Canadians love hot water. Having a tank ready to fire up a hot bath or shower after you come in from the winter cold is essential.
But in this modern, eco-conscious world, almost everything is being re-imagined. One of the latest energy-saving, cost-cutting breakthroughs is the tankless water heater.
“One of the main benefits of tankless water heaters is you’re not storing and heating water while you’re sleeping or out of the home,” says Richard Simpson, Rheem Canada’s tankless business manager. “The tankless only heats the water as you need it.”
OK, but how long does that take? Tap water runs very cold in Canada, and we don’t like to wait.
“With some units it can take an additional couple of seconds’ delay,” explains James Gray-Donald, sustainability leader for Sears Canada. “However, there are a number of units with a small reserve tank — just three or four litres of water — to avoid that delay.”
Cold water is forced through a blazing natural gas heating system, quickly cranking it from frosty cold to toasty hot. The cost of keeping large amounts of water hot for long periods of time is eliminated.
They’re not cheap, though. Tankless water heaters cost double or more the price of their traditional counterparts. But their increased efficiency can easily save a family of four $250 per year.
“Instead of 65 to 67 cents of every dollar you spend getting into the water in the form of energy, 94 cents of that dollar gets there,” Rheem’s Simpson says.
And there’s another significant advantage of tankless water heaters — they never, ever run out of hot water.
“In Canada, the biggest driver for the consumer is unlimited hot water.” Simpson concludes. “We actually give you a 12-year warrantee. We fully expect to get 20 years of life out of these things.”