Dear Keven Letter “Sadly Never in Hot Water”

Did you miss our latest Facebook Live video featuring our Dear Keven segment? Not to worry, you can catch the full episode here!  Our weekly segment features inquiries from residential homeowners just like you who have questions in regards to their home. If you’d prefer to watch this on Youtube, click here.

Here is the latest question from one of our viewers:

Dear Keven,

We have a house with 5 of teenagers and we are constantly running out of hot water.  We know we need to replace our hot water tank and have been putting it off. The “hot water on demand” are interesting to us. They are even more enticing with the potential energy rebates.  Are they an option for all homes?


Sadly Never in Hot Water

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Dear Sadly Never in Hot Water,

Your question is very timely and a hot topic at the moment. On-demand, or tankless hot water heater’s as they’re known, have several benefits over traditional tank styles.

The biggest benefit, is that they will supply you and your family with continuous unlimited hot water. No more getting the short end of the stick and cold water shock of being the sixth person into the shower!  The only downside to this, is the teenagers staying in the shower for two hours now, instead of only half an hour!

Secondly, the efficiency of burning natural gas to obtain hot water is about 95% on modern, condensing type high-efficiency models.  In a new traditional tank style, the efficiency rate is only about 72%.

Like any mechanical product, there is a wide range and variance in quality of products and using correct installation procedures.  When installing an on-demand system, it is critical to invest in a well built, locally available and proven brand such as Noritz and Navien.

Noritz is a favourite of ours, because of its high use of stainless steel, commercial grade construction, warranty coverage and dependability. It is 100% engineered and manufactured in Japan, with excellent support by its distributor here in Edmonton.

Beware of the least expensive equipment and installation cost. As with most things, you get what you pay for and when it comes to on-demand systems.  They can be disastrous, even when good equipment is installed by incompetent and inexperienced people. Check company’s on-line reviews to qualify a good company.  Watch for a long history for those reviews too!

There are a couple of factors that affect the real-world performance in different houses within Edmonton area. These include the type of plumbing system installed in your home and specific installation requirements required for your home.   The other thing to keep in mind, is the differing capacities and outputs of these on-demand systems. We generally recommend only installing units that run at approximately 200,000 BTU. This ensures that you will be able to run multiple hot water sources at one time without issue.

To obtain all of the facts with real world advice and pricing, highly qualified contractor’s must first come and do a site visit and consultation. It is critical when making such a big investment in the infrastructure of your home, that you get good, honest advice prior to making any decision.

Brands of on demand / tankless water heaters include Noritz, Navien, Rheem, Renai, Bosch, Fujitsu and John Wood.  It’s critical for long term parts availability and quality service to choose a model that is properly supported by the manufacture in Edmonton and area.


Keven Lackey


Do you have a question for Dear Keven? Email your questions to with “Dear Keven” in the subject line and your questions may be chosen for our daily segment!  You can also find us on Facebook @acclaimedfurnace where will feature a new live segment every Friday. 

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