models are easier to install since they don’t require the specialized venting of the indoor models. This can save you quite a bit of money when it comes to installation as well. What you save in venting costs is more than made up for in the extra installation and weatherproofing costs of these outdoor models. Because they are exposed to rain and possible freezing temperatures, they need to be more tightly sealed and protected than indoor models. The cost for this weatherproofing tends to raise their price slightly, but still make them a great buy if you have the right home to install them on an exterior wall.
The indoor models of tankless water heaters function in a very similar fashion to a conventional water heater and will need access to electricity, a gas supply and venting to the outside of the home. Many of these indoor models are used to replace a conventional water heater and this can make the installation a snap for most homes. There are even kits available with the best gas tankless water heaters that allow you to quickly connect the new unit to the existing plumbing to save time. Another advantage these tankless water heaters enjoy over their conventional brethren is their smaller size. This allows many of the best gas tankless water heaters to be mounted in or on the wall of the room they are supplying hot water to and save a lot of space in the process. These indoor models can also be used individually to heat a single room’s water supply if needed. This can save you a substantial portion of your energy use each month since you are not forced to heat a large volume of water for use in a small bathroom.
The decision to use an interior or exterior tankless water heater typically comes down to the room’s access to a gas supply. If you have a second story bathroom that needs hot water, it’s difficult and expensive to extend the gas line to the room and would be less expensive to locate the heater in the basement to supply the hot water to the room. The other consideration is whether to use one larger unit for the entire home, or to divide the rooms and their hot water needs. This decision usually arises more with new construction since you can adjust the plumbing in the home to accommodate this decision. In older homes with an existing conventional heater, a single larger unit is typically used to supply hot water to the entire home.