If you feel the way we do about water heaters, than you might just want to get a career as a plumber! If you’re a homeowner, however, you might just be thinking of how many different types of water heaters there are out there and which one you should pick to replace your old one. Depending on how you’re heating your water and how much hot water you need, there are several options when it comes to purchasing a water heater. Some water heaters cost more upfront, but are more energy efficient and require a lower cost in the long run. So, we’ll give you the rundown on different types of water heaters and what water heater will best suit your family according to need.
Tankless/On-Demand water heater
Usually water heaters store the water, but as the name suggests, this water heater does not store water. They use heating coils to heat the water as you need it. They are more energy efficient than a storage tank because they provide only a limited flow of hot water per minute (3.5 gal). These water heaters are great for people that don’t use more than one water source at a time. For example, fewer people in the home or people that won’t have to take a shower while running the dishwasher. They are also great for homes that use natural gas for heating because electric models sometimes require expensive upgrades of the home’s electrical capacity.
Storage Tank Water Heater
These are the most common types of water heater and they do as the name suggests. With these tanks, water is heated in an insulated tank, stored until needed, and leaves the tank through a pipe at the top of the heater. Natural gas water heaters use half the energy of its counterpart (electric heater), but costs more at the time of purchase.
Hybrid (Heat Pump) Water Heater
These use about 60% less energy than standard electric heaters because they capture heat from the air and transfer it to the water. Of course, they cost more upfront, but installation time is short and cost is less expensive in the long run. The downfall is that they don’t work too great in extremely cold spaces and they need to stay at temperatures 40 degrees-90 degrees. These water heaters are a bit needy when it comes to space and they need up to 7 feet from floor to ceiling as well as 1,000 cubic feet of space to capture heat from along with an area with nearby drain to rid of condensate.
Condensing Water Heater
If you heat with gas and need a unit with a capacity to hold more than 55 gallons, then this is the heater for you. These tanks are much like the conventional units, except they capture exhaust gases that would usually go out of the flue, which wastes energy. The gases are blown through a coil in the base of the unit, where most of the heat can be absorbed by cold water.
Solar Water Heater
The name gives it away- this unit is powered by the sun’s heat. It uses the sun’s heat and transfers it to an antifreeze-like fluid in a closed-loop system that runs to the water tank. Best savings will come in the summer, so if you live in a warm, sunny region, this is a great tank for you. Since the system wouldn’t work well on cloudy/cold days, a backup system kicks in when needed, hence savings would suffer during these times or in these regions. Usually what you will spend to buy and install would mean it would take some time to recoup costs.
So there you have it, these are the many types of water heaters. Hopefully your shopping journey will come easier with this basic knowledge. Once you find the right pick for your family, give Jack Ward and Sons Plumbing Co. a call to install at 615-227-2811. Oh, and if you have a broken water heater and need your water heater fixed, we do that too.