Energy-Efficient Water Heater from Rheem

Hot water has never been a problem in the modern world. Well, that’s only if you don’t consider running out of hot water and the cost to keep it heated a problem. Sure older systems have had their drawbacks, but technology continues to advance. Rheem Manufacturing is one such company helping to develop the means to keep showers hot and energy bills lower.

Started in 1927 as a supplier of packaging to the petroleum industry, Rheem began manufacturing water heaters in the 1930s and in 1947 began manufacturing warm air furnaces. With acquisition of Ruud in 1959 and Raypak in 1985, Rheem has become a leading North American producer of water heaters, central warm air furnaces, air conditioners, swimming pool heaters and commercial boilers.

In the latest October issue of Qualified Remodeler, we brought you the full line of tankless propane and natural gas water heaters from Rheem. These heaters are available in three options: RTG-42 Series (indoor model), RTG-74 (indoor and outdoor models) and the Heavy Duty Series (indoor and outdoor models).

“The No. 1 reason for people to have a tankless water heater is for endless hot water,” says Jim Cika, specialty water heater manager for Rheem. “With larger homes going in with more bathrooms, homeowners may not have the room for additional hot water storage. With tankless systems, extra bathrooms never run out of hot water.”

There are some downsides to tankless systems though. The first and most notable is the cost. Tankless systems can be two to three times more expensive, but on the positive angle, these systems can create a 25 to 50 percent energy savings over older tank systems.

Another drawback is the need for multiple units based on the anticipated household usage and size. You can run a four bathroom home on one tankless heater and everyone will be able to take a hot shower, but because the system simply cannot supply that much all at once, everyone’s shower will be more of a trickle. To offset this problem several units can be connected together for an increased output of hot water and pressure for peak use times.

“Another thing that homeowners need to understand is that tankless systems are not instant hot,” explains Cika. “Just like a tank system, you have to wait for the hot water to run through the pipes. The only instant hot water would be some sort of undersink system.”

Rheem continues to make improvements to all of its lines. Energy efficiency is certainly a focus as seen with its Marathon Series tank water heater (pictured) and Prestige Series air conditioners. Up next for the tankless division are added features for improved performance.