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Ultimate Commercial Tankless Buyer's Guide

+ Infographic on Types of Tankless Water Heaters

  • Are Tankless Water Heaters the Right Choice for Your Property?
  • Which Type of Tankless Water Heater Should You Choose?

Free Buyer's Guide eBook

  • Additional Section on Sizing Guidance 
  • Recommendations from Our Commercial Experience

The Ultimate Buyer's Guide to
Commercial Tankless Water Heaters

+ Infographic on Types of Tankless Water Heaters

  • Are Tankless Water Heaters the Right Choice for Your Property?
  • Which Type of Tankless Water Heater Should You Choose?

Free Buyer's Guide eBook

  • Additional Section on Sizing Guidance 
  • Recommendations from Our Commercial Experience

Browsing the available options for selecting a commercial water heater for your facility can be daunting. 

There are far too many types and systems: each with their own pros and cons. “Tankless” units are probably the biggest type of water heating system you are debating. 

Use this handy guide for a straightforward breakdown of all the different commercial water heating choices that you have. Explore the viability of tankless water heaters for your commercial property, and the types of tankless units to choose from. Make an informed decision without feeling bogged down.

What Are Commercial Tankless Water Heaters? The Difference

A tankless water heater heats water without storing hot water in a storage tank or “boiler.” 

Commercial tankless water heaters are designed specifically for very large applications like hotels, restaurants, multi-family properties, schools, universities, manufacturing plants, stadiums, and more. 

Commercial Tankless Water Heaters are different from the “residential” tankless unit that you may have seen in a single-family home. 

Residential tankless water heaters are designed for smaller-use applications like single-family homes. Several “commercial” tankless water heater manufacturers simply scale up residential units to meet commercial demands. Here are the potential risks of selecting a residential tankless water heater for commercial applications: 

  • Lack of adequate hot water
  • Frequent Maintenance and Downtime
  • Complicated Installation
  • Higher Operational Expenses

Before purchasing any commercial tankless water heater, ask the manufacturer if the unit was specifically designed for commercial work. If not, find out if the suggested sizing has been tested as a composite system. 

Looking for Guidance on Commercial Tankless Water Heater Sizing?

The Types of Commercial Tankless Water Heaters

If you are convinced about the benefits of tankless water heaters for your property, you will have even more choices to consider. Below is a quick breakdown of the major types of commercial tankless water heaters that you can choose from. 

If you are still debating whether you should choose a tankless water heater for your property, you can view the pros and cons of tankless systems in the full eBook version of this buyer’s guide here. 

Gas vs Electric Commercial Tankless Water Heaters

The first choice that you will likely have to make after deciding to go tankless is the energy source. Gas and electricity are two primary energy sources for tankless water heaters. Here is a summary of the pros and cons of gas-powered tankless water heaters and electric resistance tankless water heaters. 

Note: Tankless water heaters can be powered by electricity in a heat pump system that does not use the traditional coils of resistance wires. The following pros and cons do not include heat pump water heaters. 

Gas Tankless Electric Tankless
Pros
  • Gas powered tankless water heaters result in lower operational expenses.
  • Can function in power outages
  • Easier to Install in case your property does not have an existing gas supply.
  • Generally cost lower upfront.
Cons
  • Require venting setup during installation
  • Will likely be phased out by legislation in favor of electrification for sustainability.
  • Typically cost more upfront than their electric counterparts.
  • Power outages can lead to downtime.
  • Not as energy-efficient as their gas counterparts.

Natural Gas vs Propane Commercial Tankless Hot Water Heaters

If you have decided to opt for a gas tankless water heater, you may have to pick the fuel that you intend to use: natural gas or propane. Some tankless water heaters are designed to only work with one of the fuels. However, many units, like Intellihot’s products can work on both, usually requiring a conversion process in case the fuel type needs to be switched mid-operation. 

Here is a quick summary of the pros and cons of either fuel source: 

Natural Gas Propane
Pros
  • Most places in the USA have a natural gas connection.
  • Natural gas costs much lesser than propane. Operational expenses are usually lower for natural gas water heaters for this reason.
  • Requires lesser amount of fuel for the same heating output.
  • More eco-friendly than natural gas (when comparing the entire life cycle of both the fuels)
Cons
  • Less eco-friendly than propane
  • Installation can be complicated and costly in case the region does not have a natural gas supply.
  • Propane costs higher than natural gas.
  • Propane tankless water heaters rely on regular refills of propane.

Condensing vs Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heaters Commercial

Condensing tankless water heaters use condensing technology to absorb additional energy from exhaust gases while heating water. All of Intellihot’s units use condensing technology. 

We cover condensing technology and its implications in your water heating choices in great detail in this article. Here is a quick summary lifted from the full eBook version of this buyer’s guide that you can download for free: 

commercial tankless hot water heaters buyers guide

What's Next? More Factors to Consider When Selecting a Water Heater

We’ve covered the three major types of tankless systems that you may have to think about when buying a commercial tankless water heater. Unfortunately, the selection process doesn’t end here for many commercial properties. Here are some more factors that you would need to consider before purchasing a commercial water heater: 

  • How to size a property correctly for tankless water heating? How to avoid overpaying while sizing? How to avoid not having enough tankless water heating “power” while sizing.
  • What are rack systems? Are they a good solution for commercial tankless water heating?
  • What about heat pump water heaters? What are some of the challenges of selecting a heat pump water heater in 2023?

Resource Spotlight: Commercial Tankless Buyer's Guide

Download this ebook to:
  • Learn the difference between Gas and Electric Tankless Water Heaters
  • Understand the Four Factors that Affect Tankless Water Heater Sizing
  • Discover How Commercial Tankless Water Heaters Differ From Residential Units
  • See A Cost Savings Example of Tank vs Tankless Systems
Tankless Commercial Buyers Guide

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