There is a new start-up company from the US that is producing what they call a new tankless water heater. The Heatworks Model 1 appears to be a point of use electric instant water heater. We haven’t tested or have even seen their product but we feel there are a few things to clarify.
Although it is tankless it is important to realize that this a small point of use system.
It is also electric, and here in Ontario we pay some of the highest prices for electricity.
They don’t address incoming water temperatures as well as hot water output.
What Is Interesting
They claim to have eliminated anodes that are the prime source of heat in a conventional electric water heater. Additionally those anodes are most commonly the area of failure due to calcium and lime build up. The calcium and lime accretion is an issue in all water heaters but so far the tankless system deals with it the best by building in the ability to isolate the affected areas and flush them out. The Heatworks Model 1 uses graphite electrodes, which they imply eliminates the issue of calcium and lime build up. Since graphite is a dry lubricant, deposits will not adhere to it. Additionally, ISI’s patented heating method, Joule heating, completely eliminates the high temperatures that cause scale and mineral buildup. If this is accurate they would likely have a revolution in water heaters in their hands. Your conventional electric tank type water heater loses 2% efficiency per year due to the insulating effects the calcium cause on heating elements.
Will It Work In Ontario
This hasn’t been addresses on their website. In fact they leave a lot of details out regarding the system they are building. We have contacted them in hopes of clarifying some of the issues we have mentioned. Hopefully we can get a demo model to test here at our office.
They have contacted us and addressed all the questions we had regarding the system. A test model has be offered once available and we will be certain to provide a full overview of the system. We are excited with this new technology and cant wait to perform a full review.
In the mean time check out their website and their funded Kickstarter .
It used to be easy for Ontario home owners to select their whole home tankless water heater as only 2 maybe 3 systems would be sufficient. Today things have changed and there are numerous tankless water heaters as well as conventional tank type water heaters that are not only super highly efficient but also offer an endless supply of hot water.
We are going to try and give you an overview of the best tankless systems available today.
As the chart above indicates…. There are a lot of choices for home owners. For the most part the systems listed are the best available here in Ontario. There are numerous other brands that dealers or HVAC sales technicians might try to push on you but the one listed are tried and tested for our cold winters.
Budget will probably be the biggest factor in determining which will be the best tankless system for your home. Give us a call and we can give you some rough prices over the phone and can offer exact tankless prices with a free installation inspection (we have to see the gas lines, venting run, venting termination, etc before we can be certain any tankless can be installed).
If you own a tankless it is important to service your system. A tankless is designed by engineers to have, first and foremost, the heat exchanger and internals scrubbed with a mild acid (vinegar). The vinegar reacts with a buildup that occurs in all pipes and watercourses (scale and lime deposits) effectively eating it away and clearing the heat exchangers and pipes. This scale acts as an insulator significantly reducing the transfer of heat to water. Engineers have also taken many precautions to ensure that internals and parts of a tankless have as few wear points as possible. This has increased the lifespan of a tankless water heater to over 20 years!
Direct Energy and several other large companies that rent water heaters are trying to reduce the tankless emergence. Currently if you’re renting a conventional water heater the system is designed to have a lifespan of around 10 to 12 years. After this point the water heater will have significant buildup inside severely reducing its efficiency. The thing is that none of these companies will push you to replace your system since you are the one paying the gas bill and it only affects your homes energy consumption.
What Can You Do?
That’s easy, call the company your renting your water heater from. They will tell you the buyout costs and the age of the water heater you have. If the system isn’t very old I would recommend you keep the water heater until it reaches its operational lifespan (10-12 years). If your system is already quite old you may simply need to schedule a removal with your water heater rental company. Then start getting quotes for a tankless system.
Once that new tankless is installed make sure you take care of it, have it flushed once every two years at the minimum (or flush it yourself). A flush is simple preventative maintenance that will ensure your system makes it past the expected 20 year lifespan while maintaining its 98% efficiency rating!