Upgrading to tankless water heaters has become an increasingly popular choice for both residential and commercial customers in recent years.

These units not only eliminate the need for a bulky storage tank, but also use less energy, cost less to operate, and produce fewer emissions compared with electric models. That said, tankless systems only achieve their best results when properly sized and correctly installed.

As you know, tankless water heater installations involve more than simply swapping out a storage tank unit. Taking the time to learn the correct installation methods can help offer customers a better return on investment and long-term satisfaction. Not to mention it can keep you from losing the sale altogether, to a cheaper electric tank model. Here are five factors to take into consideration:

1. Location.

Due to the compact size of a tankless system, it can be mounted just about anywhere. That said, it should be located in a place that minimizes installation cost and maximizes performance.

2. Waterlines.

With storage tank heaters, the water connections come in at the top, but they have to go in at the bottom of tankless units — meaning a reroute of lines might be required. Finding the least-restrictive way to install a tankless system and reducing the length of water or gas lines can help to lower installation costs. If the tank was located in the center of the room, you’ll also need to move the waterlines to an exterior wall, where the new tankless unit can more easily vent outside.

3. Condensate.

If the tankless water heater replacement is a condensing unit, you must run a condensate line. Neglecting to do so can result in the condensate running down into the heat exchanger and burner assembly areas, reducing the lifespan of the heater by many years.

4. Gas Pressure.

In many tank water heater replacement scenarios, you have to increase the gas line size from the typical half inch to three-quarter inch, but propane’s higher pressure allows you to sometimes reuse the existing half-inch line for the tankless unit. Depending on the length of the gas line needed, propane systems may not require a larger-diameter gas line, offering installation savings of up to $1,000.

5. Technology.

Some new tankless systems have eliminated cold-water shock caused by the water cooling in the pipe through a buffer tank and recirculating pump.

Visit propane.com to learn more about propane water heating technologies.