A tankless water heater has some restrictions, but still functions well in the winter months. If you ask are tankless hot water heaters effective in the winter? The answer is, “Yes”. Tankless water heaters use a condenser that pre-heats the water, so it doesn’t take as long for the water to reach the pre-set temperatures for hot water flow. At a rate of approximately 1.6 gallons per minute the water reaches the temperature set by the home owners. Initially it may flow with less pressure, so that the water heater has time to heat the water, but it is as hot as desired when it gets to its destination.
Contrary to common belief, the hot water temperatures produced by the tankless water heater are not restricted by the temperatures outside. Are tankless hot water heaters effective in winter despite the temperature of the water prior to entering the hot water’s heating system. Again the answer is, “Yes”. Still, the tankless hot water heater can freeze if certain precautions are not taken when the temperatures drop below a certain level.
Most indoor and outdoor tankless water heaters have built-in freeze protection against temporary winter temperatures ranging from -5 degrees Fahrenheit to -22 degrees Fahrenheit. This protection cannot withstand long term below freezing temperatures. To prevent your tankless water heater from freezing in the winter there are several steps you should take.
To begin winterizing your tankless water heater, first turn the unit off and unplug its power source. Second, turn off the water supply and drain the water from the water heater. Reduce the water pressure and disconnect the water pipes from the water heater. Place a cover over the vent termination for intake and exhaust to keep debris out.
Next, when installing a concentric or dual vent system face vent pipes away from the wind to prevent freezing. Install drain pipes in areas not subject to freezing such as inside a wall. Allow ample combustion air for gas powered appliances to prevent negative draft from freezing the water in a tankless unit or use a backdraft reducer which closes the backdraft flapper. Finally, you can run a small stream of hot water continuously to prevent freezing.
These steps can keep your hot water heater working throughout the winter withstanding freezing temperatures outside. You may not need to do anything if the temperatures lower for a short time. If it expected that the weather will stay cold for a long period of time this winter prepare by calling a professional to winterize your tankless hot water heater.