Developing a multifamily property requires tremendous consideration of the amenities today’s modern-day individuals look for in a prospective living environment. While shiny new appliances, workout centers, and USB plugs are keeping up with the times; a strong source for hot water is a need that will never go outdated.
Utilizing individual storage tank water heaters to supply that need, however, has its disadvantages. Here are 5 things to consider before you incorporate these types of individual water heaters in your next development:
1. They are Less Energy Efficient
According to Energy Saver, “Since water is constantly heated in the tank, energy can be wasted even when a hot water tap isn’t running. This is called standby heat loss.” The article further explains that since the storage tank refills itself with cold water when hot water is being released, heat needs to be constantly producing. The continual power to produce heat creates the excessive use in energy.
2. Higher Risks, Increased Maintenance
The maintenance team has the responsibility of tending to the building as well as resident service requests. Having hundreds of water heaters to maintain means gearing up for potential leaks and flooding where apartment damage may ensue. Not to mention, making sure each water heater tank has been inspected yearly. As famed home improvement guru Bob Vila’s website describes, “…[r]outine maintenance tasks include: draining and flushing the water heater twice a year….[and] [t]esting the pressure relief valve to ensure it is in good working condition.”
3. Limited Hot Water
Just like in its name, a storage tank water heater can only hold a certain amount of hot water at a time. That’s why those hot showers don’t last as long! Since the water that is being circulated is going from hot to cold, a resident needs to wait for the tank to be reheated in order for hot water to flow once again.
4. Lack of Longevity
Storage tank water heaters need to be replaced; it’s the inevitable. If an apartment complex stays up to date on maintenance for each water heater, the system MAY have the potential to surpass the 10-year mark. However, depending on the type of heater, the limit will most likely cap at about 15 years. That means for those 100-300 units per development, you must continually invest in new water heaters. The initial investment will turn into a money draining life-long commitment.
5. Consumes Space
Whether it’s hidden in the laundry room or taking up closet space, there’s no doubt a water heater needs a room of its own in an apartment. That means designing floorplans that accommodate the tank while depriving residents of space that could be utilized for their own needs. Imagine having the ability to market an apartment with an extra amenity or higher usable square footage without worrying about taking up that space with an eyesore tank.