Living in an apartment has many restrictions mostly due to the limited space. One of them concerns installing any new appliances. Since you are living in an apartment, you have to consider the entire building and how it is structured. You should also consider how it would affect the other units.
For example, you can’t just renovate a bathroom because you have to consider the structural integrity of the building. Anything you change could affect the plumbing of the whole structure. The same is true when it comes to installing water heaters.
Whether you’re moving into a new apartment and doing a fresh installation of a water heating system or replacing an old one, you have to consider the limitations of your space. This also applies to condo units.
Best Tankless Water Heaters for Apartment Comparison Table 2018
|Ecosmart ECO 18||4.5||$||Electric||2.5|
|Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG||4.5||$$||Natural Gas||6.6|
|Bosch Tronic 3000 T 4-Gallon Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater||4.5||$$||Electric||4|
|Rinnai RL75iN||4||$$$||Natural Gas||7.5|
How to Choose the Best Tankless Water Heater for an Apartment
There are many types of tankless water heaters and each has different capacities. Tankless water heaters are more ideal for apartments compared to conventional heaters because you don’t have to worry about allotting a space for a storage tank.
But how do you choose which tankless water heater is the best for your apartment?
Tankless water heaters can be gas powered or electric. Many would agree that electric types are better for apartments than gas type units. Gas fired units require venting which is not always possible in an apartment. If your apartment or condo space can accommodate it and you prefer a gas unit, that could work.
But if not, then you have no option but to install an electric unit. Before you start comparing features and prices, it is highly recommended that you read our general guides in choosing specific types of tankless water heaters.
To learn more about gas powered units, check out the best natural gas tankless water heaters and best propane tankless water heaters. To know more about electric units, read the best electric tankless water heaters guide.
Basically, here are the most important factors to consider in choosing a tankless water heater for your apartment:
Rented or Owned
A tankless water heater is an investment. If you’re renting a space and you want to change the water heating system of your unit, it might not be very practical. It depends on how long your contract is and if the owner would allow it. If you think you can maximize the switch, then go ahead.
It might save you on energy costs and water bills for the length of your stay. If you own your apartment or condo unit, you will appreciate the return of your investment more. In that case, you can choose a more expensive unit which would last longer and would perform more efficiently.
Tankless units are already less demanding in space compared to storage tank water heaters. Still, you need to know exactly how much space you can work with for your tankless unit. It would be great if it can be wall mounted.
Check if the installation is possible in your building. See the requirements and restrictions, especially those concerning safety and hazards.
Hot Water Demand
One of the most important things you need to consider is how much hot water you need on a daily basis, how many people are going to use it, and how big your apartment is.
Gallons Per Minute (GPM)
Once you’ve determined how much hot water you’re going to use regularly, check how many gallons of hot water the heater can provide per minute. This is also known as the flow rate. Single tankless water heaters are perfect for apartments. 3 GPM could be more than enough for one to two people.
You need to consider the climate in your location and how cold it gets in the cold season. Some electric water heaters cannot produce hot water when the temperature drops below 35° F.
If you want to install a natural gas powered tankless water heater, you have to check if natural gas is available in your area. Not all cities have a natural gas power supply. Check also the energy costs. Depending on your location, it might be more practical to use electricity rather than gas. Check the rates in your city or state and consider how the unit will affect your monthly bills.
It could be the least of your concerns but you don’t want a flimsy looking machine inside your bathroom, especially when you invite guests over. At least, choose a model with a design that goes well with your interiors. Also, consider the noise it makes. While that won’t directly affect its look, too much noise can make it hard for you to enjoy your bath.
In choosing a tankless water heater for an apartment, you have to remember to keep the basics in mind. Review the guides discussed in the specific types of water heaters on the links above before you start comparing the suggested units here.