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What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need for my Home?

Tankless water heaters are incredibly efficient and compact. They can fit anywhere in your home and take up far less space than traditional water heaters. They are wall-mounted so they do not take up floor space. However, tankless water heaters come in several different sizes to choose from. 

When determining which size is best for your home, you will need to factor in the size of your home, your energy output, as well as your energy source (gas or electric) for the water heater. Let’s jump in and look at the different factors to consider when deciding which size of tankless water heater you need for your home. 

Size of the Home 

Theoretically, when it comes to tankless water heaters, you can typically use one size and apply the one size fits all concept. This is because their technology uses a modulating gas control valve that will only use what energy is required to heat the water based on a gallon per minute equation. Thus, you will not run out of hot water with a tankless water heater, no matter the size.

However, tankless water heaters come in various different sizes and some may be a better fit for your home than others. 

For example, a condo or townhouse will hypothetically use less energy and water than a multi-family residential home. Different sized homes have different water output needs and although one size may fit all, it’s best to look at the product specifications carefully when you are considering a new water heater. 

Products and Specifications 

There are many different products on the market and when it comes to determining which water heater you need for your home, it may seem overwhelming. Luckily, the team at Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating has done some of the work for you. 

We carry the Navien brand of tankless water heaters. Navien is a leader in the industry and their products come in several different sizes. 

Navien Condensing Units


The NPE-Advanced series carries a line of three condensing units that vary in size and output. The key feature in this series is a built-in, recirculation system, which circulates hot water within supply lines, so you always have water on demand, even when you run multiple appliances at once. The units differ in size as well as in their max input, measured in British Thermal Units per Hour. 

Each of these products also includes a linking capability. If you have a large home or multi-family living situation, and a high demand for hot water, you can link up to 16 of the units together in a cascading system. When one unit is close to reaching its max output, it will trigger the neighboring until to start and compensate for the high demand. The NPE-A series condensing units are suitable for both indoor and outdoor installation. 


The Navien NPE-Standard Series stands out for its energy efficiency. They can outperform units with a much higher capacity. The low cost of operation is an excellent incentive for those looking for a more environmentally-friendly system. 

Navien Non-Condensing Units 


The NPN-Universal series are non-condensing units that are characterized by premium performance and quality materials. Each unit contains a stainless steel heat exchanger and burner which uses the Patented NaviTech™ material for efficient, long-lasting, and cleaner fuelling. 

  • NPN-160U – Max DHW Input: 160,000 BTU/H
  • NPN-180U – Max DHW Input: 180,000 BTU/H
  • NPN-199U – Max DHW Input: 199,900 BTU/H


The NPN-Exterior product line features the same quality design as the NPN-Universal series, however, they are designed specifically for outdoor use. 

  • NPN-160E – Max DHW Input: 160,000 BTU/H
  • NPN-180E – Max DHW Input: 180,000 BTU/H
  • NPN-199E – Max DHW Input: 199,900 BTU/H

Use the Sizing Calculator

Navien offers a useful tool that can help you narrow down your options. Determine which size water heater fits your home and your needs by visiting the NaviSizer Calculator. 

Gallons Per Minute 

When you look at the product specifications for your tankless water heater, it is important to pay attention to the Gallons Per Minute, or GPM, it is also called the ‘flow rate’ by some companies.  This is the amount of hot water the water heater can emit each minute. Most manufactures make water heaters of various sizes to accommodate different GPM needs. 

Most tankless water heaters can range from 4-8 GPM. 4 gallons per minute is perfect for smaller apartments, whereas homes and townhomes see a better performance with systems that are 6-8 GPM. In larger homes with multiple bathrooms and appliances, we often suggest installing more than one tankless water heater to meet your needs. 

Visit Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating 

At Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating, our team is here to help you pick out the right size of tankless water heater for your home. Whether you need a larger model for a busy, multi-family home, or a smaller unit our experts can answer any questions you may have. We also offer 24/7 plumbing and heating emergency services in Vancouver and throughout the Lower Mainland, so you’re covered if you feel you need emergency assistance at any time. Whether it’s simply answering questions, installation, maintenance, or repair services, Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating is here to help. Contact us or call 604-879-1415 to learn more about our tankless water heaters.

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A Notice to Our Customers – COVID-19 Update

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating remains committed to serving the communities of the Lower Mainland. Based on recommendations from provincial and federal health authorities, we have made some changes to the way we provide service during onsite calls and at our retail store to ensure the health of our customers, technicians, and the communities they live in.

Updates to our business hours and level of service will continue to be provided through our website and social media accounts, and our 24-hour emergency hotline can be called for urgent plumbing and heating repairs at (604) 879-1415.

For more information, please click the button below to visit our dedicated COVID-19 update page.