Remodeler: Steve Leu
Company: Allen Associates, Santa Barbara, Calif.
The remodelers at Allen Associates like to make their projects as green as possible. To that end, they have been installing tankless water heaters — also called on-demand water heaters — in many of their clients' homes for the past four years.
There are many benefits to using tankless water heaters, according to remodeler Steve Leu. “They take up less space than conventional storage-tank water heaters. They can be mounted inside or outside of the home and can be vented directly — you don't have to run vents through the ceiling or attic. And they are fairly easy to install if you're familiar with them,” Leu says.
Tankless water heaters do not preheat, store, and reheat water. When the homeowner turns on a faucet, shower, or appliance, a sensor in the heating unit fires up the BTUs. Cold water then flows through the heating elements and is heated instantly, then travels within seconds to the tap or faucet, delivering a constant, endless supply of hot water.
Allen Associates uses Rinnai and Takagi systems because they are reliable, Leu says. “We haven't had any maintenance issues with these two brands at all,” he says.