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If you are looking to purchase a new water heater for your home, rather than just opting for a traditional storage tank heater, you may want to choose one of the many alternatives.
For instance, if you are trying to save space or money, it could be worthwhile looking at alternatives, like gas and electric tankless water heaters.
Different Types of Water Heaters For Your Home
You may have already read about the various pros and cons of tankless water heaters, but here in the following post, we will go into detail about the different types of hot water heaters available.
They are not the prettiest of home appliances, so if you are looking for ways to hide your water heater, it may be worth taking that into account before deciding on the type of water heater that meets your needs and making your purchase.
Traditional Storage Tank Heater
By far the most common and popular type is one that features a storage tank. The tank stores the supply before heating, which means the capacity of the storage tank dictates how much hot supply you will have access to at any one time. As it’s insulated, it will stay warm until it is used, but obviously not forever.
There are two valves in the tank, one that controls the pressure and one that controls the temperature. Although it’s the most common type of heater, it limits how much hot supply you have access to, and if you have a small tank, but a large family or household, you may often find that you need to wait for the tank to heat again.
On-Demand or Tankless Heaters
Another of the water heater types are the tankless variety. They are a very modern appliance and one that offers an almost limitless hot supply. As there is no tank, this style of heater features coils that are super-heated and heat it as and when you require it. Hence the alternative name of on-demand.
This makes them ideal for large families and households because you have access to a hot supply that is as good as instant once turned on. One of the major advantages of this kind of heater is that because there is no tank, it can be installed into smaller spaces than the traditional model just couldn’t.
However, you need to be aware that there are different sizes of tankless heaters and while a smaller one may suit a smaller property, you may need to look to buy a larger model if your home is big or you have a lot of people who need to use it at the same time i.e two bathrooms.
Hybrid or Heat Pump
Hybrid water heaters can help you save money on your energy bills as they don’t generate heat directly like the other choices. Heat pump heaters take their heat from the ground and air and warm the supply with it.
As such, electricity is only used in the transportation of heat from the air or ground to the supply. It has been found that hybrid heaters require less than 60% of the electricity traditional heaters use. So this is definitely one of the hot water heater options that are better for the budget.
The biggest downside is that due to their design with the pump placed at the top of the heater, you would have to have a reasonable amount of vertical clearance. In some cases, around 8-feet.
Solar-powered water heaters, as you’ve probably guessed from the name, derive the heat from the sun. It is thought that compared to all the other type of water heaters, the solar-powered heater just might be the most efficient in terms of energy usage.
For this type of system, you need solar paneling installed on the roof, from which the energy collected is directed to a closed-loop system featuring material that’s heat conductive to warm the supply in the tank. Although this can potentially save lots on your utility bills, it is best suited to homes in sunny, warmer climates.
You also need to have a backup plan in place, like an electrical or natural gas heater, so that you still have access on an overcast and rainy days.
Condensing water heaters are curious devices as they utilized unused gas fumes in your home. They featured a heated funnel that connects to your home’s gas system and utilizes it to warm the supply inside a storage tank.
As the gas fumes are funneled, they are directed through a coil that’s installed at the bottom of the tank. This coil heats the supply. Due to their design and how they work, they do not use very much energy so again are one of the greener water heaters types.
In fact, a large percentage of the energy they use is when the gas is burned in the original system, so, if you have gas central heating, that is where the most energy would be generated.
Obviously, as we’ve already stated, this system involves a storage tank, so if space is at a premium in your home, it may not be right for you. Conversely, you would need to find one with a tank that was big enough for the number of people who live in your property.