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Question DetailsAsked on 12/10/2011

In Anchorage, AK, tankless water heaters are shunned. Is it true that they do not work well in cold climates? Water temp is mid-high 30s.

I have had several heating companies come out to collect info to build proposals to replace my boiler and hot water heater. The first 3 specifically didn't recommend on-demand water heaters due to the cold temperatures of our city water. The 4th company went against the grain and will be proposing an all-in-one on-demand unit for home heating and drinking water. I didn't ask him his thoughts on the others' point of view, but have been looking for an answer.

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scince I lived in anchoage for two years working on new construction I could tell you that 90% of the new housing was going with the whole house tankless water heaters. Due to the fact that you have hot water on demand so you heat up the water that you need and do not have to heat up a tank full. The wate in anchoage ranges between 35 - 45 degrees. Dropping that type of wate into a tank of hot water will put a heavy demand on your electric bill. The elements are only activated when you need hot water saving you a ton. if you are replacing a steam heating system then all you will need is a holding tank for your hot water. Which make it the more money savy. The best return on your investment will be steam system with your tankless a close second.

raymond gonzalez
koolray heating ang air
cleaksville,tn
931 444-9778

Source: http://koolrayheatingandair.com

Answered 6 years ago by Raymond Gonzalez

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Been living in Anchorage since 2006, have been doing lots of research on the "tankless water heating" option for our home. It is true that a tankless system will have to work harder (more expensively) to heat the colder water for your on demand use. But there will still be substantial savings in energy use on your bill, exact amounts depends on how much water is used per month.

Also, there are things that can be done, to help reduce the cost of heating the incoming water.

1) Do you have an old but still working water heater? If so, don't remove it, but let the cold water run into the old water heater, as it's likely stored in your garage or basement, without power, it will at least heat your water to room temp of the garage - greatly decreasing the temp increase your tankless system will have to heat the water.

2) You can have a water drainage coil installed. I may have the name wrong on this, but consider the hot water running out of the dishwasher or shower drain, is run through a coil wrapping around the incoming water pipe, thus warming the incoming water prior to it hitting the tankless water heater. This also reduces the cost of heating Alaskas colder water by de-facto pre heating the incoming water with already paid for heated water.

The final analysis, does the tankless sytems work in Anchorage AK? Yes! Do they have to work harder? Yes, at a slightly greater cost, but still less than the older water tank storage systems. And there are things that can be done to ensure the incoming water isn't actually in the mid high 30's when it gets to the tankless heater.

I've also heard of having the water pipes insulated to help.

SD Laurell

Answered 6 years ago by Laurellsd




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