There are several factors to consider when shopping for hot water heaters. It is a vital appliance for the home and you don’t want to discover that you made a poor choice in the middle of a shower. The primary decision to make is which type of heater to purchase. The different types of hot water heaters are conventional tank storage heaters, tankless water heaters, heat pump heaters and solar water heaters. A brief summary of the different types are provided below.
The most common type of hot water heaters on the market are conventional tank storage heaters. A tank storage heater offers a ready supply of hot water ranging from 20 to 80 gallons. As the hot water is used, taken from the top of the tank, cold water fills the bottom of the tank ensuring that it always remains full. With a low cost of installation and the familiarity of being the oldest form of hot water heaters, tank storage heaters are the most popular, and depending on your preferences, are still one of the best choices for your home. Other factors to consider are tank size, fuel type and how much water your household uses on a daily basis.
The tankless hot water heaters, also known as instant water heaters, differ from conventional heaters in that the hot water is only heated as it is needed. There is no reservoir of water, instead the water is passed directly through the heating unit and provides a constant supply of hot water. However, this constant supply comes at the cost of decreased flow rate. This can pose a problem for simultaneous, multiple uses of hot water appliances such as running a shower and dishwasher at the same time. This can be offset by adding more hot water heaters but does increase the initial price. Tankless hot water heaters are usually more energy efficient than tank storage heaters but cost more to purchase.
Heat pump heaters transfer heat from one location to another instead of generating heat in a centralized location as other hot water heaters do. Standalone heat pump systems can be purchased to pull heat from surrounding air and heat the water in the tank. The air temperature of a home can also be retrofitted to use with an existing conventional tank storage heater. They typically cost more than conventional heaters but may have lower operating costs depending on your utility fares.
Knowing what types of hot water heaters are available can help better inform your decision as you focus on which heater best suits your needs. Understanding the different types of water heaters can allow you to do some basic research based around your hot water needs to determine which water heater will work best for you and your family. Make sure to factor in the utility costs that are associated to your local area when making your purchasing decision. By following these simple tips, you will be able to find the hot water heaters that will meet your needs.