The Most Efficient Gas Water Heater
Navien America, a subsidiary of the Korean company, Kyung Djong, has created a condensing tankless water heater that can achieve an amazing efficiency rating of 98%, while at the same time offering many other advanced features. This highly efficient water heater has lower operating costs than conventional tankless models, has a longer lifespan, and is more eco friendly.
What is a Condensing Water Heater?
A condensing water heater uses similar heating processes to those of conventional gas water heaters. However, instead of wasting the heat in the exhaust gases that are expelled through the flue, this heat is harnessed, and utilized in the water heating process.
Condensing water heaters can be tank units or tankless (on demand) water heaters. The tankless models can supply an unlimited amount of hot water. They are also much smaller than the tank models, and these wall-mounted units do not occupy floor space. By adding these tankless advantages to the high efficiency of a condensing system, Navien has created a water heater that is not only the best tankless water heater, but one of the best ever water heaters.
Electric tankless water heaters have a comparable efficiency to that of the Navien condensing tankless water heater, however, these water heaters have higher operating costs, and they do not have the capacities of the Navien models. In addition, because they use electricity, which is largely coal based, they are not eco friendly and do not qualify for Energy Star taxcredits.
How Does a Condensing water Heater Work?
In a conventional tankless gas water heater there is one heat exchanger. The water passes through this heat exchanger, and as it does so, it is heated by a series of powerful Bunsen burners. In a condensing water heater there is a second heat exchanger through which the hot flue gasses pass. As they do so they are cooled and condense, transferring their heat to the surrounding water. The acidic condensate is neutralized and discarded down the drain.
The small quantity of exhaust gases that are released are cool to the touch, which permits the use of PVC or ABS venting ducts. These ducts are much cheaper and easier to install than the corrosion-resistant stainless steel venting that is required for conventional on demand water heaters.
Features of the Navien Tankless Water Heater
Most on demand water heaters use copper heat exchangers. Navien has replaced these copper heat exchangers with stainless steel ones, and in so doing has increased the life expectancy of its condensing models to well over 20 years.
The combustion process in the Navien Condensing units is electronically controlled by two microprocessors. By monitoring each other, and air and gas pressure sensors, these microprocessors ensure efficient, low emission combustion, and a stable hot water temperature.
The ultra-efficient burners of the Navien units, produce low NOx emissions and reduce carbon dioxide production by at least 420 pounds per unit per year, when compared to other tankless water heaters. The reduction of carbon dioxide is 964 pounds per year, when compared to tank models. This carbon dioxide reduction is equivalent to the work of 31 trees.
In its more expensive “A” models, Navien has included a built-in recirculating pump and a small buffer tank. This system prevents the heat exchanger from freezing in cold weather, and it ensures instant hot water, even at the most distant faucets.By eliminating hot water delays it also eliminates the wastage of the cooled water that has been standing in the pipeline.
Navien makes 3 residential models and 3 commercial models with different capacities to suit your needs. For very large houses or high demand commercial applications from 2 to 98 water heater units can be linked together to create a fully integrated modular system.
Navien’s standard models range in price from $1,300 to $1,700. The “A” models cost $200 more. Although these models are more expensive than many water heaters,with your savings in operating costs and your 30% Energy Star Tax credit, you should be able to pay for these water heaters in 10 years.
Navien offers a 15 year warranty on its heat exchangers and 3 years on other parts.