2016 Tankless Report

AERCO: The Innovation water heating system is easy to install, delivers energy savings and lowers operating costs. It delivers instantaneous hot water, and the stainless steel construction maximizes longevity. The corrugated tubes increase effective heat transfer surface area. The advanced control system fires the unit to accurately match load requirements, producing a tight hot water outlet temperature control and eliminating wasted fuel. It is constantly condensing and uses less electrical power as no circulator pumps are required. The premixed, stainless steel fiber mesh burners promote high-efficiency combustion and produce low pollutant levels of less than 20 ppm NOx.

Designed with a compact footprint, it fits through a 32-inch doorway. Its high efficiency provides customers with reliable, long-lasting, low-emission heating systems with a greater return on investment. The Water Heater Management program includes controls that allow for easy sequencing of up to eight units to minimize cycles per unit and reduce maintenance costs and potential downtime. Operating efficiencies are optimized at all load conditions, and standby losses are virtually eliminated. 

www.aerco.com

Q: What developments did you make in tankless? 
A: In 2015, AERCO increased the reliability of its all-stainless steel, fire tube heat exchangers and improved its water heater management controls. In 2016, AERCO will continue to engineer its heat exchanger design to resist the varied water chemistry encountered in domestic hot water applications.

Q: What feedback have you received about tankless?
A: The tankless offerings continue to grow as the commercial businesses begin to understand its benefits of safer, more efficient and smaller installed footprint solution. The market is transitioning from storage to tankless, as the technology becomes more reliable and closes the cost gap.

Q: What is your forecast for tankless?
A: It is anticipated that the non-condensing water heater market will continue to decline rapidly as condensing technology’s market share grows. The tankless offering is not only part of this condensing technology, but also offers many value added benefits and will grow at a comparably higher rate.

BOSCH: The Therm and Greentherm tankless water heaters are now available in Bosch white. These formerly silver-gray painted products are now visually consistent with Greenstar boiler and Greensource heat pump residential product lines. Therm and Greentherm products with the new white color scheme will be shipped as the former inventory of silver-gray products is depleted. 

With the 2015 DOE National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) in place for residential gas-fired and electric water heaters, the energy factor (EF) efficiency standard rises from .62 to .82 for gas-fired tankless water heaters and remains at .93 for electric tankless water heaters. The gas-fired Therm and Greentherm TWHs that meet or exceed the standard with EF ranging from .82 up to .95. All Bosch electric water heaters exceed the standard with EF ranging from a low of .99 to a high of 1.0.

Bosch has also improved its heat exchanger limited warranty to 10 years on Greentherm models C950ES and C1050ES, and Therm model C1210ES when used for controlled recirculation and combination DHW and space heating applications.  

www.boschheatingandcooling.com

Q: What developments did you make in tankless? 
A: In 2015, we introduced the Bosch Tronic 5000C and 6000C, which are electric tankless water heaters for whole house or commercial buildings. These compact and lightweight units deliver 97 percent thermal efficiency with minimal standby loss, and have modulating elements that help ensure a constant GPM output temperature for hot water comfort.

Q: What feedback have you received about tankless?
A: In terms of trends and technology, we see an interest from consumers to connect water heaters with apps for smart devices. This trend helps increase the education of homeowners, regarding how much energy they use for various appliances in their home. For example, water heating constitutes the second largest home expense after space heating and cooling. If homeowners have this information on their phone — how high their energy consumption is and where there is waste — this can help reduce energy costs. This knowledge helps homeowners directly understand the impact of saving energy and investing in energy-efficient technology.

Q: What is your forecast for tankless?
A: Gas tankless water heaters offer four main benefits: monetary savings, energy savings, better use of space and optimal hot water production. Due to the many added benefits, a global water heater study from Persistence Market Research showed that by 2020, the tankless water heater market in North America could surpass $4.3 billion. We agree that the condensing tankless water heater market is set to take off, and contractors who understand how to size and install these units likewise will be positioned for success.

BRADFORD WHITE: The high efficiency, ENERGY STAR-qualified Infiniti tankless water heaters include both high-efficiency condensing and mid-efficiency non-condensing residential models with 199,000 BTU inputs. Infiniti water heaters combine the energy and space saving features that make these tankless water heaters attractive to homeowners, builders and developers. The Infiniti’s unique Scale Reduction Technology prevents the buildup of energy robbing scale, which results in lost efficiency over time, added maintenance, and premature component and product failure. 

Infiniti condensing models are equipped with an automatic, fully modulating bypass to reduce water temperature fluctuations during operation. This feature, together with temperature sensors located throughout the unit, help to improve performance and efficiency.  

Condensing systems are approved for use with PVC, CPVC, ABS and Polypropylene venting, and is available with an optional “up and out” concentric vent kit requiring only one penetration through wall or roof.  Infiniti features include an easy-to-use, built-in digital control and freeze protection, low NOx emissions, an optional outdoor installation kit, a limited 12-year warranty on the heat exchanger and a limited 5-year warranty on all parts.

www.bradfordwhite.com

Q: What developments did you make in tankless? 
A: Our current Infiniti models, the high efficiency RTG-199HE and the mid efficiency RTG-199ME, are solid performers, so their construction and features have remained the same since their introduction. At the moment, our focus for the future is to expand the Infiniti line to bring our wholesale customers a wider variety of tankless options. Their installer customers are asking for this, so we’re confident that we’re responding in a way they’ll appreciate.

Q: What feedback have you received about tankless?
A: We’ve learned a lot from the field and recently expanded that list of learnings through focus groups conducted at our iTEC facility. What has been loud and clear is that wholesalers and contractors are looking to find the right balance between cost and performance. We’ve also learned that many contractors are installing tankless units with supplemental storage or buffer tanks, to help with reducing the cold water sandwich. Also, the durability of tankless products and their potential need for maintenance is a concern, which is one reason why we introduced Scale Reduction Technology into our Infiniti line, which puts multiple components to work to reduce scale. If allowed to accumulate, scale results in poor performance, premature component or product failure, and ultimately additional maintenance costs for the consumer.

Q: What is your forecast for tankless?
A: The tankless market continues to grow. The popularity of tankless water heaters, in part, has been driven by their regular presence on home improvement shows that like to highlight their energy saving potential. In other cases, legislation is contributing to a higher level of growth in certain areas. For example, California’s Title 24, has been amended to direct that all new construction will effectively require tankless water heaters to be installed. That requirement will take full effect on January 1, 2017.  

EEMAX: The AutoBooster works with a tank-type water heater. It may be installed on electric and gas tanks, benefiting both existing and new water heaters. No additional wiring is required when used with an existing electric tank. Vacation mode allows homeowners to switch off power when they are away. Eco mode turns the tank off and on at selected times to conserve energy. These features work with electric tanks to save money on heating. AutoBooster works with electric tanks to automatically power on the tank if the inlet thermistor senses that the tank outlet has dropped below 60 F.

Activation temperature and max temperature are programmable. Activation is the temperature at which AutoBooster will turn on, and max is the temperature it will heat the water up to. Monitoring flow rate, inlet and outlet temperature readings is also available. Each unit is 8 inches by 11.5 inches by 3.75 inches, and weighs less than five pounds. It is low lead certified to ANSI/NSF 372 by WQA, and ETL listed to 499/CSA.

www.eemaxinc.com

Q: What developments did you make in tankless?
A: Eemax continues to develop new tankless products for handwashing, residential, commercial and safety applications. We have recently introduced the ProSeries for light commercial applications.

Q: What feedback have you received about tankless?
A: The tankless wave is getting stronger as customers want the comfort of endless hot water. Consumers are also challenged to replace pre-NAECA 3 tanks.

Q: What is your forecast for tankless?
A: Indications are that more and more applications consider tankless products. We are confident the tankless segment is continuing to grow and gain momentum.

NAVIEN: Ideal for commercial and residential installation in new and retrofit construction, the NPE Series reduces time and labor by utilizing existing gas lines and flue chases. The NPE-A (Advanced) tankless water heaters feature ComfortFlow technology that incorporates a built-in buffer tank and recirculation pump inside the unit to provide a zero GPM activation rate. With a return line, the pump saves thousands of gallons of water per year. The unit is rated with 0.97 Energy Efficiency (EF). There are three sizes available: NPE-180A, NPE-210A and NPE-240A with maximum inputs of 150,000 BTU/H, 180,000 BTU/H and 199,000 BTU/H respectively. 

At 0.99EF, NPE-S (Standard) condensing tankless water heaters are very efficient. There are four sizes available: NPE-150S, NPE-180S, NPE-210S and NPE-240S. NPE-S supplies maximum inputs from 120,000 to 199,900 BTU/H. Maximum flow rates are from 6.8 to 11.1 GPM. Features include: 2-inch PVC venting up to 60 feet; ½-inch gas lines up to 24 feet; convertibility from natural to liquid propane gas; low NOx emissions; and more.

www.navien.com

Q: What developments did you make in tankless? 
A: We created some add-on options for our tankless to make it more versatile and to meet certain construction requirements and homeowner and builder desires. First being the HotButton accessory, a recirculation demand control that can be added to our NPE-A recirculation models. Also our H2Air control accessory allows Air Handler integration for simple tankless combi applications. We also introduced an additional tankless unit in lower BTUs, 120,000 BTUH for those smaller applications or warmer climates. Lastly, we introduced the smartphone Wi-Fi tankless water heater control system, NaviLink. This optional control system makes it easy for commercial and residential users to communicate with their Navien systems from anywhere in the world. The module attaches easily to water heaters and boilers. The free app for smartphones, and tablets lets users control temperatures remotely, access usage data and receive diagnostic notifications.

Q: What feedback have you received about tankless?
A: Contractors continue to appreciate tankless designs that can be combustion vented easily and offer the highest water heating efficiencies that their customers want and simplified product offerings. This, along with tankless units that are tolerant of some difficult gas supply issues and have easily added operation options, can offer the installer a versatile product both residential and commercial arenas can use in about all applications. 

Q: What is your forecast for tankless?
A: The NAECA water heater efficiencies and standards changed last year, affecting the choices available and a rise in costs. As a result, tankless has received more attention. Along with tankless water heaters contractor familiarity and their comfort levels increased through trainings; more installers are accepting and proactive on suggesting and using tankless in recent years. We are very optimistic that tankless sales will continue to grow at double-digit proportions for many years to come as the replacement for storage in a vast range of applications.

NORITZ: The CB series combination boilers are year-round, whole-home solutions that utilize high-efficiency condensing technology to deliver hot water to plumbing and hydronic heating applications. It performs at a 95 percent AFUE; 95 percent of the BTUh input is converted into useable heat, making it an energy-efficient appliance. This fuel-saving performance meets “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” standards, delivering up to 9.2 gallons per minute of domestic hot water. A flow control valve ensures a consistent temperature for domestic hot water demand, allowing greater domestic hot water flow and more precise temperature stability.

It accommodates radiators, baseboards, low- and high-mass radiant heating, and air handlers. The CB180DV has a maximum gas input BTUh of 180,000 for hot water and 100,000 BTUh for space heating. The CB199DV has a maximum gas input BTUh of 199,000 for hot water and 120,000 BTUh for space heating. Other features include: compact wall-hung package weighing 90 pounds; outdoor temperature reset sensor; temperature settings for domestic hot water heating and space heating; three Austenite stainless steel heat exchangers; and more. 

www.noritz.com/combi

Q: What developments did you make in tankless?
A: Noritz continues to make new enhancements to the tankless market. Late in 2015, we launched our new combination boiler that can serve both domestic and hydronic heating systems creating a new segment for Noritz business in the U.S. We have seen fantastic response on this market leading product. In 2016, we continue to innovate with a new commercial rack system that makes installation of our commercial products easier than ever. In the months to come, we will continue to change the game-making tankless installations easier than ever before.  

Q: What feedback have you received about tankless?
A: The trends continue to show that making it easier for our contractors is important. By adding technology like our new app for contractors to easily register installations, receive and accept new leads, and at watch video content on troubleshooting at their fingertips, we are doing just that. We will continue to use technology to support the installer and make the sales process easier than ever.

Q: What is your forecast for tankless?
A: We continue to see strong growth in the tankless market. Growth in new construction and commercial markets will steadily increase year over year. The tankless market has matured, and now we are seeing easier replacements of tankless-to-tankless in addition to tank-to-tankless.  

RHEEM: The Prestige series condensing and mid-efficiency tankless gas water heaters save water, energy and installation time. Its diagnostics ensure quick troubleshooting and fewer callbacks. The line was built from the ground up with contractors in mind. It is equipped with a water savings setting that decreases water flow until it reaches the water heater’s set temperature. The maintenance notice setting alerts homeowners after one to one and a half years of use. The recirculation timer setting controls the pump on the water heater, eliminating the need for an aquastat, timer and additional power outlet.  

The units have an industry-leading minimum flow rate of .26 GPM and minimum activation flow rate of .40 GPM. All units include Hot Start programming, which minimizes the “cold water sandwich” for continuous hot water without cold water burst in between. After a homeowner turns off the hot water, the water heater remains in a ready-fire state. Prestige units are compatible with ½-inch gas lines, and the condensing models have a built-in condensate neutralizer and low-cost PVC venting compatibility. 

www.rheem.com

Q: What developments did you make in tankless? 
A: Rheem recently launched significantly upgraded tankless condensing and non-condensing water heaters (RTG-95DVLN-1). These new water saving features can control the water flow until the set temperature is achieved. It also has an optional setting for homeowners to be notified by a flashing code on the remote controller and an audible alarm if maintenance is recommended. In addition, these upgraded tankless models have a recirculation pump control setting where a timer recirculation pump kit can connect to the heater’s control board. The pump kit, which is sold separately as an accessory, has a built-in check valve and draws power from the water heater.

Q: What feedback have you received about tankless?
A: It’s becoming a more popular choice across the nation, especially the high-efficiency models. The demand for tankless is going up because builders and contractors are being required, in some states, to install higher efficiency products.  As far as technology, product engineers and developers are always looking into ways to improve home automation and to give homeowners control of their tankless water heaters, even when they aren’t home.

Q: What is your forecast for tankless?
A: We are optimistic about the direction of tankless water heaters and the need for new products to meet the market demand. Homeowners are starting to realize the true benefits of tankless — the units are compact and use energy only when the demand for water arises. Every year, Rheem sees an increase in customers buying our tankless water heaters — which are now more cost effective than ever before. We are also seeing a huge impact on the water heating industry in California where tougher laws regarding the need for higher efficiency water heaters will go into effect next year. That alone is driving California builders toward tankless for new construction projects. 

RINNAI: The Ultra Series RUR line of condensing tankless water heaters saves time, money and natural resources. Along with dual venting options on interior units (RUC98i and RUC80i ), the RUR98i and RUR98e come equipped with an integrated pump, internal bypass line and thermal bypass valve, and will work with either a dedicated return line or a crossover valve.

The models do not require a dedicated return line or a complex and expensive building of system components by the contractor. The line offers everything the contractor needs in the unit and box. Models can be installed using crossover technology, which utilizes a thermal bypass valve that is supplied. Through this thermal bypass valve, along with the integrated pump and internal bypass line, the tankless water heaters deliver hot water faster, leading to less water wasted and less usage of natural resources. The premium MC-195T digital controller allows the user to save on gas utility bills by scheduling multiple recirculation events throughout the day to align with usage patterns.

www.rinnai.us/tankless-water-heater

Q: What developments did you make in tankless? 
A: We launched our C199 model, a condensing tankless water heater with a heat exchanger designed specifically for the demands of business. These 199,000 BTU models operate more efficiently than tank-style water heaters saving on operation and life cycle costs.  In 2016, we will launch our Wi-Fi module, mobile app, and push button technology, allowing consumers to control their unit and stay connected to their service providers.

Q: What feedback have you received about tankless?
A: There is a growing need for more efficient ways of heating water. As demand grows, it is critical that we are striving to develop products and technologies that conserve natural resources and enhance our customers’ lives.

Q: What is your forecast for tankless?
A: We believe that as the industry leader in tankless hot water heaters, many of our efforts should focus on educating consumers on the many benefits offered by tankless solutions. We will continue to see strong growth in the tankless market – both in residential and commercial applications.

STIEBEL ELTRON: The Tempra tankless electric water heaters are designed for whole house and various commercial applications. Engineered and manufactured in Germany to North American standards, the rugged, compact designed (17 inch by 15 inch by 5 inch) Tempra provides a minimum 15 to 20 percent energy savings, 99 percent efficiency, water conservation and a no-venting required easy installation. The unit can also be an ideal backup for solar thermal systems. All models include electronics and microprocessor control that allow for dialing an exact outlet water temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius. The temperature heating range is 86 F to 140 F for each unit in the series. Tempra Plus tankless water heaters further allow you limit the maximum hot water temperature to 109 F.

Units contain durable copper sheathed, modulating multi-stage heating elements, housed in copper cylinders. Water is heated as it flows through the unit and is therefore not subject to the limits of tank-type storage capacities and associated standby heat losses. It continually monitors and engages heating elements in stages to achieve and maintain the water temperature desired as efficiently as possible. It does not have mechanical switches and is silent while operating. 

www.stiebel-eltron-USA.com 

Q: What developments did you make in tankless?
A: Stiebel Eltron now has a temperature limiting control device that is designed for external use on all of our DHC-E series tankless, electric water heaters. The TLC is sold separately from the DHC-E for applications in public lavatories where UPC 413.1 code requires a separate device to eliminate risk of scalding. The unit comes as a complete assembly and includes an ASSE 1070-2004 compliant mixing valve.

Q: What feedback have you received about tankless?
A: Tankless technology has now become rather mainstream. Customers in general are much better informed about tankless today. Contractors are knowledgeable about the operation of a tankless water heater and understand the parameters that go into sizing properly. They see the advantages of tankless water heaters versus tank types and plumbers and electricians have become quite comfortable with installation procedures. 

Q: What is your forecast for tankless?
A: Stiebel Eltron is quite optimistic in our outlook for tankless sales in 2016. Last year, and so far this year, tankless sales have been increasing, and we expect this trend to continue, especially given the current general demand for more energy-efficient products. Public incentives for people to invest in these products vary presently. But, since people are generally more aware of tankless benefits, things are trending upward.

TRUTANKLESS: Vero is a new line of electric tankless water heaters. The unit offers easy installation and no venting, and we have eliminated scale build-up and maintenance. Geared towards budget-driven customers, the line boasts the same unrivaled water heating performance, durability and space savings of the technologically enhanced flagship TR line. Updates to NAECA that require higher EF ratings on water heaters are compelling homeowners and builders alike to look for economical, energy-efficient, space-saving alternatives to traditional tank heaters.

Packed with patent-pending proprietary technology, the tankless water heaters are engineered to outperform and outlast both tank and tankless predecessors in energy efficiency, output and durability. Not only does the line provide endless hot water on demand for an entire household, it also integrates with home automation systems and has its own online control panel. This allows homeowners to control water temperature to within one degree, obtain service notifications and monitor usage from their computer or mobile devices. 

www.trutankless.com 

Q: What developments did you make in tankless? 
A: In 2015, we launched our vero product. Geared towards budget-driven customers, vero boasts the same unrivaled water heating performance, durability and space savings of the technologically enhanced flagship TR line. For 2016, we are adding truCirc to work with our line of heaters. A traditional water circulation pump circulates hot water through a home’s pipes, enabling homeowners to have instant, on-demand hot water as soon as they turn on the faucet and saving countless gallons of water that would have been wasted. truCirc’s simple, modern, high-tech interface allows homeowners to quickly and easily change delivery modes or choose a zone or fixture to send hot water.

Q: What feedback have you received about tankless?
A: I have really seen a market shift over the years, more and more builders are on board with the tankless technology. This is partly due to the NAECA changes and just the evolution of the market and proven performance of the tankless water heaters. You also see the trend of tankless units offering recirculation systems.

Q: What is your forecast for tankless?
A: Tankless is the future of water heating. There are so many more positives going with tankless that the the tanks will become dinosaurs.

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