Choosing a New Water Heater
LESLIE: Bea in New Hampshire is looking to replace a hot water heater. What can we do for you?
BEA: Yes, hi. I was just wondering. When I had a new furnace installed – and that was probably 13 or 14; maybe a little older furnace – and I was wondering if I could get rid of that; you know, the hot water heater that’s attached to the furnace because every time I need hot water, you know, that’s going to go on to keep – you know, to heat up the water.
TOM: You’re talking about what’s called a tankless coil and you don’t have a furnace; you have a boiler. Am I correct?
BEA: Oh yeah, I guess.
TOM: You have hot water heat.
TOM: So, there are different ways to supply domestic hot water. Most of us have standalone water heaters. What you have is called a tankless coil and, basically, your boiler heats both the radiators in your house and also the domestic hot water. And you’re right, the down side of that is that your entire boiler has to come on …
LESLIE: To heat the water. Can you separate them by a retrofit or an install of a standalone tanked water heater or tankless or do they always work in conjunction?
TOM: You can’t separate them but, essentially, what happens, Leslie, is you can disconnect the tankless coil and install a separate water heater.
BEA: Would that be practical?
TOM: It would take you a long time to make up the cost savings. I will say that. So yeah, I mean I have a tankless coil on my boiler and we also have a standalone storage tank, which would be another way for you to go. You could have what’s called an AMTROL tank which is a water storage tank that basically stores some of my hot water so that the boiler doesn’t have to come on every time I demand hot water by turning on a faucet. Some of it is stored inside the storage tank.
BEA: Mm-hmm. OK, that’s something that, you know, you have to add onto the furnace or …?
TOM: Add onto the boiler, yes. It’s called an AMTROL tank. It’s a storage tank.