Basic Differences Between Condensing vs. Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heater 

What? You aren’t aware of some basic differences between a condensing vs a non-condensing tankless water heater?

Don’t worry! We are here to help you out in understanding both types of water heaters with a detailed discussion. 

So, let us move on with some basic info about condensing and non-condensing water heater followed by a major comparison and contrast: 

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

Just like the name suggests, tankless water heaters do not have a tank with them that stores water and heats it like traditional water heaters. In a tankless water heater, cold water is heated as it flows through the heat exchanger and gets used directly without any storage. The heat exchanger is heated through combustion. Coldwater turns warm and hot as it passes through these stainless steel pipes and then is directed towards a tap. 

During combustion, the hydrogen content of the fuel is burnt, which produces hot gases. A large part of these hot gases is based upon steam or water vapors. Later on, when this steam is cooled down, they form condensation, which is acidic and hence corrosive. 

This type of water heating system has become very popular throughout the world over the years as it is very efficient and cost-effective as compared to the traditional water heaters which were large and expensive.

There are two types of tankless water heaters, i.e.

  1. Condensing tankless water heaters
  2. Non-condensing tankless water heaters

Condensing Tankless Water Heaters:

Design and Structure: 

Its design includes an electric fan, a heat exchanger, a burner, a pipe that sucks air out of the combustion chamber, and a pipe that acts as an inlet for cold water and an outlet for hot water. 

Moreover, it also consists of a small chamber in which water vapors pass through and a smaller pipe attached to its bottom through which the condensation is let out.

Basic Working: 

Condensing tankless water heaters produce condensation as they take out the additional heat from the gases that are exhausted through different methods and let out the rest of the gases through pipes. Later on, these gases are cooled to temperatures that are usually around 100 degrees Fahrenheit within the unit. 

This cooling of the exhaust gases produces condensation which is collected inside and is later neutralized before getting drained out through pipes. 

Advantage of Condensing Tankless Water Heater: 

The advantage of this system is that the gases that come out are only 100 degrees Fahrenheit, due to which we don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive piping. In addition to that, we can use standard PVC pipes for the air exhaust as well. Because of this reason, they are more efficient.

Besides, this water heater can be sealed from the outside, which is very good from the air-sealing point of view. We can mount it into any room such as a kitchen, a laundry room, or a basement, put foam on it and caulk around and seal it.

Drawbacks: 

Condensing units do not always produce condensation as it depends on the environment, the humidity, the temperature of one place with another. The efficiencies that are claimed by the manufacturers are obtained in laboratories under special conditions. 

Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heaters:

Basic Design and Structure: 

The design for this type is very similar to that of the condensing tankless water heater, but it has a few differences. For example, it doesn’t have a chamber through which water vapors and steam are passed and it doesn’t have a pipe, which was used to extract condensation in the other type. This is because the water vapors are exhausted with all the other gases through the pipe that is on top of the combustion chamber.

Working: 

Non Condensing tankless water heaters have the same procedure of heating the water, but they do not produce condensation. This is because as the hot gases are produced, they are pushed out of the unit through vents. 

Advantages: 

Non-condensing tankless water heaters are based on old and accepted technology. They have very few attachments involved which means that they have very few areas where things can go wrong. They are not that expensive to get installed and at the same time, you don’t have to worry about getting protection from exposure to condensate as it gets taken out through the pipes instead of being held up in one place.

Disadvantages: 

These gases have a temperature of around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This is one of its downsides as compared to the Condensing tankless water heater, as you would have to get expensive piping like a stainless steel one for the vents.

Condensing vs Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heater: Comparison and Contrast

Now that we have discussed how both the types of tankless water heaters work and how they are different, let’s get to their several other different features.

  • Lifespan: 

Both of these types of these water heaters can give you a service time of at least 20 years if maintained properly.

For the condensing systems, the pipes that hold the condensation and transfer it outwards need to be of a high-end quality product. They will be prone to wearing and tearing due to corrosion. Consequently, they will need to be replaced over-time. On the other hand, non-condensing systems have gases at higher temperatures that pass through them, so they would need good quality material for their ventilation system. Even then, it would need to be changed over time as exposure to such high temperatures over a period of time will cause them to degrade.

  • Investment:

The condensing units tend to be more expensive in the short run than their replacement parts due to extra heat exchanges. 

In the shorter range, some individuals might be put off because of the initial investment, but this balances out with its utility savings in the long run. Non-condensing units are much cheaper in the short-range.

  • Efficient:

In the case of efficiency, the condensing systems outperform their competitors because of 90% efficiency as compared to 80% of the non-condensing system. However, both of these types are much more economical and efficient than electric water heaters.

  • Carbon Footprint:

The water vapors that both these systems release into the atmosphere, though treated, are toxic to some levels. But still, these levels are much lower than any other type of tankless water heart out there.

  • Savings:

Depending on how you have the condensation lines connected, you can recycle the byproduct back into your water lines. Consequently, you will save a bunch on your water bills.

The Final Verdict: 

So that would be all about the basic comparison and contrast between condensing and non-condensing tankless water heaters. By going through this article, you’d have a knowhow of which type to go for as per your will and wish. 

Good Luck!!

Basic Differences Between Condensing vs. Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heater 

What? You aren’t aware of some basic differences between a condensing vs a non-condensing tankless water heater?

Don’t worry! We are here to help you out in understanding both types of water heaters with a detailed discussion. 

So, let us move on with some basic info about condensing and non-condensing water heater followed by a major comparison and contrast: 

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

Just like the name suggests, tankless water heaters do not have a tank with them that stores water and heats it like traditional water heaters. In a tankless water heater, cold water is heated as it flows through the heat exchanger and gets used directly without any storage. The heat exchanger is heated through combustion. Coldwater turns warm and hot as it passes through these stainless steel pipes and then is directed towards a tap. 

During combustion, the hydrogen content of the fuel is burnt, which produces hot gases. A large part of these hot gases is based upon steam or water vapors. Later on, when this steam is cooled down, they form condensation, which is acidic and hence corrosive. 

This type of water heating system has become very popular throughout the world over the years as it is very efficient and cost-effective as compared to the traditional water heaters which were large and expensive.

There are two types of tankless water heaters, i.e.

  1. Condensing tankless water heaters
  2. Non-condensing tankless water heaters

Condensing Tankless Water Heaters:

Design and Structure: 

Its design includes an electric fan, a heat exchanger, a burner, a pipe that sucks air out of the combustion chamber, and a pipe that acts as an inlet for cold water and an outlet for hot water. 

Moreover, it also consists of a small chamber in which water vapors pass through and a smaller pipe attached to its bottom through which the condensation is let out.

Basic Working: 

Condensing tankless water heaters produce condensation as they take out the additional heat from the gases that are exhausted through different methods and let out the rest of the gases through pipes. Later on, these gases are cooled to temperatures that are usually around 100 degrees Fahrenheit within the unit. 

This cooling of the exhaust gases produces condensation which is collected inside and is later neutralized before getting drained out through pipes. 

Advantage of Condensing Tankless Water Heater: 

The advantage of this system is that the gases that come out are only 100 degrees Fahrenheit, due to which we don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive piping. In addition to that, we can use standard PVC pipes for the air exhaust as well. Because of this reason, they are more efficient.

Besides, this water heater can be sealed from the outside, which is very good from the air-sealing point of view. We can mount it into any room such as a kitchen, a laundry room, or a basement, put foam on it and caulk around and seal it.

Drawbacks: 

Condensing units do not always produce condensation as it depends on the environment, the humidity, the temperature of one place with another. The efficiencies that are claimed by the manufacturers are obtained in laboratories under special conditions. 

Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heaters:

Basic Design and Structure: 

The design for this type is very similar to that of the condensing tankless water heater, but it has a few differences. For example, it doesn’t have a chamber through which water vapors and steam are passed and it doesn’t have a pipe, which was used to extract condensation in the other type. This is because the water vapors are exhausted with all the other gases through the pipe that is on top of the combustion chamber.

Working: 

Non Condensing tankless water heaters have the same procedure of heating the water, but they do not produce condensation. This is because as the hot gases are produced, they are pushed out of the unit through vents. 

Advantages: 

Non-condensing tankless water heaters are based on old and accepted technology. They have very few attachments involved which means that they have very few areas where things can go wrong. They are not that expensive to get installed and at the same time, you don’t have to worry about getting protection from exposure to condensate as it gets taken out through the pipes instead of being held up in one place.

Disadvantages: 

These gases have a temperature of around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This is one of its downsides as compared to the Condensing tankless water heater, as you would have to get expensive piping like a stainless steel one for the vents.

Condensing vs Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heater: Comparison and Contrast

Now that we have discussed how both the types of tankless water heaters work and how they are different, let’s get to their several other different features.

  • Lifespan: 

Both of these types of these water heaters can give you a service time of at least 20 years if maintained properly.

For the condensing systems, the pipes that hold the condensation and transfer it outwards need to be of a high-end quality product. They will be prone to wearing and tearing due to corrosion. Consequently, they will need to be replaced over-time. On the other hand, non-condensing systems have gases at higher temperatures that pass through them, so they would need good quality material for their ventilation system. Even then, it would need to be changed over time as exposure to such high temperatures over a period of time will cause them to degrade.

  • Investment:

The condensing units tend to be more expensive in the short run than their replacement parts due to extra heat exchanges. 

In the shorter range, some individuals might be put off because of the initial investment, but this balances out with its utility savings in the long run. Non-condensing units are much cheaper in the short-range.

  • Efficient:

In the case of efficiency, the condensing systems outperform their competitors because of 90% efficiency as compared to 80% of the non-condensing system. However, both of these types are much more economical and efficient than electric water heaters.

  • Carbon Footprint:

The water vapors that both these systems release into the atmosphere, though treated, are toxic to some levels. But still, these levels are much lower than any other type of tankless water heart out there.

  • Savings:

Depending on how you have the condensation lines connected, you can recycle the byproduct back into your water lines. Consequently, you will save a bunch on your water bills.

The Final Verdict: 

So that would be all about the basic comparison and contrast between condensing and non-condensing tankless water heaters. By going through this article, you’d have a knowhow of which type to go for as per your will and wish. 

Good Luck!!

Don’t worry! We are here to help you out in understanding both types of water heaters with a detailed discussion. 

So, let us move on with some basic info about condensing and non-condensing water heater followed by a major comparison and contrast: 

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

Just like the name suggests, tankless water heaters do not have a tank with them that stores water and heats it like traditional water heaters. In a tankless water heater, cold water is heated as it flows through the heat exchanger and gets used directly without any storage. The heat exchanger is heated through combustion. Coldwater turns warm and hot as it passes through these stainless steel pipes and then is directed towards a tap. 

During combustion, the hydrogen content of the fuel is burnt, which produces hot gases. A large part of these hot gases is based upon steam or water vapors. Later on, when this steam is cooled down, they form condensation, which is acidic and hence corrosive. 

This type of water heating system has become very popular throughout the world over the years as it is very efficient and cost-effective as compared to the traditional water heaters which were large and expensive.

There are two types of tankless water heaters, i.e.

  1. Condensing tankless water heaters
  2. Non-condensing tankless water heaters

Condensing Tankless Water Heaters:

Design and Structure: 

Its design includes an electric fan, a heat exchanger, a burner, a pipe that sucks air out of the combustion chamber, and a pipe that acts as an inlet for cold water and an outlet for hot water. 

Moreover, it also consists of a small chamber in which water vapors pass through and a smaller pipe attached to its bottom through which the condensation is let out.

Basic Working: 

Condensing tankless water heaters produce condensation as they take out the additional heat from the gases that are exhausted through different methods and let out the rest of the gases through pipes. Later on, these gases are cooled to temperatures that are usually around 100 degrees Fahrenheit within the unit. 

This cooling of the exhaust gases produces condensation which is collected inside and is later neutralized before getting drained out through pipes. 

Advantage of Condensing Tankless Water Heater: 

The advantage of this system is that the gases that come out are only 100 degrees Fahrenheit, due to which we don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive piping. In addition to that, we can use standard PVC pipes for the air exhaust as well. Because of this reason, they are more efficient.

Besides, this water heater can be sealed from the outside, which is very good from the air-sealing point of view. We can mount it into any room such as a kitchen, a laundry room, or a basement, put foam on it and caulk around and seal it.

Drawbacks: 

Condensing units do not always produce condensation as it depends on the environment, the humidity, the temperature of one place with another. The efficiencies that are claimed by the manufacturers are obtained in laboratories under special conditions. 

Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heaters:

Basic Design and Structure: 

The design for this type is very similar to that of the condensing tankless water heater, but it has a few differences. For example, it doesn’t have a chamber through which water vapors and steam are passed and it doesn’t have a pipe, which was used to extract condensation in the other type. This is because the water vapors are exhausted with all the other gases through the pipe that is on top of the combustion chamber.

Working: 

Non Condensing tankless water heaters have the same procedure of heating the water, but they do not produce condensation. This is because as the hot gases are produced, they are pushed out of the unit through vents. 

Advantages: 

Non-condensing tankless water heaters are based on old and accepted technology. They have very few attachments involved which means that they have very few areas where things can go wrong. They are not that expensive to get installed and at the same time, you don’t have to worry about getting protection from exposure to condensate as it gets taken out through the pipes instead of being held up in one place.

Disadvantages: 

These gases have a temperature of around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This is one of its downsides as compared to the Condensing tankless water heater, as you would have to get expensive piping like a stainless steel one for the vents.

Condensing vs Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heater: Comparison and Contrast

Now that we have discussed how both the types of tankless water heaters work and how they are different, let’s get to their several other different features.

  • Lifespan: 

Both of these types of these water heaters can give you a service time of at least 20 years if maintained properly.

For the condensing systems, the pipes that hold the condensation and transfer it outwards need to be of a high-end quality product. They will be prone to wearing and tearing due to corrosion. Consequently, they will need to be replaced over-time. On the other hand, non-condensing systems have gases at higher temperatures that pass through them, so they would need good quality material for their ventilation system. Even then, it would need to be changed over time as exposure to such high temperatures over a period of time will cause them to degrade.

  • Investment:

The condensing units tend to be more expensive in the short run than their replacement parts due to extra heat exchanges. 

In the shorter range, some individuals might be put off because of the initial investment, but this balances out with its utility savings in the long run. Non-condensing units are much cheaper in the short-range.

  • Efficient:

In the case of efficiency, the condensing systems outperform their competitors because of 90% efficiency as compared to 80% of the non-condensing system. However, both of these types are much more economical and efficient than electric water heaters.

  • Carbon Footprint:

The water vapors that both these systems release into the atmosphere, though treated, are toxic to some levels. But still, these levels are much lower than any other type of tankless water heart out there.

  • Savings:

Depending on how you have the condensation lines connected, you can recycle the byproduct back into your water lines. Consequently, you will save a bunch on your water bills.

The Final Verdict: 

So that would be all about the basic comparison and contrast between condensing and non-condensing tankless water heaters. By going through this article, you’d have a knowhow of which type to go for as per your will and wish. 

Good Luck!!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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