When choosing a tankless hot water heater there are a lot of variables to consider. To make an informed choice it is important to evaluate your personal needs and water demand requirements. Every household will have different needs depending on climate, household size, and water usage demand.
Deciding on a tankless water heater for on demand water will enable you the freedom of energy savings and unlimited hot water. The other major variable to consider is the need for a gas operated or an electric unit. All of the above mentioned variables are curtailed with their individual pros and cons.
For electric water heaters, there is less upfront costs in terms of installation but in the long term energy cost may be higher. One consideration is that an electric unit can be connected to solar panels to essentially run your hot water needs off the grid.
Tankless hot water heaters are rated based on maximum flow rate as measured in gallons per minute (GPM). This is the maximum volume of water that they can effectively heat. Showers have the highest flow rate of any household appliance. As a rule of thumb, high-flow showers utilize up to 3 GPM, while low-flow showerheads modulate flow rate to 1.5 GPM.
The local climate will also impact the performance of your tankless hot water heater. Living in northern climates means that your inlet water temperature will be lower and in this case it may be advantageous to buy a unit with higher flow rate to accommodate.
The ECO 27 tankless water heater is an energy-efficient model that is suitable for an entire single-family household. This compact electric tankless water heater offers accurate temperature control and is self-modulating. It is the most powerful heater offered by EcoSmart and will work well in even the coldest climates.
It has a digital control panel that allows you to adjust the temperature of the water output in 1-degree increments for precise control. The ECO 27 can run up to four showers and a sink at the same time, so you can run multiple applications simultaneously, which is a useful feature for a busy household. It offers a maximum flow rate of 6.5 GPM. This will of course be lower in colder climates. Generally, you can expect about 3 GPM flow rate in the coldest winter month where the inlet water temperatures can bottom out at a frigid 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
The warmer the water at the inlet, the more energy-efficiency you can expect and the higher the flow rate since the unit will obtain the desired temperature faster. While it doesn't have Energy Star certification, the ECO 27 is considered to be an energy-efficient model. It is capable of 99.8 percent energy efficiency as claimed by the manufacturer meaning only a minuscule 0.2 percent of the energy consumed is wasted. However, the cooler the water at the inlet, the more energy the unit draws to heat the water to the desired temperature. This reduces efficiency but is still very energy efficient.
Since the ECO 27 Tankless Water Heater is self-modulating, the heater adjusts the amount of energy it draws based on how much water you're using and the temperature setting. This feature ensures the temperature of the water will meet your needs without wasting energy. It requires a 240-volt electrical system and has thermal auto protection to prevent overheating and overloading. This model has three 9-kilowatt elements and an amperage draw of 112.5. For correct installation and operation, you need 0.75-inch NPT pipe fittings.
This tankless water heater is a compact allowing it to fit into tighter spaces. It measures 18 x 17 x 3.75 inches and weighs 13.75 pounds. The design is nice and the unit is low-maintenance with copper and stainless steel construction providing longevity and simple replacement.
With a reasonable price, the ECO 27 is ideal for medium sized households consisting of 3-5 people. The unit comes with a limited life time warranty. It is advised to familiarize yourself with the details before installation.