Hey Folks,
We have a forced air hydronic heat system that uses our hot water heater as a source for both the heat exchanger and domestic hot water. While we do have some issues with the quality of the heat, I suspect that has more do with our house itself and is not quite what I need to tackle.

The real issue is that the Polaris water heater we have has been problematic since we've owned the house. Its costing us on average about $1000/year to repair and keep running. Of course it only conks out on the coldest days . We have also found it to be loud, inefficient (expensive) and in the winter we have a hard time taking showers longer than 7-10 minutes.

I've spent quite a bit of time having informal conversations with heating/cooling guys and they have all suggested replacing the Polaris with another high efficiency water heater, a Bradly-White for example. I have some concerns there, mostly about physical size. We have a very tight space with almost no room to spare.

I am interested in the viability of tankless systems. For instance, would a tankless system plus a small 25 gallon electric water heater (in a loop) suffice? What about two tankless systems- one for domestic and the other for the heat?

People have suggested that the tankless systems are still quite new and may end up being the repair nightmare that the Polaris has been. Others praise them.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks very much!