This is a fairly new technology for North America but has been used in Europe for decades. The North American concept of having 40 to 60 gallons of ready hot water sitting 24 hours a day is totally foreign to our European cousins.
My new home has a exterior wall mounted Baxi boiler which provides hot water for domestic use and also for home heat. This is a great money saver for my life style. There is no requirement for hot water until I return home to do dishes, laundry or shower. There is a considerable saving just from hot water alone, as there is not hot water tank working away 24 hours a day to keep reservoir of hot water.
These boilers claim up to 99% efficiency and with the Baxi model they also claim to emit 90% less CO and 80% less NOx making them more environmentally friendly. These units also come with air conditioning built into exchanger unit or can be added on later the same as conventional furnace. Output varies with different models, the Baxi claims a DHW flow rate of 3.6 US Gal per minute at an average temperature of 80 deg.
Fuel savings from the instantaneous water boiler is estimated to be between 38% to 53% per year. The supply of hot water in endless with flow rates of 3.3 gal/min. Space saving with only about 9 sq ft needed for installation, bedroom approved with whisper quiet operation. Direct vent units on exterior wall so no chimney is needed. They are a sealed combustion unit with outputs varying from 35,000 BTU’s up to 105 BTU’s depending on your particular application.
The boiler unit can be utilized for many different heating applications including radiant floor heaters, wall heaters and baseboard heaters. The use of flexible poly piping makes installation fast and efficient.
This type of system might not be suited to every household. After reading reviews from different sites I have noticed that people with large families who use hot water on and off all day long were not satisfied with the delivery of hot water. Using hot water continually throughout the day would negate any possible savings and the loss of water while waiting for unit to sense and then heat cold water would probably overcome any savings accumulated by not having hot water tank. Another concept is that an electric hot water heater is only losing its heat into the home and in the winter this is not a loss.
Evaluate your needs and consumption habits before plunging into purchasing this type of system. Some people have found the need to add a small hot water tank to make their system viable for their use. Myself, I find this system ideally suited to my lifestyle and enjoy a considerable energy savings with its use.
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