The water heater is a vital part of your home’s plumbing system. Water heaters provide the household with much needed hot water for showers, cleaning dishes, and washing clothing and linens. You need to choose a water heating system that not only provides you with enough hot water, but that will also be cost effective and energy efficient.
When considering a new water heater, the type of fuel it consumes may play a factor in the choice you make. Fuel options for water heaters include electric, fuel oil, geothermal energy, natural gas, propane, and solar energy. There are 5 basic water heater types to choose from.
Storage Water Heater
This water heater stores a ready supply of hot water in a tank, and are the most economical for installation and upkeep. However, this type of water heater may take up more energy in order to keep the water in the tank at a set temperature. A good way to reduce heat loss is using an insulated tank. The life expectancy of a storage water heater is about 15 years.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters will heat your water only when you need it. There is no storage tank, so you are not having to pay to heat water that is not being used. Because of the heating method, you will have a limitless supply of hot water and will save energy, which will result in lower utility bills. These are much more expensive to install, but you will never worry about running out of hot water and will save money in the long-term. The life expectancy of a tankless water heater is well over 20 years.
Heat Pump Water Heater
This water heater moves heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. This water heater is a good deal more energy efficient than the standard storage water heater because it has a lower operating cost. These water heaters do exhaust a lot of cold air, which can make it hard for your home to maintain warmth during cold months depending on the installation location. However you can switch the heat pump to regular resistance mode to stop the cold air exhaust.
Solar Water Heater
The solar water heater uses the sun’s energy to heat the water, and is the most expensive option. But, in the long run it is over 50 percent more efficient than other water heaters. The one thing about a solar water heater is that it may require a back up for cloudy days or when hot water is in high demand.
Tankless Coil and Indirect Water Heaters
These water heaters use your home’s space heating system in order to heat up the water and generally provide low cost installations and maintenance for buyers. They generally last for about 11 to 12 years. However, these water heaters do not tend to be an efficient choice for homes in warmer climates.
When choosing your water heater you must first decide on the location of the installation. Also, keep in mind the climate of your area. These two key factors will make the difference in the type of water heater you may want to purchase.