Maximize Efficiency in Commercial Buildings
3 Reasons to Switch to Tankless Water Heating
If a steady supply of hot water is needed for your business opera- tions, it may be time to ditch your old water heater. A tankless water heater will secure energy savings while delivering all the hot water
your business needs to stay afloat.
Tankless water heaters run on
electricity or gas and can supply hot
water for a variety of end uses, including
showers, dish washers, laundry machines,
lavatory faucets, and kitchen sinks. They
are suitable for any commercial setting
that has high water demands, even if
those periods are intermittent.
“When a tankless heater fires up, it
senses the temperature of the incoming
water and a computer microprocessor
determines the amount of energy that’s
needed to deliver the water at the
temperature setpoint and flow rate,”
explains Michael Stebbins, president and
founder of trutankless, a manufacturer.
The benefits of tankless extend far
beyond longer showers – they will lower
your water heating bill, ensure demand
is always met, and free up space in your
1) Avoid Down Time
For many businesses, having hot
water for clients is part and parcel of the
experience they provide – it’s a necessity
that directly connects to the bottom line.
“If you don’t use a lot of hot water,
tankless is simply nice to have. But if
your demand is high and your business
depends on hot water, you can’t afford
to have down time if you run out,” says
Ansley Houston, director of Rinnai’s
Commercial Division, which distributes
Rather than being limited by the
number of gallons your storage tank
holds, tankless heaters provide an infinite
amount of hot water. Think of settings
such as a hotel, hair salon, or spa –
customers walk away dissatisfied if they
aren’t provided with services that depend
on hot water. It can be equally disastrous
for a restaurant to have to close their
doors for health reasons if enough hot
water isn’t available. Tankless technology
ensures these scenarios are obsolete.
“You can also create redundancy by
connecting multiple units on a rack,”
explains Houston. “If one goes offline
because of maintenance, your entire
system won’t be compromised as other
units can pick up the slack. If your water
demand changes in the future, you can
scale up or down accordingly.”
2) Conserve Energy
Tankless heaters only consume
electricity when there is a need for
hot water. Storage tanks, however,
continuously use energy to keep a reserve
of hot water.
Consider your facility’s peak times for
hot water. In a school, there may be a rush
after gym class for showers and a period
over lunch for kitchen preparation, but
otherwise how water needs are minimal.
Then there are holiday and summer
breaks when demand drops even lower.
Every hour you aren’t using energy to heat
water provides instant savings.
Hotels also experience high demand
but for limited blocks. They typically
see a peak in the morning for bathrooms
and sporadic usage in the afternoons for
laundry. A tankless heater will ensure a
full house never runs out of hot water, yet
save energy when guest volume is down.
Switching from a traditional water
heater to tankless can yield a 30% savings
on the water heating portion of your
utility bill, says Jason Fleming, marketing
manager of Noritz America, a water
heater supplier. Note that ROI is highly
variable depending on rates and you
might have a higher water or energy bill
if your consumption increases to meet
demand, adds Stebbins.
“If you only focus on payback, you’d
have to use the tankless unit in the same
way as your original heater. But that’s
not the point of the technology,” Fleming
stresses. “Factor in the soft advantages of
unlimited hot water instead.”
3) Save Space
There’s no denying that water heater
tanks are voluminous contraptions.
Tankless units have a small footprint
compared to their traditional
counterparts. They’re lightweight
enough to wall mount, which means you
no longer need a dedicated mechanical
room for water heating, says Fleming.
You could save 12-15 square feet per unit
or approximately 100-150 cubic feet of
storage by switching, Stebbins notes.
You also don’t have to retrofit them