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Point of Use Oil Hot Water Replacement?

I have a four zone oil hot water baseboard heating system and an oil hot water heater. I have always wondered if these electric point of use water heater units might be a viable replacement. It may sound crazy but could I have a point of use unit added to each zone and tap into the pump electrical contact? Then when the thermostat says send hot water through the pipes, the pump would go on and the point of use unit would begin to heat the water on the way to the radiators.

Would this work as a replacement for the hot water heater, too? Could I put point of use units on each hot water line and eliminate my water heater altogether?

I must be missing soemthing, or this idea would be all over the place as oil prices skyrocket.

Re: Point of Use Oil Hot Water Replacement?

After 35 years working with heating systems, the most efficient system I know of is a gas-fired or oil-fired hot water boiler which includes an indirect hot water heater.

These systems have dominated the heating market for decades & recent engineering improvements to make them more efficient have only solidified their position, in my opinion.

The only other system that competes with the above is ground-based geothermal heating, which uses the warmth of the earth to produce a system that is much more expensive than gas-fired or oil-fired hydronics, but does provide a more economical way to heat a home.

Solar panels are finding their way into rooftop shingles these days & it's only a matter of time until their usage becomes widespread.

Point of Use hot water systems (or tankless water heaters) have found a niche in other parts of the world, especially Asia, where domestic hot water usage patterns are quite different from the U.S/European experience.

There are 140,000 btu's in a single gallon of #2 fuel oil & most modern boilers are rated to burn only 75% of a gallon per hour when firing; that's enough to heat an entire large house & all the needed domestic hot water.

When combined with heavy insulation in the exterior walls, it will be a while before oil-fired & gas-fired boilers will be eclipsed.

For further discussion on this topic go to the site below & enter into their search box such phrases as "tankless hot water heating","Paloma Heating", "geothermal heating", etc (do not use the quotation marks; you can also Google these phrases for additional sites).

There are many Japanese manufacturers of quality tankless water heaters, Such as Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Paloma Pak, Fujitsu, Sanyo, Samsung & others, that are selling well worldwide, but these are I believe aimed solely at the domestic hot water branch of the heating market.


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