Many homeowners wait until their current water heater fails before purchasing a replacement. As a result, shopping is done in a hurry, and the proper product research is not done. Within recent years, varieties of water heaters have become available, providing different levels of efficiency, cleanliness, safeness and reliability. Familiarize yourself with the water heating market today and avoid costly purchases in the future.
Types of heaters
• Storage water heaters are the most popular type of water heater for residential heating needs. This heater operates by releasing hot water from the top of the tank when a tap is turned on. Cold water enters the bottom of the tank as water is used, allowing the tank to always be full. Energy is constantly used to heat the tank, even when a tap is off, creating standby heat loss. A popular brand of this type of heater is Bock Water Heaters.
• Demand water heaters do not have storage tanks and heat the water only when needed. Although there is a limited flow rate, cold water travels through a pipe into a unit, and either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. Nortiz is a major name brand of demand water heaters.
• Heat pump water heaters use electricity to gather heat from outside the tank instead of generating heat directly. Pumps must be integrated in water tanks and have a high initial cost. Heaters must be placed in areas with excess heat and will not work in cold spaces. According to AERS, a manufacturer of heat pump water heaters, “Heat pump technology has been proven to reduce energy consumption by 80 percent. Your savings will depend on your location, but typical savings are over 50 percent.”
• Tankless water heaters use a home’s space-heating system to heat water directly inside the boiler. The water flows through a heat exchanger in the boiler whenever a faucet is turned on. During the winter, the tankless heater works well because the heating system in the house is used regularly. According to Rheem, a popular brand of tankless water heaters, “With the properly sized unit, you can use multiple fixtures at the same time and still enjoy a hot shower.”
|How to Choose
➤ Consider your water needs: What capacity will you need?
➤ Determine the water heater’s efficiency: Higher energy factors provide better fuel efficiency.
➤ Read the EnergyGuide label: This will tell you how much hot water is available at a given time.
➤ Consider the long-term price: The cheapest water heater will likely be more expensive to use.